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Welcome To LAgos - BBC2 - Thur 15, 22, 29 Apr - 9pm

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Welcome To LAgos - BBC2 - Thur 15, 22, 29 Apr - 9pm - How Nigeria's dirt poor scratch a living in a city teeming with business flair

A TV series exploring daily life in Lagos finds its inhabitants coping in extreme circumstances with startling ingenuity.

WELCOME-TO-LAGOS-001.jpg

It is initially hard to see why Lagos has been called the "megacity of the future", with the potential to become the "Singapore of Africa". There's plenty to think about if the Nigerian city of 16 million tightly packed inhabitants is the ultimate expression of modern urban living. Lagos is growing at such an astonishing rate that by 2015 it is predicted to be the third largest city in the world, behind Mumbai and Tokyo, but it is an unlikely model metropolis.

Although the country has vast oil resources, the city's infrastructure is appalling. Three-quarters of Lagos residents live in slums. The rail network manages one train per week. Despite being the world's sixth biggest oil producer, power cuts are a daily occurrence and a national joke. Lagosians have renamed the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) as Never Expect Power Always.

Nigeria, a decade ago was like another planet. Although the city is a nightmare to navigate, the Lagosians are a breed apart. Millions of quick-witted economic migrants have created a city characterised by personal ingenuity and entrepreneurship. Nothing is wasted, everything is a commodity. "Lagos is not a kind of backward situation but an announcement of the future," the architect Rem Koolhaas has said. "What is now fascinating is how, with some level of self-organisation, there is a strange combination of extreme underdevelopment and development."

Will Anderson, the series producer of Welcome to Lagos, a fascinating new three-part documentary, agrees. He believes the way they have addressed the problems of extreme population growth is a lesson for us all, especially now that half the world's population live in cities, including one billion slum dwellers. "I am an anthropologist by background, but rather than looking at marginal and tribal populations, I wanted to look at massive cities. If a Martian came down to Earth, they would report back that we are a species that lives in cities. And in some degrees the people in Lagos are doing it better than we are in the west," he says.

The series looks at life on the Olusosun rubbish dump, the workplace and home to more than 1,000 scavengers who sift the garbage looking for recyclable material. This is a vibrant, self-policing community living next to a mosque, a barber's shop and three cinemas. The film-makers also take us to Makoka lagoon where 300,000 people live on water and in squatter camps on the beach. It is soon clear that most Lagos residents will do anything to earn a few dollars a day, from back-breaking labour to sharp business deals, because there is no welfare state to provide a safety net.

But among Lagosians, who tend to combine relentless entrepreneurial flair with the belief that God will provide, there is little time for self-pity, a fact reflected in the series. "We did not want the people to come across as victims because that is not how they see themselves," says Anderson. "They are normal people doing what they have to do to survive. They encounter the same obstactles as the rest of us, but it's just that they do so in extreme circumstances."

Links: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/04/documentary-film-welcome-to-lagos-nigeria / http://www.bbc.co.uk/tv/comingup/megacity/

All comments/opinions/jokes/whatever here...

(BTW I'm not Nigerian...)

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Nice to see some good family programming for us all to to laugh at.

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how can such an oil rich country exist like this

from when a people cant get over their pathetic tribal differences you know there is no hope

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"corrupt, crime-ridden disgrace of a city."

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"corrupt, crime-ridden disgrace of a city."

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"corrupt, crime-ridden disgrace of a country."

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sounds really interesting, i will definately watch

does anyone watch uk border force? when they had an episode based in lagos..was pure jokes lol

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British television's racism is so brazen its quite unbelievable. why "focus" on the slums? what help to those people will the documentary provide apart from just reinforcing primitive savage stereotypes to the majority of BBC viewers.

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British television's racism is so brazen its quite unbelievable. why "focus" on the slums? what help to those people will the documentary provide apart from just reinforcing primitive savage stereotypes to the majority of BBC viewers.

well if 3/4 of people in lagos live in slums it makes sense to focus the documentary on there duh

what's the point in focusing it on the rich suburbs? it's a documentary about coping in extreme circumstances

and since when are documentaries meant to help people? it's telling a story. if you feel so passionately, there's nothing stopping you from helping people in the slums yourself

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British television's racism is so brazen its quite unbelievable. why "focus" on the slums? what help to those people will the documentary provide apart from just reinforcing primitive savage stereotypes to the majority of BBC viewers.

well if 3/4 of people in lagos live in slums it makes sense to focus the documentary on there duh

what's the point in focusing it on the rich suburbs? it's a documentary about coping in extreme circumstances

and since when are documentaries meant to help people? it's telling a story. if you feel so passionately, there's nothing stopping you from helping people in the slums yourself

Yup.

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will watch.

Africa is rich with natural resources but the majority never see it with the corrupt governments.

Being involved with sport in an african country, ive seen how much money they put in, literally millions of dollars, yet most of it ends up in the fat cats pockets.

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British television's racism is so brazen its quite unbelievable. why "focus" on the slums? what help to those people will the documentary provide apart from just reinforcing primitive savage stereotypes to the majority of BBC viewers.

well if 3/4 of people in lagos live in slums it makes sense to focus the documentary on there duh

what's the point in focusing it on the rich suburbs? it's a documentary about coping in extreme circumstances

and since when are documentaries meant to help people? it's telling a story. if you feel so passionately, there's nothing stopping you from helping people in the slums yourself

im sure 3/4 of people in lagos dont live in slums. its just in line with all the other stuff they show about African countries, i.e. nothing positive

and it needs a british reporter who spends 1 week in a town to "tell their story".

focus on your own problems at home like having the highest teenage pregnancy rate, drug dependancy rate and violent crime rate in 3/4 of europe etc

while children in the UK are also the most neglected in so called developed world.

focus on that and stop using tax payers money to poke your f*ck*ng nose in africa's business like u havent caused enough problems there already.

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Saw the advert for this, will watch.

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"corrupt, crime-ridden disgrace of a city."

went in

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Three part observational documentary series which explores life at the sharp end of one of the most extreme urban environments in the world: Lagos, Nigeria.

Today, more than half the world's population live in cities, and this eye-opening series shows what life is really like in the toughest parts of the world's fastest-growing megacity.

/

Deep sh*t so far.

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Processing cow blood you know.

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GODDAZ DO YOU HAVE OIL IN YOUR VIIIILLLLAAGGGEEE?

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YOU NEED TO GO SEE YOUR GRAN, YOUR GRON NOOO SEE YOU LOONG TYYYYYYYME!

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whys he talking yardie in the booth??

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I wanted to watch this but it clashed with the election debate, so hopefully it will be repeated

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Queen Bee, it will be on BBC iplayer still

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