Tag Archives: Lagos

Renting a Lagos Apartment: Radical Lessons and Other Whatnots

Since the beginning of this year, I have been on a hunt for an apartment. The last time I had any dealing with characters in such business was around 1995 when the family newly moved to Lagos –long story short, Father was swindled of some money by some agents.

We finally moved to Lagos and lived in an apartment at Ketu for some 8 years before moving out of the state to Benue state. The experience at Benue was quite different. The two accommodations we got, in the space of six years, were without strings attached or any middle man that goes by the name ‘agent’.

The aforesaid experiences—one happened during my formative years the other in my early 20’s— juxtaposed with my current experience, makes me marvel at the state of our society. I decided to share some of my observations with you. Enjoy.

Rent-A-House
Rent-A-House

The Contact:

First lesson in looking for an apartment in Lagos is the sudden realisation that all those makeshift boards and notices become relevant. Those signs you chose to ignore become prominent in your life. And, they spring up surprises too. My experience threw up every [un]imaginable character as an estate agent: the barber, the hair dressing saloon, the mechanic, the police officer and even a deaf! You have to brace yourself for these surprises and carry on as though it matters not if you want to make a success of your search. In hunting for an accommodation you would need to look for more of those signs than an actual vacant apartment.

The Deal:

In every makeshift shop that goes with the name of estate rent and commission agent’s office, no deal is deal until the payment of the initial money for registration form. Here you have to look out for the ridiculous to the pathetic. Even without you seeing any apartment they ensure you part with this sum. No fixed cost is charged but they measure you up according to your dressing. The psychology of this game is they make you believe that there is an available apartment ready for inspection upon your registration. Alas! After you drop your pay, stories prop up, the agent with the key to the house is on some sites, the landlord does not like people coming around in the afternoon etc. You save the stress for your head by making them believe the money is ready and you shall pay all due to them as soon as you see and like the place.

The Requirements:

The pitiable state of our nation reeks to the heavens. I didn’t know how fallen we were until the recent weeks. You call an agent on phone and you wish to go inspect an apartment but suddenly, from the blues, your state of origin matters than the amount you which to pay. Never in my life has the state of origin become so played out. Now, my first name Charles confuses the old landlords and ladies.

“Which Yoruba man goes by such a name?” they frequently asked

In fact, some doubted the surname that comes after until they can establish I speak Yoruba fluently.

Having been privileged to experience other communities with their open hospitality, I question the sincerity of the Yoruba people in this nation. They are the least travelled [dispersed within the country] and the most myopic [prejudiced] set of people I have known. They form stereotypes and biases on ill-conceived notions of others.

Others wanted to know my kind of job which is a sensible request until they start to probe into what kind of Sales I am into. Is it commission sales and why? They stopped short of asking for my actual salary and account balance. I laughed most of the time, not knowing how to explain that the marketing they have come to know in Nigeria Is far from what I practise and that we are not necessarily poor as marketers and that I don’t wish to stay beyond my first instalment in such apartment anyway.

The Marketing:

If you want to under study a case in desperation go to an estate agent. They are always in haste and have so many people of any vacant apartment per time. They sale you the apartment with all your possible objections with readily available solution upon your payment; what is funny, most of them sold me out with such errors that I didn’t even notice.

Negotiation:

I guess in real estate silence is a negotiation skill. After inspecting some houses and weighing on my options. Some agents called soon after to make another offer mostly to reduce initial asking price with tempered terms. Here, you can’t be too careful, even if the money is ready a tad delay may mean you getting a cheaper bargain but if you like it, go for it—with these agents, first come…

New Calculation of 10%:

What is the justice of collecting a quarter of your rent in the name of Agreement and Commission? Agreement with who, In the presence of whom?

10% only becomes 10% when you are renting apartments in the region of 500,000 to 1,000,000. For anything lesser they charge random rates and still ask you to sign to paying 10%.

My stubborn mind would not let me allow it to pass until I was re-schooled on the art of estate agents’ commissioning.

Those are my observations so far.

No, I haven’t got an apartment yet; we are still searching [in the neighbourhood of Ogudu] with the corporation of my new ‘friends’. 🙂

Wish me luck!

Advertisements

Why Prayers don’t get answers in Nigeria

When Apostle James was highlighting reasons for unanswered prayers in his epistle hardly was Nigeria a consideration.

He said you asked and did not receive because you asked wrongly; albeit Nigerians are asking rightly and persistently yet nothing profits from our requests.

Like how, we prayer for God to erase corruption from our system; how we beseech him to kill all our present crop of leaders to no avail [forgetting that that are people’s fathers and with some exception mothers].

A Pentecostal pastor shared a nasty experience with me recently.

