WATCH BBC'S 'WELCOME TO LAGOS' PARTS 1 & 2 (VIDEO)

Friday, April 23, 2010

The BBC documentary 'Welcome to Lagos' has become relatively controversial. Some see it as a positive depiction of the poor but ingenious in Nigeria's teeming commercial center, Lagos. Others see it as a negative and derogatory attempt by a foreign media outlet to once again insult Lagos and Nigerians.

While the program was available to a mostly European audience, viewers in America were unable to watch this documentary until now. Below are 6 clips that comprise Part 1 of the documentary. A link to watch Part 2 is also available below. Part 3 of the documentary is yet to air but will be uploaded as soon as it does.














What do you think about what you have seen thus far? Is it fair to categorize the documentary as dismissive of Lagos and Nigerians? Or, are supporters correct that this is a positive portrayal of one of the busiest and most successful African cities?

To see Part 2, click here.

To see Part 3, click here.

Hattip to Dr. U for sending this in.

From The Archives:
- Elite Living & 'Effizy' in Lagos
- Lagos - One Of The World's Most Expensive Cities
- The Nigerian Curiosity of 2008
- Creating A Better & Cleaner Lagos
- Nigeria is Home To The World's Largest Cyber Cafe

26 Curiosities. Add Yours.:

Dee! said...

I wonder . . . why was there so much emphasis on the negative side of Lagos? I mean, every society have slums too!

Why is it that whenever BBC airs any documentary on Nigeria, they always dwell more on negative issues of the society like poverty, disease, injustice and so on? What are they trying to tell the world? If Lagos is so bad, WHY ARE THEY (THE BRITAINS) TROOPING INTO LAGOS EVERYDAY? They still come to invest and make money from the slums!

Please be informed that there are beautiful stories to tell the world about Lagos. Eko o ni baje!

Tade said...

I hardly post online because of sometimes caustic responses by anonyms but because of the seriousness of the matter I will make an exemption whatever the fallout may be.
A little bit of embarassment to get us to address issues of poverty and social justice in our dear country is a good thing. Nigeria is a rich country so foreigners come in to do business but we need to ask ourselves, despite all this wealth why do we still have educated people like Gabriel and Eric (Vocal Slender) working on rubbish dumps to survive?
And why do we have children like Sunday (2nd episode) working in dangerous sawmills where people routinely get electrocuted?
Which is more important to us as Nigerians, the fine buildings in Lekki, Abuja and VI or the wellbeing of our people? We love Gov. Fashola but there is an underbelly in our society which he AND faith groups in the country need to be addressing.
I can only pray that as Nigerians we will respond to this embarassment with positive action. I belong to a group that is already working on a plan. We hope to go beyond being embarassed to intentional and positive activity.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing embarrasing to Nigeria on the BBC program. Countries all over the world have their slums. There are slums everywhere.
The program is a rude awakening to rulers in Nigeria that those people shown on that program are the forgotten

Abdul said...

For the umpteenth time, Lagos is neither the largest nor most populous city in Nigeria. I expected BBC to get their facts right. Or is the BBC also a tool in this primitive scramble for political dominion? o_O

Anonymous said...

Bk

As a Congolose national,I enjoyed this programme on Lagos. I have many Nigerians friends from Lagos who failed to tell me about this part of their town, talking only about Nollywood movies, Nigerian music shown on MTV, the oil, the bright town city, great buildings and Stock exchange. It is acknowledged that Nigeria is a powerful country, not just in Africa. The strengh, the hope and the ambition especially the lack of self pity of all the people depicted in the documentary is really inspiring!!! a lot of people in other african countries tend to "sleep" and to hope that their family or the governement will provide for them.
However it is sad to realise that some Nigerian people like my own friends did not even know about such places like Makoko or the slums. India is a great power and also have slums. I just hope that these programmes will remind Nigerian government that there is still a lot to achieve in terms of decent homes for inhabitants. Let's hope that they do not take it like a big embarrassement to be erased by trucks.

Anonymous said...

As a Congolose I enjoyed this programme on Lagos. I have many Nigerians friends from Lagos who failed to tell me about this part of their town, talking only about Nollywood movies, Nigerian music shown on MTV, the oil, the bright town city, great buildings and Stock exchange. It is acknowledged that Nigeria is a powerful country, not just in Africa. The strengh, the hope and the ambition especially the lack of self pity of all the people depicted in the documentary is really inspiring!!! a lot of people in other african countries tend to "sleep" and to hope that their family or the governement will provide for them.
However it is sad to realise that some Nigerian people like my own friends did not even know about such places like Makoko or the slums. India is a great power and also have slums. I just hope that these programmes will remind Nigerian government that there is still a lot to achieve in terms of decent homes for inhabitants. Let's hope that they do not take it like a big embarrassement to be erased by trucks.

