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Playboy features Lagos Nightlife – Asks “Is Lagos the Most Dangerous Party City on the Planet?”



Ubi Franklin's Wedding - Playboy Caption: "A posh wedding in Lekki filled with guests from the music and film industries and complete with “spraying”— throwing money in the air in the bride and groom’s direction." | Photo Credit: Glenna Gordon

Ubi Franklin’s Wedding – Playboy Caption: “A posh wedding in Lekki filled with guests from the music and film industries and complete with “spraying”— throwing money in the air in the bride and groom’s direction.” | Photo Credit: Glenna Gordon

A Playboy Magazine reporter Adam Skolnick spent 10 days in Lagos, where he “sought out every party (he) could find” from Obalende to Quilox in VI, from Sip Lounge to New Afrika Shrine.

In his time in the city, he spent time with Femi and Seun Kuti, Mavin Records’ A&R Bizzle Osikoya, saw Burna Boy, DJ Obi, DJ Caise and a number of other entertainment industry heavyweights.

Although he has been to 45 countries on six continents, he found Lagos had an “authentic flavour”. He described the city, talked about its crime, poverty, the kind of music Nigerians like and more.

He claims Lagos Island is home to Lagos’ largest market and biggest red light district

Lagos is certainly cinematic, but it isn’t pretty. A massive jigsaw of moldering concrete with almost no greenery, it is the largest city in Africa by population. Although it incorporates dozens of neighborhoods, the city breaks into roughly two sections: the Island and the mainland. The Island is set across a wide brackish lagoon from the mainland and connected with three separate bridges.

Although just one landmass, it’s home to several neighborhoods, including Victoria Island, Lekki and Ikoyi, where the high-end nightlife and shopping happen, as well as some tough neighborhoods, including Lagos Island, home to the city’s largest market and its roughest red light district.

On Crime and Poverty in Lagos

So much of life in Lagos is a struggle for the average guy and even more difficult for poor Nigerian girls growing up in cramped confines where sexual violence is commonplace. Credit is extraordinarily difficult to obtain, and even my own credit cards were cut off after one or two charges in Lagos. As a result, the city runs on cash, which makes it almost impossible to transcend poverty. That’s why you see Lagosians of all ages selling anything and everything they can find at roadside intersections and even on the expressways when traffic grinds to a halt. One industrious little girl alternated between doing her homework on the curbside as traffic roared and slaloming among moving cars to sell bags of groundnuts when it slowed enough for commerce. Meanwhile, plenty of Lagosians, caught in their city’s unforgiving economic grip, stray toward crime instead.

On the Music Nigerians Like

Seun and Femi take after their father. Their music is political, entrancing and immersive, and has an audience both at home and abroad. But like Fela’s, their songs can stretch to over 10 minutes, which means they aren’t hit makers, and when young Nigerians dream about becoming pop stars, they don’t imagine themselves as Fela’s kids. They want to be Wizkid.

One of Nigeria’s biggest pop stars, Wizkid grew up hanging out on the street corners of Ojuelegba—a working-class Lagosian transport hub teeming with beat-up canary yellow minivans and tricked-out three-wheeled keke napep (Nigerian tuk-tuks). It’s an all-hours marketplace, rife with petty crime and prostitution. That’s where he spent his free time, rhyming and dancing for hours on end, checking out the girls and absorbing the struggle. At night he hung out in low-rent recording studios and eventually laid down some tracks. His stardom was immediate, and local kids across the city don’t just dream of following in his footsteps, they’re hustling to get there.

You can read the entire article on Playboy by clicking here.

Photo Credit: Glenna Gordon


  1. Chic_hijabi

    March 27, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    At least he didn’t lie.

  2. Halima

    March 27, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    Wow! nice piece. Please don’t comment unless you read the full article.

  3. Meanwhile...

    March 27, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    I love how the reporter came to see the night life, but ended up spending his time explaining how poor Nigerians are. The misery porn is still alive and well; always talking about that poor, poor Africa that needs help from,the West… ???. I wonder if those Nigerians who helped him get around knew what he was up to…

    • hezekina pollutina

      March 27, 2016 at 9:37 pm

      anyone with a heart can NOT help but observe the terrible economic hardship and struggle everyday people face in naija. everything is not always about u, so get over yourself. if u feel ashamed about it, then do something about it. u are a poser.

