Book Review: Welcome To Lagos by Chibundu Onuzo

By Bennet Owuonda

The mesmerising art on the book cover drew me in from the first day I saw it on the NuriaStore bookstore shelves.

I wanted to read it so desperately but it took a while before I could lay hold on a copy.

My expectation was that the story will only be about the modern story of living in Lagos but I like the turn and twist it took. The book gave me the feel I got while reading an Achebe or Chukwuemeka Ike’s book set in the 80’s, but with a modern twist or just set in the present but so quick to catapult me back when she writes about something like the Internet.

Beautifully encapsulating the essence of Lagos, “Welcome to Lagos” lives up to its name as it weaves together the lives of three men, one woman and one girl – Chike, Yemi, Fineboy, Oma and Isoken – who come together to face the jungle that is Lagos. The story talks about the experiences of this group in Lagos – from homelessness to unemployment to divine strokes of luck to life threatening events – and tells a tale that most Lagosians (and a number of Nigerians) can relate with.

In their quest for survival, they find an abandoned apartment which launches them into a life of comfort. However, they find out that there’s more to the apartment than it seems and together with a former Minister of Education (Chief Sandayo) and a journalist (Ahmed Bakare), they find themselves thrown into a world of corruption and dirty politics which changes their lives forever.

I appreciate the way she beamed light on Nigerians living on less than a dollar, under bridges, shacks, uncompleted buildings, the Makoko community and of course the rich and also corrupt Politicians.

Welcome to Lagos is a nice read!

Overall, in my opinion, “Welcome to Lagos” is a pretty amazing book. I’d give it a 7/10. Although the book has a slower pace than most “page