The  Yaba Marketplace Experience

A unique feature of the Lagos metropolis is the marketplace ambience. There are about 30 major markets within Lagos and about 6 are situated within the heart of Lagos, Yaba. The popular Tejuosho Market – holds a special place in the heart of Lagosians. It’s legacy has endured for many generations.

Devastated by fire in 2007, the marketplace rose out of the ashes again in 2017 with an Ultra modern renovation by the Lagos State government to modify itinto a mega shopping plaza as part of plans to turn Lagos into a “Mega City”The hike in price of stalls after the market was reconstructed has left operators who earn relatively low-income criticizing the state government for its involvement of the private sector into the reconstruction of the market and left the traders to street trading especially along the Yaba railway.

The popular Yaba Market is the hub of thrift wears also known as “Okrika” or “bend down select”. Low income earners who cannot afford to buy new items often turn to the market to purchase these items at a very fair price.It is also popularly criticized by the uncouth and very unruly manner in which shoppers; especially the females are being approached and sometimes harassed all in the name of “come and buy”.

The danger of trading at a very unconventional yet illegal setting such as a railway track is not only frightening but exposes both the trader and the buyer to harm. But how else will these traders market their goods, when they cannot afford a proper stall? Shopping should be a fun activity, but when the marketplaces are boisterous, cramped up and filled with dirt with no proper waste management in place there’s constant fear of flooding due to clogged drainages and, it’s almost impossible to have a sane market experience in Lagos.

 

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