Makoko

Describe the extracurricular activity that is most important to you?


I walked on land that was supposed be a stream. I stood with people who were supposed to be ‘animals’. Well, I myself wasn’t really supposed to be there at all, for Makoko, an unrecognized community, is a cradle of crime in Lagos. Swarms of languid plastic bags blew in the densely fetid air, the man-made earth blooped each time I moved with the stream stirring threateningly under my feet. Tattered straw huts dotted the sides of this path, from which curious faces popped out to observe my struggles until I finally reached the school where I had volunteered to assist.

The entrance was a big oval hole blasted in a wall, curtained with a hole-riddled cloth. The building consisted of 10 rooms, a small courtyard and a back garden. As I walked from class to class I realized something missing—there was no teacher. The children were playing noisily around; the desks were being used for passionate graffiti craft work or as obstacles in the obstacle-races. The older boys listlessly ambled about in the courtyard, smoking keenly. It seemed that they were clinging to the last vestiges of their fast evaporating childhood, by visiting school before they would have to make their way into the criminal world.

Finally I found a teacher in the last...

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