Night life in Lagos is often meant for relaxation by mainly residents. It is also economic gains for several people, as the country’s dwindling economy has reduced the number of people who unwind at night, writes Babatunde Bangbose of Lagos bureau
No doubt, the Centre of Excellence is known for its unique features among peers in terms of business thriving and social bubbling. The state harbours who is who in Nigeria, every weekend they storm Lagos to unwind after a stressful week at work. Its Night life is second to none as people move freely at night to have fun in any part of the state while millions of cash exchange hands and probably put smiles on the faces of those that depend on the moment to make their ends meat.
In spite the security challenge in Lagos, most parts of the city still bubble at night with activities. The availability of social amenities such as, fairly good roads, security patrols and well-lit streets in some areas have encouraged the thriving of these fun centres.
Lagos, from Thursday nights, catches the bug of gyration with, hotels and relaxation centres, generally referred to as fun centres, preparing grounds for events, which are usually at their highest peak on Friday nights.
Also notable is the fact that nightclubs are now springing up in places where such facilities never existed, like Ipaja, Iba, Abule Egba and Ijanikin in the suburb of Lagos. Adding new attractions are strip or nude zones. This is part of the club where stripteases or exotic dances are regularly performed.
Visiting this zone would make anybody that has just been baptised into night crawling to remain a patron. These strip teasers, mostly in their late teens, and early 20s, come in different sizes, shapes and colours.
Another, common feature about these clubs is that they are divided into sections such as the VIPs, membership and the general hall. At the VIPs, patrons pay entrance fee of N10, 000.00 and above, depending on the club and they are entitled to anything on demand. Apart from this, they are free to do anything they want, including smoking — hard or soft cigar — depending on the club and as well could explore the wenches hanging around, depending on how heavy their purses are.
The membership section, activities here are more organised and exclusively for registered members. It is gathered that top businessmen and politicians catch their fun in this section, while the general hall is meant for all and sundry.
At the Cave Exclusive, GRA, Ikeja, strippers are scantily dressed, leaving your imagination to run riot before their performance, while the bar attendants, who are mostly, young beautiful ladies, move around, attending to patrons in underwear.
As this goes on, the environment is charged by in-house band that serenades patrons with sensual music. Apart from these attractions, some auxiliary service providers partner with these fun centres to ensure that night crawlers have the best of time. These companies provide registered vehicles that could drive patrons to their houses, in case they do not want to be noticed or identified in the night. They provide security men that could guide any patron through out the night, even to his home.
Before the April general elections, many club houses sprung up in Lagos and all were flourishing.
According to Uche Ihejirika “People generally want to enjoy themselves, and doing this must not always make them take the risk of driving far into the night; it is risky and more expensive. So, clubs are springing up here and there to provide these services. A man should be able to walk to a club near his home and come back without expending much time driving,” he said.
He testified that nightclub business is another sector of the economy, where some of the operators of fun centres make over N8 million per month, depending on the location and season of the year. “It is an area yet to be properly tapped into. It is the pivot of some hotels and involves activities including sex, poker, drugs and things you cannot imagine.”
At Aso rock Ikotun in Alimoso area of the state, the open bar is usually crammed with revelers, who are eating, drinking and chatting away, as waiters move between tables with trays of grilled fish, stewed goat meat and drinks, while an in-house band thrills patrons.
The number of cars parked outside this joint, almost to the point of building a gridlock at the junction and the ladies donning suggestive dresses show that the place is a hot spot of fun. At Pekah Guest House, Opebi Road, Ikeja, the joint is crammed to the hilt with guests, while loud music spills from two adjoining bars, as well as from cars pulling up in front of the facility; as always, sex, money and beer are the main attraction. Little wonder young hookers in their teens and early 20s are the major features.
When asked by Nigerian pilot about the effect of these night crawlers in Ikeja, Rotimi Adeseun, a resident of Toyin Street who lives two streets away from Pekah’s, said, “it is a two-way thing; it has its negative and positive effects. The club has made the area popular and accessible from anywhere in Lagos, but it puts us at the centre of crime. These ladies at times fight at night, to the extent that policemen do come to make arrests and during this period, if you are unfortunate to be returning late you may be taken for one of the crawlers, it is that dangerous.
“Also, the club has made hard drugs to be sold openly in the street to anyone that cares to buy; and the surprising thing is that policemen see them and turn away their eyes. Another aspect is the women, who easily allow men to lay with them in the dark corners, this act has made most streets to install streetlight and in some places raised high gates,” he noted.
At Ipodo unity side of Ikeja, those that wish to satisfy their sexual urges at a very low price patronise the place. The common business in the area at night is pay and has fun after the business persons dominating the area must have gone home.
While some people have their night life at mainland others prefer to move to the Island like Lekki, Ajah, Oniru, Elegusi and Ibeju Lekki beach side. According to Murphy Osungboye, the night life at the beach side is more or less a heaven on earth. The ladies already have rented rooms where they will lead any man that chooses them to. Their price for a round of sex starts from N1000 up ward but some of them now reduce to at least 500 now since the economy is strict.
While answering questions by Nigerian Pilot, a young lady of 21years, known as Tonia, in Small Kuramo at Jakande in Lekki, said ladies from different parts of the state came there to hustle. According to her, many of them are school girls who need money to prepare themselves for future challenges. She maintained that many of them made money from the hustling to take care of their aged parents.
“It is not as if all of us are prostitutes as many perceive us, we embark on this to meet up with the challenges of life and since we know it’s our business, we use part of the money to take care of ourselves. The only challenge we now have is that we don’t make money like before; it seems the poor economical situation affected people’s fun life. Some of our people reduce money to attract customers these days. We seriously feel it that there is no money in circulation” she submitted.
On Isaac John Street, where three night clubs – The Place, Sandra’s Bar (now renamed Continental Bar) and Metro Park – compete for attention, fun seekers are not moved by happenings around there as the facilities’ security men run metal detectors on them before allowing them in.
The presence of these spots have transformed the street from a quiet business district, replete with shopping malls, fast foods outlets and branches of commercial banks, into an emerging hub of nightlife in Ikeja. Aside from hookers seen in near naked dresses, these clubs charge low entrance frees.
As these centres attract fun seeker to the street, smart businessmen are beginning to harness their presence to let out their boys’ quarters to couples that desire to bonk at N700 per hour while security men in the area follow suit as they let their post out for guys at N500 per hour to argument their pay.