Nnanna said...

Thanks for posting this...I have to go look for episode 2. Slender is just 'gangsta' , and I find him and the others very inspiring

NaijaBabe said...

I didnt think it put a dent on our image, in fact I think it opened pur eyes t things we didnt know about Nigeria. I knew of people living in houses on stilts, but never the guys who rummaged through rubbish to earn a living. On one hand, I am proud of them, though Eric still seemed to get into trouble, they arent robbers, nor floating the internet looking for income in another person's bank account, they are doing honest jobs and solving the western world's problems with recycling.
On the other hand though, did we ever think ther were people who lived like this? You see someone like Eric walk past you after he's cleaned up and he just looks like every regular Nigerian probably looking for a job, with his pocket full of printed cvs, rather than the N15 000 its taken him weeks to earn. We complain about the standard of living when we have concrete walls for a house but those with rags as roof dont.
How do we get out of this? Its a big task. A big big one

Anonymous said...

Ah I am a nigerian and I am in no way embarrassed! I am proud. our people are really trying. the hustlers in nollywood and those in magodo. all of us are trying.

na the Government wey we suppose stone!!! stupid people. see how we dey suffer because they are doing NOTHING!

Oghenovo said...

The documentary about the people of Makoko might be relatively true even though there seems to be a lot of acting and make believe. My question is, what message is the producer passing to the global community ? Let us wait and see the subsequent episodes.

Molly said...

I really enjoyed this documentary, it made me tear up a bit. I am so proud of everything that they are doing to get themselves to live.

Anonymous said...

if only our so called leaders would stop stealing,if only they spared a thought for own country and people for once.security votes,constituency allowance,huge pensions...all we hear about.stolen billions is all we read about,wow,they send their kids to the best schools yet these kids add no value to our society.
i beg naija is for naijas...

james

Anonymous said...

People like slim inspire me..."husslers"...Great job BBC, Lagos isnt "blink-blink", rather a real slum like most Nigerian cities. The likes of Amukoko, Okomaiko, Monkey village (Agboju) etc should also be featured in this documentary, maybe this way our leaders will realize the enormous task ahead of them.

smart said...

Good job BBC...from d skyscrappers on the island to the shanties @ Makoko, this documentary depicts Africa's major problem: The uneven economic development in major cities.

Remi Martins said...

At the slightest problem, Nigerians will call for the North to be separated from the South but when Gadaffi says it Nigerians call him a mad man.

Nollywood produces a mass of stereotypical nonsense which is celebrated in Nigeria yet when foreigners produce District 9 or Welcome to Lagos everyone makes a fuss.

Nigerians wish to hold foreigners to standards they don’t uphold themselves.

Is the London based Nigerian-owned BEN Television not afforded the same international platform as the BBC or CNN, yet they waste it promoting government propaganda and charging guests to appear on substandard shows? I almost vomited when Henry Bonsu (formerly of the BBC) asked Alistair Soyode (owner of BEN Television and member of the rebranding Nigeria committee)during a TV interview to mention some of the places to visit in Nigeria, his response was that Nigeria has the best to offer in Africa but that he couldn’t mention any right now.

Are the BBC or CNN meant to serve as media tools for Nigeria? NO
Has Welcome to Lagos fabricated the slums? NO.

The documentary is a story of poor and neglected Nigerians who have chosen hardwork and innovation over 419. This should be an opportunity for Nigerians to reach out and work towards addressing some of the problems these men and women face, their efforts should be celebrated and I applaud the BBC for amplifying the voices of those who’ll never be able to afford to pay to feature on BEN TV or NTA or the other Nigerian TV platforms who won't invest the money and skill in making Nigerian documentaries.

Chic Therapy said...

I think a lot of people are missing the point of this documentary.I watched this BBC piece with sadness, pride and admiration.I respect Eric And James for not resorting to illegal means to fend for themselves and their families.There is dignity in labor and i admire the people in the dumps.
I am not saying BBC should not represent the whole population but the fact is that the people who live in the nice parts of Lagos and Nigeria are in the minority. Why do we care if the rich areas are portrayed ? is it to put on a facade and show outsiders that we are at par with the western world? Or are we living in a bubble and do not realize that some of us only have it lucky? Lets stop deceiving ourselves, those of us who can afford to go to The Palms, Silver bird, live in V.I,Lekki,GRA & drive big cars are only a small sample of the whole population. Abi dont you guys see kids begging for alms on Falomo bridge and ozumba Mmbadiwe?lets even take it outside of Lagos,I am sure the situation is worse.I had friends who had to go for NYSC in "random" Nigerian cities and the tales of the standard of living in those cities were not pretty at all.

