Follow three pampered (borderline spoiled in one case) young British kids who are sent to Lagos in Nigeria to work as mechanics in a tough, no-nonsense garage. Watch them try to get to grips with eating local spicey food (including rice and stew, and goat intestine), being offered accommodation in a “face me I face you” and them going to a Lagos beach party.
It was a journey for these young people. My favourite is the Scottish girl who got on with things in her new environment, got to grips, and seemed far tougher than her male counterparts. I also loved the scene where she is inspired after meeting a Nigerian lady that trains young women to be mechanics.
Great feature on Freedom Park in Lagos, which used to be a prison in Nigeria’s colonial days, and housed famous prisoners such as Obafemi Awolowo.
See below for eyewitness testimonies and recollections of the massive 2002 armoury explosion in Lagos.
Over 1000 people were killed when a large stockpile of military explosives accidentally exploded on 27 January 2002. Many panic stricken residents thought the fireball and explosions were the start of a military coup or a military conflict. Many of those fleeing drowned after accidentally being stampeded into a canal.
These explosions were so powerful that windows shattered 15 km away and the blast could be felt more than 50 km inland.
The explosion threw up several other unexploded military munitions, which fell down in Lagos in a hail of exploding shells, grenades and bullets which caused further death and destructions.
Panic stricken civilians trying to flee were either killed by munitions, killed in a stampede, or struck while trying to cross busy roads.
Nice documentary on the National Geographic Channel hosted by Diego Bunuel – about life in Lagos and what confronts a newcomer to the city. Of course, there is an obligatory visit to a Redeemed Christian Church of God in Lagos.
Harold Demuren, the head of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, said the pilot of the Boeing MD-83 radioed to “declare mayday” because “the two engines had failed”.
Nigeria’s Civil Aviation Authority has suspended the operating license of Dana Air – the airline whose plane crashed on Sunday in a Lagos suburb.
“Their operational licence has been suspended until we carry out their recertification,” spokesman Sam Adurogboye told the BBC.
The Senate also suspended the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Mr. Harold Demuren.
The Dana Air plane that crashed in Lagos was bound for Abuja. The pilot noticed a problem and was trying to return to the Murtala Muhammed airport when the plane crashed into a building in a residential area in Lagos.
All 153 passengers on board the plane were killed.
List of casualties:
Photos of the wreckage
For those of you in the UK, the BBC will be showing a programme and law and (dis)order in Lagos – hosted by the ever humorous Louis Theroux. Louis somehow gets into the world of Lagos Area Boys.
Should be a fun show.
Sunday October 10, 9PM GMT – BBC2
Programmes about Africa coming thick and fast from the BBC. The latest one is called “An African Journey” – hosted by Jonathan Dimbleby. He goes on at odyssey of sorts from Bamako, Mali, to Ghana, then to Lagos in Nigeria.
The BBC’s blurb says that “In Lagos, Nigeria’s business capital, Jonathan Dimbleby sees a different take on a city that is often depicted as a hotbed of violence, crime and corruption. He is taken on a private jet by Africa’s richest man, then savours the creative talents of two of African music’s rising stars who are helping to cement Lagos’s place as the continent’s cultural hub.”
Full programme above, and clips below.
*Updated* April 30, 2010. Watch part 3:
The Guardian has also posted an interesting editorial article and debate about it:
*Updated* You can watch part 2 here:
For those that missed it, you can watch part 1 of the the BBC programme “Welcome to Lagos” here:
There is also a post by the show’s producer, discussing his experiences of filming in Lagos and the myriad characters he met.
Episode 2 is next Thursday: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00s5x5w