    • kemmie

      March 28, 2016 at 3:59 pm

      @meanwhile. And what is so bad about reporting about the less privileged /poor in our society. Let us not deceive ourselves. We are not all affluent in Nigeria, however we easily get irritated whenever outsiders try to tell the other side of the story and highlight theextreme inequality that characterised our society. We rather like to be seen as all rich and affluent.

      The reality is we are not all rich in Nigeria and ” the dangerous party lifestyle” is not norm for those that can hardly afford three square meal..

  4. fafo

    March 27, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    Sensational essay no doubt, intriguing and mostly genuine…but this author dragged Nigeria(Lagos) already struggling with a ridiculous image, in the mud with his sincerity. He tried not to be biased.
    P.S: The truth is bitter.
    He over hyped fat head Bizzle too.

  5. Olu-lo-lu-lo

    March 27, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    Probably the best article I’ve read from a foreign journalist about Lagos. Spot On! And from playboy again? Adam Skolnick tiri Gbosa for you. Gbosa! Gbosa! Gbosa!

    • Fafo

      March 27, 2016 at 9:38 pm

      3 Gbosa that he detailed all the atrocities about ur country to the world’s horny playboy readers? If only you could see beyond the details of the parties to the deep sarcasm and ironies within…

  6. Ada Nnewi

    March 27, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    I as totally unprepared for the end of that article… I wish they had let her in…. I was almost in her shoes one night some years back and a kind hearted cab man saved me from the mob by leaving his car door open while I jumped in….

    • Uju

      March 27, 2016 at 9:05 pm

      Oh dear……. Shocking the things that happen in Lagos. Kai!!! Sends shivers up my spine.

    • Mz Socially Awkward....

      March 28, 2016 at 5:15 am

      It was a scary ending… And a little surreal? Would this have actually happened – “I turned back. Aside from the girl, the street was completely empty. Was he right? Was she bait, or was she the one in danger? I’d like to say we went back to check, but this was Lagos after all, so we kept driving.”?

      Would he have left that girl in an empty street because “[it] was Lagos” or do those lines just make for a more gripping ending to his article? Forgive my cynicism…

      What happened in your scenario, Ada?

    • Miss Ndi

      March 28, 2016 at 10:03 am

      Yes, it is real, he definitely would have left her there. Remember it’s the driver who sped off not him. It’s the driver who felt it was a trap because he’s been in such a situation before. I have never been in this situation before, but I have heard it too often from people who have, to not believe it. The dangers that lie in helping strangers at night far outweigh the good, this is why you find people hardly ever help. It is a very sad situation and very much still a product of the kind of governance we have had as a country.

  7. Adaisy

    March 27, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    Wow this article is amazing! Spot on! Honest! And it’s the sad truth!even churches help promote this materialistic mentality. Prosperity gospel! Success conferences. No one is content anymore. Sigh Nigeria is a hopeless case . I truly believe it will take a miracle for things to change. It will take a revolution.

  8. Nunulicious

    March 27, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    The last line says it all: “I’d like to say we went back to check, but this was Lagos after all, so we kept driving” In Lagos we are torn between the reality of the streets and dreams of what we aspire to.

    But surely, being “the most dangerous party city in the PLANET” is an award we DON’t deserve.
    Btw, there’s an emergency no for Lagos dial: 112

  9. Yawns!

    March 27, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    Same old, same old.

  10. akpagah

    March 27, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    Beautiful piece

  11. nnenne

    March 27, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    Where do we go from here?

  12. concerned9a

    March 27, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    Another patronising foreigner telling us something we already know…where we had our formative years.. ..please we only interested in solutions..we know the problem..we live it…not just a 10 day jaunt!!
    Imagine a Nigerian writing about UK inner city life and the prevalent council house culture or is it the US ghettoes in their own print! !

    • ElessarisElendil

      March 28, 2016 at 12:22 am

      Imagine a Nigerian writing about UK inner city life . So……….do it, what’s the worst that will happen, they’ll whine like Nigerians do when articles like these come out?