We should not be angry at BBC for this depiction, our anger should be directed at the leaders who have failed us. Why did we even have to wait for an International Media Organization to do this documentary?Welcome to Lagos was an eye opener for me.We need to start some serious action.We need a revolution.I was talking to a former classmate about this documentary and situation of things in Nigeria and she said something which stuck in my head...she was like Awolowo,Azikwe and co were all young men when they fought for independence, they could have folded their arms and accepted it, but they FOUGHT for us to gain our freedom.We the younger generation need to start a revolution.With social network and modern day technology we have we can mobilize ourselves...The older generation have indeed failed us and it is up to us to secure our future....even those of us abroad will need to carry our a**** back home

Jola Naibi said...

I think the people that have an issue with the series need to pay closer attention to the first few sentences of the commentator which gives an indication of its goal. The goal of the series is to portray life in a megacity, not to showcase the posh parts of Lagos but to show where more than half of the large population of Lagos lives. It is putting a face on the millions of people who call Lagos home and how they go about their lives. I am curious to know why many people are offended about this. We see images of slums in major cities in many parts of the world everyday - Mumbai, Sao Paulo, NYC, Manilla. These are all major cities which are experiencing overcrowding because they are extremely overpopulated. I think a series like this should galvanize the Federal Government to action in addressing the overcrowding in Lagos by economically empowering other parts of the country and encouraging people to move there or stay there.

the uncultured one said...

@chick therapy and remi martins, well said. would any Nigerian movie makers have made this documentary and given a voice to the problems we see everyday but turn a blind eye to. Who hasn't driven on third mainland bridge and seen the "settlements". this should be a call to action. but we should also see that our people are hard working and there is dignity in hard work.

LoloBloggs said...

I have to agree whole-heartedly with Remy Martins and Chic Therapy too. This documentary is awesome.

I saw people with whom I am proud to share a nationality. I will never be embarrassed to show any non-Nigerian this documentary. In the UK, it would give a whole heap of welfare scrounging monkeys a thought of what it actually means to have to work for your life, but be a person of worth.

BBC totally earned my contribution to their coffers for this one.

Al said...

This was really an awesome watch. I'm confused as to why some people detest this Documentary. All I had been hearing was how we were portrayed in a bad light, and watching this brought tears, pride, sadness and what have view (to me).

In this you can see many Nigerians are trustworthy, do not support violence/wrong doings, find happiness in whatever situation we may be in. Look at Patience's birthday for example, that must have been fun to everyone who attended. Me, I've always loved Mama put food to any other, lol.

As others have said, this should be a wake up call to those who can definitely make a difference. Government has shown us that they can't. It is well with us all.

God bless.

olaoluwatomi said...

I watched the documentary and came away with a sense of pride! It does not matter where we start off, it only goes to show that we are a proud people who work hard to make a living! Like previous comments have voiced out, only the government is t blame here for not providing an enabling environment to help people who only want to work and survive! Off to watch part 2!

The Olofofo Institute said...

But are we actually saying/agreeing that the ONLY INGENUITY resident in Lagos is to be found in Refuse Dump Locations and Cow Markets et al.
So Nigeriuan Ingenuity doesnt exist in offices (blue collar) & informal offices: artisans, fashion designers, panel beaters, mechanics, architects, local engineers, Digital Camera Repair artisans in Oshodi...

Infact, i viewed it as a lazy way of collecting facts.
Why? Because the doc focused on centres of informal sector commerce.
That is NOT the only defining factor of monetary production or overcoming the odds in Lagos.
That is not the only sector that characterises our resourcefulness as a people.
The point is even better driven home by the title: Welcome to Lagos.

Fellow Compatriots, do think about this matter carefully.
And Soyinka IS right!!!!!
This is a test of CRITICAL THINKING.

It is not that the hardwork and ingenuity in the Episodes so far are not to be admired.
It is not that anything was fabricated. Indeed it is an eye-opener in some respects.
But it is not balanced.

It confuses a section of a populace for the commercial resilience of an entire city.
This is the salient point.

Anonymous said...

The general consensus here is the Documentary was amazing.Before watching it i assumed it was one of those "exposing Nigeria" documentaries.... My goodness the only sad part of the show was that it wasn't done by a Nigerian. Somebody mentioned earlier that it is not balanced.. To balance the views on life in lagos will take a 24 episode series. The truth is the beauty of Lagos is surrounded by Poverty. Great show!

Linda - Logo Design said...

Nigeria is going to be Singapore of Africa in next 20 years.It is a happening place specially for graphic design and logo design work.Under belly of every country will show slums and poverty

RE - RecycledFrockery said...

Hello Dear Sister again I am praising you on my site. this time on Recycledfrockery.com.
these videos are the epitome of green from black.
I gave you linky love as usual. drop by and shoot us a commnent, ok.

Nina said...
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