For the launch of our flagship series "Where do you live and why?" we're starting with a highlight on Yaba, an area known for its technological dominance and proximity to other major areas in Lagos, Nigeria.
Yaba is among the most bubbling places to live in Lagos for the working youth population. Its closeness to the University of Lagos increased its popularity amongst young people looking for a place to live that's neither far from school, work, nor other areas of Lagos like the Island environs, Gbagada, Yaba market, shopping malls and fast, affordable food joints.
We asked a few people who live or have lived in Yaba a few questions, and here's what they had to say.
When I lived in Yaba, it was because my office at the time was in Ikeja, and other than that, I also attended a lot of social outings on the island, so it made sense that I lived in the middle. Also, I didn't have millions to shell out for rent on the island or other places in Yaba. I paid my rent monthly, and it was affordable for me.
I only lived in Yaba for a year before I moved. The space got too small for me; It was a room and a bathroom with a makeshift kitchen. I wanted a living room and a spacious kitchen. Although the space got too small eventually, it was comfortable to live in. It was a serviced apartment in Sabo with good enough power and constant water supply. I didn't have a lot of living needs at the time, just the basics.
I moved to Yaba partly because of work and partly because I was trying to improve my social life. My workplace had an office here, and Yaba is centrally located for someone like me who wants to be out more. Yaba has relatively easy access to the Island, Ikeja GRA, Gbagada, Ogudu, etc.
My house is in a comfortable part of Yaba (Adekunle). The light situation has been good of late, and my building is clean; there are a few gyms near where I stay and many young people around here too.
It's also kind of safe (from criminals) so far, but that's probably because I live close to Adekunle Police Station and State CID, Panti. Do I feel safe from the police, though? No.
I moved to Yaba because I found a house within my budget. The house was a new building in a familiar neighbourhood I'd lived in whenever I visited Lagos. I lived in the area for about a year before I moved due to many reoccurring issues.
The biggest issue was electricity. Although it was a new house, it came with electricity bills accumulated by no one in particular. My housemates and I went to the electricity office to ask that the bills be cancelled, but they insisted that it must be paid, despite it not being our bill.
My housemates were all unwilling to pay and would instead connect to electricity illegally. Eventually, we got prepaid meters, but the electricity office added the arrears to the bill every time we topped up on electricity. Other than the constant power issue, we also had water problems.
I also hated the environment I lived in. The neighbours were always hesitant to pay their parts of the bills and like aproko. They always gave me weird looks whenever I stepped out of the house. The gates also got locked at a particular time, even though it wasn't an estate, and the gatemen wouldn't open it if they didn't get bribed.
With all the issues I had while living there, I still liked my room because I could easily access the third mainland bridge.
Moving to Yaba was because it was close to everything; my school, my work, my friends, and enjoyment, and mostly because it was far from my parents and everyone I knew.
Honestly, I lived in a mix of some of the worst and best places. I once lived on a street that got flooded every time it rained, so I'd be stuck inside; nobody mentioned it before I moved. And I've lived on a street where people checked on you when they didn't see you in a while and were very kind, and the landlord did maintenance without the tenant's input.
I've lived here for almost five years, and I'd recommend living here if you can afford it. It's easy to find cabs here to take you to and fro wherever you want to be, food is affordable and available, and deliveries arrive faster.
The light situation is primarily good, especially if you work remotely, but the cost of living is too high.
To be honest, I don't think there are that many options in Lagos, and it's also what's available for people. There are always new buildings here. It's also quite centrally located. Yaba is an ok place to live; everything I need is within reach. My gym isn't far, my friends aren't too far, and I can be out and reach where I'm going quickly.
I've lived for a year and a half, and I'd recommend it to people depending on their budget or anyone interested in living here. It's not a bad place to live, in my opinion.
I live here because it's central. Ikorodu road and the third mainland bridge are about 10 minutes away. It's easy for me to get anywhere I need to be. Living here is also quite comfortable except when it rains; sometimes, it gets floored when it rains.
There are markets around and bukkas where I can buy things cheaper than when I lived on the island. Amala is my comfort food, and six wraps of amala, two goat meat, and four ponmo are considerably cheaper here than on the island, so you see that proximity to quality and affordable amala makes for comfortable living.
I've lived here for about three years and recommend living in Yaba.
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