Crowned as the bustling heart of Nigeria, Lagos is the pit stop for budding fashionistas and creative moguls. Chaos seems to be the lifeline of the city that thrives on its eclectic mix of art, music, and culture. Be it for business or travel, here are five reasons why Nigeria should be the art lover’s next destination.
Nigeria’s fashion industry is thriving with its unique blend of high fashion and modernizing traditional African textiles to tell a story that appeals to a global audience. Coming across as whimsical, yet put together, they are a breath of fresh air in a world dominated by household brands.
Where to get a taste of such designs, you may ask? Take a trip down to Alara – a concept outlet designed to elevate the fashion scene in Lagos.
Don’t be surprised, but Nigeria has its own Fashion Week – Lagos Fashion Week. It is the biggest fashion event on the continent, with renowned African designers and fashion critics in attendance.
High profile customers are a testament to any designer’s success, and Nigerian designers don’t fall short here. Brand Maki Oh, the brainchild of designer Amaka Osakwe has dressed First Lady Michelle Obama with her forward-thinking and classy pieces.
Fashion aside, Lagos is no stranger to the music scene. The booming city fosters energy that seems to keep music creatives on their toes.
As you stroll down the streets of Lagos, it’s not uncommon to be overwhelmed by beats of homegrown Gqom music bouncing off the walls. For a trip down memory lane, old neighborhoods like Campos and Lafiaji are your best bet for a banging performance of Agidigbo music.
Music festivals such as Felabration brings in music of more traditional stripes – an ideal place to soak in live Afropolitan jams.
Art galleries and museums
Lagos has an abundance of art galleries, showcasing works from across Nigeria and around the world. Renowned art exhibitions held in galleries such as Omenka and White Space Gallery are frequented by budding local artists to gain inspiration for their new projects.
For sculpture enthusiasts, concept store Temple Muse should be on your agenda. Meanwhile, Terra Kulture is a must-visit space for all creatives, as it is a lounge, theater, art gallery, and craft shop all in one. To snag Nigerian antiquities and works with the best prices, you can’t miss Lekki Market.
Besides art galleries, you can revel in the plethora of museums that Lagos has to offer. The Jaeke House Museum, boasting colonial relics, and the Kalakuta Museum allows you a glimpse into the history of Nigeria and renowned figures in society such as musician and human rights activist Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Each museum brims with art installations, relics, and archeological discoveries alike.
Each year, Lagos comes alive as the city erupts into costumed chaos. “Eyo” refers to the masquerades during the festival. The costume of an Eyo consists of a two-piece long white flowing robe and an Akete (hat) bearing the colours of the royal family.
People worship this festival in the wake of a king’s passing or inauguration. The masquerades paraded throughout the festival represent the spirits of the ancestors. This immersive experience is a feast for the eyes, and a surefire way to delve deep into the heart of Nigerian customs.
Affectionately termed “Nollywood” – Nigeria is home to a multi-million dollar booming film industry. Little known to most, it is the world’s second-largest film industry in terms of sheer volume. Your best bet at having a taste of Nollywood would be to attend the annual Africa International Film Festival.
The festival highlights budding African filmmakers and presents them with a platform to showcase their best short films and features. The festival is quickly making rounds in the international film circuit, a testament to its success.