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Matador Goods editor Lola Akinmade breaks down her recent trip home.

All Photos by Lola Akinmade

People already standing in cabin before plane leaves runway: 3

Times asked for money before leaving baggage claim: 1

Bus Conductor

Average electrical blackouts per day: 2

Number of days of longest electrical blackout: 2

Generators replaced: 3

People hanging off the back (not side) of moving buses: 6

Highest number of riders on a single motorbike: 5

Average number of people packed into a 12-seater bus: 30

Number of police checkpoints between Lagos and Ondo: 33

Average distance in miles between each police checkpoint: 2

Times pulled over by police: 5

Times asked for money by policemen: 3

Giant African snails consumed: 16

Giant African Snails

Snails consumed in one sitting: 10

Chinese restaurants visited: 1

Fast food joints visited: 5

Hours wasted in traffic per day: 4

Number of times passenger side mirror hit by Okadas (motorcycle taxis): 3

Number of times passenger side mirror hit by policeman’s baton: 2

Times intentionally sideswiped by tanker-trailer: 1

Near fatal accident misses over 14 days: 28

Arguments gotten into with policemen ready to seize camcorder: 1

Plates of rice and chicken consumed over 14 days: 15

Average number of mosquito bites: 20

Goats are a delicacy

Interview conducted by fake newspaper journalist: 1

Money in Naira lost to fake newspaper journalist: 500

Goats killed for various celebrations: 5

Number of times “Oyinbo!” (White man) was yelled at fiancé: 4

Low hanging ceiling fan accident: 1

Low hanging ceiling fan accident by tall Swede: 1

Cold water baths taken: 18

Sunset along the lagoon

Mice spotted: 4

Mice killed: 1

Number of snacks bought while sitting in traffic: 4

Number of puppies spotted being sold in traffic: 2

Power outage at airport: 1

Number of beautiful sunsets witnessed: 4

High school mates reunited with: 10

Weeks spent: 2

Months till next trip back: 12

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About The Author

Lola (Akinmade) Åkerström

Lola (Akinmade) Åkerström is a MatadorU faculty member and Network contributor. Her work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Vogue, BBC,, and many more. Follow her photoblog at

  • Lily

    Haha… I love it! As an African myself, I can totally relate!! But that’s what makes it so fun to go home. :-)

  • Hal

    Wow, 10 snails in one sitting!? They look…intense.

    Congratulations, Lola.

  • Lola

    Haha. Definitely fell into a food coma after that!

  • Carlo

    Nice one Lola! Each one of these begs a whole story…

  • dami

    hahahaa…. make that 2 for no light at the airport…. or maybe you were still around by the time we finally made it there.

    btw, the bushmeat pic needed to make an appearance!

    • Lola

      Hey Dami – The bushmeat picture makes rare appearances :)

  • pam

    Wow, I am surprised to find myself saying that those snails look DELICIOUS. And hey, I KNOW you’re holding out on the photos. More, please!

  • Tope

    That definitely brings back memories of my own travels to Nigeria to see family. Kudos to you!

  • Linda

    As a “yovo” (Togo’s equivalent for obinyo), four seems like an impressively low number for two weeks. Was this just in a day or is stating the obvious less common in Lagos?

    • Lola

      Linda – There are definitely a lot more expatriates in Lagos and so “oyinbos” are common sights. That doesn’t stop the staring though but yelling out “oyinbo” is usually done by kids :)

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