Lagos is my lover

Lagos is my lover
Lagos, 2014. There was an immediate attraction. Pure chemistry. I identified myself with the ambition of business. The energy of Balogun market appealled to the woman I wanted to be. I was excited by all opportunities. The earthy smell of danger. The abundant smiles. The beautiful colours contrasted by raw reality. I had refused to ...

Vacancy vancancy vaccant

Vacancy vancancy vaccant
I am in a country that invented pidgin English. With a lack of quality education, most people invent spelling based on phonetics. Meanwhile, I’m a language purist. I am very precise in how I express myself. I hate using English business lingo when I speak Dutch. I hate it even more that I find myself ...

Alarm bells

Alarm bells
Loud alarm bells ringing in my head. Shivers. Fear. I always get a proper pavlov response to a number of situations. To laugh or to cry is always the question. Someone climbing up a pole Sometimes they are NEPA power company officials, sometimes just a random person deciding to rewire the electricity to their own ...

A vulcanizer, chairman and a retailer…

A vulcanizer, chairman and a retailer…
Lagos, like any place in this world, is defined by its people. People with their own intentions, capabilities and hopes. I warmly introduce three men that are part of my local community around the mango tree. The vulcanizer He arrives every morning at his spot under the mango tree. He sweeps the sandy floor of ...

From Balogun market with love

From Balogun market with love
I love Balogun market. Considered scary and intense by many, to me it represents why I like this country, and why I believe in its future. It was in Balogun market that three years ago I decided to move to Lagos. Anything available in Lagos will be sold in the market. In my early days ...

Hustling

Hustling
Most people who first arrive in Nigeria feel the energy. Entrepreneurial spirit. Opportunities. And I agree! The vibe is amazing. I decided to come to Nigeria when I was first introduced to Balogun market. And I go back to Balogun regularly. It’s Lagos at its best: smiles, passion, energy, and business. This country is built ...

My Lagos

My Lagos
Let’s get things straight. Lagos is not the best place in the world. It’s polluted, busy, most times there is no electricity or running water, everything is high-priced with low quality. You need to firmly stand your ground to get anything done, people will waste your time, and you will get cheated. It is certainly ...

Values and norms

Values and norms
Elections in The Netherlands are coming up, and I am observing from a distance. People worry about health care, education and immigration. A recent newspaper headline: “voters are most concerned about norms and values”. This appears to be a recurring theme in politics globally. It inspired Brexit and Trump, and is a key theme in ...