How To Survive In A Bad Neighbourhood

August 18, 2019

If there’s anything I’ve learned house hunting in Lagos, it’s that house agents are from hell. They’re a cross between MMM representatives and campus cult recruiters. The best of them will have you believing you’ve signed up for a slice of heaven until that nice 2-bedroom in a spacious compound you found on RentAHouseQuickQuick.com.ng turns out to be the Boys Quarter of the NURTW office in Oshodi.

If you’ve ever ended up in a bad neighbourhood, you can tell the signs as soon as you walk into one. They include, but are not restricted to, people staring so hard you have to peel their eyes off your shirt and return it to them. But things can get worse.

Luckily, I come bearing experience from a place where every middle-aged man is either an alcoholic or an alcoholic. I haven’t quite hacked it yet, but here are a few things I plan to try soon. Let me know how they work for you, yes?

  • Colour Blocking

Wearing certain colours too often is one of the surest ways to get into trouble. So why don’t you just confuse tf out of the cultists on your street and do some colour blocking? Channel your inner 2016 K-Cee and keep it as close to a watercolour tray as possible. The more, the merrier.

  • Employ A Cell of Child Spies

You should borrow a leaf from Pablo Escobar as seen in the Netflix series, Narcos. People tend to overlook the actions of the tiny crackheads also known as kids, meaning they’re perfect lookouts. Start by finding the most badly-behaved children on the street. Pay them in Zlatan and Naira Marley mixtapes to snitch on their older brothers who’ve been eyeing you for months. Everybody wins, not least of all Naira Marley.

  • Go Crazy

Hear me out here. Everyone thinks they’re crazy until they meet someone who’s even more crazy, like an actual mad man. So dress, look and act the part. Cover yourself in temporary tattoos and dress up like what wold happen if the Joker and an actual clown had a baby. Basically, this guy.

  • Offer Yourself Up As Tribute

This is my attempt at reverse psychology. Basically, make it super-easy to be robbed. The catch is that things will be completely within your control; you can decide what gets taken from you. So, pocket that dead ass Tecno phone + 1500 naira and a pack of cigarettes, and walk into the darkest corner of your street. You could even score some cool points. Next thing you know; you’re getting text message alerts telling you in advance before your compound gets robbed. A little heads-up never hurt anybody.

  • Just Move Out

You can’t say you didn’t see this coming.

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Segun Akande

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