Welcome to Lagos

by Chibundu Onuzo

This is a story about a huge megalopolis in Africa. It is a tale of corruption, and what happens to honest people when they come up against it. It is a story of love and friendship burgeoning against all the odds, and how they offer people salvation. It is a story of a soldier deserting the army and finding a purpose in life. It is a story of survival.


Be courageous. Men, be courageous. They were the words his mother had sung in the Biafran War, when planes flew over her village and dropped bombs in the lanes. Be courageous. Women, be courageous. Sometimes they would bring the wounded to her house, and his mother would help his grandmother, a nurse, dig out bullets with a kitchen knife made sterile over a flame. Be courageous. Children, be courageous. This was the line sung for him, always sung louder than the rest.



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