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Ayanam Udoma: Life On The Victoria Island Night Circuit



What happened to the nightlife scene in Victoria Island? I don’t know what to make of it anymore.

I mean how do you explain a restaurant having a giant, 2 storey statue of the Buddha lying around whilst operating without something as basic as an ice cream scoop? What about a restaurant that has an IPad for a menu yet only has 5% of the things listed in stock? Perhaps it’s our fault for assuming that 1 out of 6 waiters hanging aimlessly around might be able to not only take our order but also deliver the goods as well. Actually maybe we’re overworking them. Maybe we are taking advantage of their generous offer to give us an exclusive “experience” and we’re not giving them anything in return except our money.

Money in this day and age is so passé. It’s been overdone. It’s no longer trendy. This is due largely to external factors beyond our control. There’s inflation for one. That’s never good. There are also various taxes to consider. By the time all of these factors have affected one’s bill, there’s only so much a restaurant can do to personally screw you over. I mean it can still screw you over a little bit by adding an extra 500 Naira here and there but really, all of the fun has been taken away by the government. How can a restaurant dare label itself “premium” without screwing you over properly? Being screwed over is part of the dining out experience! Being screwed over is the ultimate seal of exclusivity! Next time you pay 3 thousand Naira for packet juice with a hint of rum, smile knowing that you’re part of a select few to get screwed over this royally. However, like I said, is this really enough?

It may seem like a sufficient amount of screwing over to us but, to the poor restaurant, it doesn’t quite hit the spot. Restaurants are jealous in nature and don’t want to share the screwed over scrap that’s left of your former self with other entities. Luckily, restaurant owners figured out that the one thing the government couldn’t control is the quality of service provided to its consumers. Sure the government can throw things like consumption tax at us but can they force waiters to notice you when you’re sitting right in front of them practically begging for a hit of Shisha? Can they stop that waitress from eyeing you and telling you to wait for someone else to serve you as she’s currently pre-occupied with perfecting her “Sharkeisha” face? No, of course not! That’s the beauty of a free economy.

If you can’t charge someone more, give someone less. Make them suffer first so they feel special when you actually do your job. Let them understand that just because they pay your salary, it doesn’t mean that they’re suddenly entitled to getting what they paid for. Money only lets you breakeven, breaking their spirit and screwing them over is the real profit. You can’t put a price on the satisfaction you get when you know that you’ve truly screwed someone over and they’ll take it because they feel like they’re part of some exclusive 1%.

It’s a glorious feeling isn’t it? I really hope it is because there has to be a reason why restaurants in the higher echelons of Victoria Island are this poorly managed. I refuse to believe that there isn’t some sort of evil plan in place. I refuse to believe that such ridiculously disorganised individuals could be making this much money off of us.

Please let them just be greedy schemers, because if they really are that disorganised, what does that say about those of us who continue to fund them?

Photo Credit:
Ayanam Udoma is a poet and blogger who moved to England at 16. He returned to Nigeria after his degree in marketing to participate in the NYSC program. He is now trying to adjust back into the “Naija” lifestyle. He blogs at A-Zone Poetry.

I'm a writer, poet, singer-songwriter and I'm sure some other things in can find some of my work at


  1. Asgrl

    April 23, 2014 at 11:34 am

    Lol I burst out laughing so hard at this. Okay the ,Marie Antoinette crowd of VI, if the faux restaurants on your side of town are not feeding you your money’s worth, come to the mainland and eat for an entire day for a quarter of what you spend on one Island meal.

    • Iris

      April 23, 2014 at 1:34 pm

      LMAO @ Marie Antoinette. The topic gave me pause but I suppose everyone has their own social life-associated problems. The day my eyes cleared was when I went to a Brazilian-style buffet in Ikeja. I paid 3000 naira less than I would have in V/I and I had a lot more food options.

  2. nene

    April 23, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    that’s nigeria for you. most things are overpriced but have poor quality. management is literally non existent here. some of these businesses are owned and managed by family members and they only care when their friends patronise them and most of them are just used to cover up money laundering so they don’t really care.

  3. Ready

    April 23, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    Lemme vent. See ehn, Victoria Island and onward life is not it. Even Lagos Island that is also on the “island” has cheaper everything than VI and co. It’s like once you go past Bonny Camp, a life of overcharging begins. Yeah, there’s fun stuff there like beaches and go karts but caaaamon! Really? It makes one grateful to online deal sites for promos and ish.
    Having said that, mainland restaurants aren’t all popping o, and when I say Mainland, I mean Ikeja because that’s where much of the mainland reverie is…in my opinion. I went to one cafe like that..starts with B with great reviews on tripadvisor, omo…hand falling. Overpriced food and drinks, inept waiters, wowo menu, eeessh. I’m not a clubber so I can’t speak much for the other stuff, but I’ve come to accept that there are only a handful of non-mediocre hang out spots in Lagos…foreign-owned/”exotic” restaurants included.

    • nene

      April 23, 2014 at 3:07 pm

      i went to sheraton after not being there in a while. i went to the italian restaurant. a pizza was 5000, very basic menu that required tomato sauce and they were charging 4000 for a pasta dish. for what? things are overpriced in lagos.

    • Uyai

      April 24, 2014 at 8:27 am

      You think so? Come to Abuja.

  4. Idak

    April 24, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    Ayanam Udoma, name and shame. No need for all these subtweeting.
    If we don’t name and shame,these folks will never change.
    Bungalows, I am looking at you with that your Ipad menu. It is well!!

  5. Idak

    April 24, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    By the way, this is a lovely piece. Truth clothed in black humour.

  6. Pretty

    April 25, 2014 at 9:53 am

    The food we you go buy for THE PLACE,GRA plenty pass the one wey dey THE PLACE,LEKKI.

  7. JHW

    May 1, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    Good Ayanam!

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