    • No Long Thing

      March 28, 2016 at 12:26 am

      Forget about the US and UK. What do we do to help our country?

    • Person

      March 28, 2016 at 1:07 am

      LOL. How is Playboy a Nigerian print?

    • bellanaijathebest

      March 28, 2016 at 10:34 am

      I think the audience are Americans, Nigeians should be able to write objectively about life in UK even in the ghetto, it would be great and be a great step from paid and intellectually deficient trash in many newspapers.

  13. Swizzey

    March 28, 2016 at 12:11 am

    True..all true…no need to defend anything here

  14. s.carter

    March 28, 2016 at 2:09 am

    honest piece no doubt,had it been this editorial was written years back,it would have made a hit in my head,but thinking about prevailing issues worldwide talking of insecurity and terrorism,then the nigerian situation can be narrowed down to poverty,the article expressly made it clear nigerians are not necessarily bad,they are just products of bad Governance. Sometimes i picture a corrupt free nigeria,a nigeria where everyone can feed 3times daily,a nigeria where anyone who wishes to work gets a job and the disabled ones or the jobless are entitled to Government benefits,maybe we will all be able to see the potential in that beautiful nation. The list of the Nigerian need is endless, but one thing i can say with authority is that nigerians are not violent or corrupt by nature,our unfortunate economic realities made us so. we living in diaspora are aware of certain realities here and we know foreigners are not saints or more honest,they are just products of good leadership.Lets have hope in the future……Long live Nigeria,Long Live lagos.

  15. letty

    March 28, 2016 at 2:44 am

    Same old same old. There is a running theme I see with all these foreign reporters when they come to Nigeria its like they can’t reconcile how big Nigerians’ personalties are amidst grinding poverty and as such they seek to burst their bubbles by always reverting back to the running theme of poverty. They secretly marvel at Nigerian ingenuity and somehow can’t believe how we are so different from the blacks in America. And how we can still keep our heads up and stay so vibrant so it’s ts very important to highlight how poor Africans are and keep the black under dog loser theme alive and well. Talking about a lack of greenery I live in Los Angeles whuch is the headquarters of concrete and very few greenery what about the new york metropolis that has absolutely no green at all and is all concrete cars and people. What a double standard

    • anne

      March 28, 2016 at 11:04 pm

      No need for me to comment. You expressed what I had in mind more succinctly than I would have.

  16. letty

    March 28, 2016 at 3:01 am

    I meant which i don’t like typos

  17. purpliciousbabe

    March 28, 2016 at 4:46 am

    I read the full article… It was a good read.
    I enjoyed it.. Great writer too. Everything was well captured and animated, allowed my imagination to come to live.

    I hope the story of the girl was fake as in it was a trap they escaped…

  18. Josephine

    March 28, 2016 at 10:41 am

    Please how is it Buhari’s fault that Fela died broke? It says that in the article. Is it factual?

  19. Tara

    March 28, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Letty, I maybe wrong but your ‘avatar’ is the pic of a us mass murderer. I suggest u change it……

    • lol

      March 28, 2016 at 1:07 pm

      @Tara looks like a young Bill Gates to me. I may be wrong too though lol

  20. letty

    March 28, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    I wish i could control these avatars they just come automatically with the post.
    I don’t know am i the only person that doesn’t like wizkid’s music…it kind of sounds amateurish or is it his childlike voice? please don’t crucify me wizkids fans it’s just my opinion .

  21. swagg1

    March 28, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    Quite an interesting article. . For starters, I will not be caught dead residing on that damn island of VI, LEKKI, IKOYI et al , cuz they are they lack enviromental security.. Streets and home flooding, water surge from the ocean , and having only 3 links to the main land are the greatest security risk to human lives. As global warming continues to set with TSUNAMI lurking on Nigerian shore, it is already a disaster zone. and no one will survive. I watched a documentary of Tsumani and effects and those entire areas will be swept into the ocean. Eko Atlantic construction didnt have an enviromental study before those idiots embarked on sandfilling that place. . Good luck to you guys residing there, cuz you will need all the help and prayers. when disaster strikes.

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