He had gone to pray for brother Tade who has been harassed [oppressed] nightly by demonic forces over time. The duo felt enough was enough, they decided to take charge. After fervent prayers into the wee hours of the morning they retired to sleep—the pastor on the couch, brother Tade the inner room.

“If you hear any sound or sign just shout blood of Jesus, I will start firing the demons from here” The pastor counselled.

Some few minutes later, a crashing sound alarmed the brethren.

Brother Tade came crashing into the arm of fire-shouting pastor in the dark.

He clearly had seen a figure coming into the room and felt the demon must have switched of the light so as to commence his oppression.

“I punch you with the blood of Jesus” Tade threw the first punch

“Fire! Fire!! Fire consume you evil spirit!” The pastor screamed under torturous blows

“Pastor, don’t fire anything, I will deal with this one today” Tade disagreed

“Holy-ghost, take over. The battle is the lord’s” The pastor screamed further but Tade was determined to exert his pound of flesh on his oppressor.

It took the intervening grace of NEPA’s restoration of power supply for the duo not to kill each other in the house.

That was a digression. The main reason our prayers don’t get answered here is that we engage our quota of ministering angels in other activities…

I will uphold you with my right hand says the lord
I will uphold you with my right hand says the lord

 

 

 

 

Let’s start from here. How many of such sights do you see on a daily basis? Now, you ask God to protect your properties while he is busy giving instructions on how to save this man’s plus others that might die as a result of this arrangement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grace at work
Grace at work

 

 

 

It takes the abiding grace of God to achieve this effort. Seven people on a bike? Do you think God will be so careless to overlook these innocent souls and attend to your prayers? common, stop kidding me!

 

 

 

 

 

Angels on guard
Angels on guard

 

 

Christians need not bother praying at 6am or 6pm daily anymore. If you imagine the number of angels that are dispatched from heaven at these periods to attend to this scene you will marvel…That’s the hustling life of an average Lagosian.

 

 

 

 

 

Overloaded 5How about those who pray for protection against evil ones plotting to terminate their lives but who in actual fact are the enemies of themselves? Thankfully, God doesn’t grant all our requests because we are suicidal in deeds and wishes. How can you deliberately live in such structure and still pray against untimely deaths? 

 

 

Tell you what? Next time you wanna pray, take a trip down to Ghana or Syria and sure you’ll have the direct link to heaven… erm, that’s if naija hasn’t used up the other countries quota of angels.

Getting to know your man

Over time, I’ve seen ladies surreptitiously converged at magazine stands, in grocery stores, checking titles that give insights to the behavioural patterns of a male Homo-sapiens. Although, I have told you over times, buying such books and magazines only heightens the level of your frustrations [men are aware of your expectations, from such sources, and play along perfectly; until such a time that they impulsively show their true colours]; I have another genuine way of putting these species of human to test and bringing out the very nature of them. Here are the some simple, homemade techniques to learn more about a man’s psychological leanings.

A test for aggressiveness

Dude is a Gentleman though.
Dude is a Gentleman though.

Most ladies are worried about the level of aggression their men possess. Unfortunately, many can’t tell until they push him to the wall, but only a few has lived to tell a tale.

Here’s my simple recommendation from our everyday life.

Buy your man a loaf of bread. No, not a confectionery bread but Agege bread and watch how he unties its wrapper.

Basically, an aggressive man will tear out the nylon and get to the business of the day. But a more tolerant man will find a way to untie it and keep the nylon for future use. This is a typical subconscious behaviour that no man can manipulate. Whatever your man is, knowing this fact will help you in behaving rightly according to his mood.

If You’re Abstaining and in a Relationship

Kissing the life out of her
Kissing the life out of her

If you know what’s good for you—you should be abstaining really. But a basic point of conflict is, in knowing the sexual compatibility of the would-be partners.

This is another, a simple recommendation from ordinary things of life.

I know, when men take their ladies out, they like buying expensive and extraordinary things for her and for themselves, which they would not buy usually.

One of such things they don’t buy is the sachet water [a.k.a Pure Water]. Get your boyfriend to jog a few miles and suggest he buys pure water instead of bottled water.

Be attentive to how he handles the sachet. For some reason, men liken this product to a certain part of the female body and may violently squeeze the content depending on the fantasies they have built around you. An orange fruit can serve the same purpose too.

A Test for the fear of God

Secret Service kinda
Secret Service kinda

This is another grey area women want to know about men and it mostly, prove difficult given some men’s penchant for being dramatic. A Dude was pestering my little sister sometimes ago and I had to request him being invited to, the house for chitchat.

‘By the way, what is your denomination?’ ‘The Salvation army sir’

‘That’s great. Are u a member of the lord’s army yet?’

‘Thank you sir, I am a member of the lord’s army’

‘Wow, that’s great! What unit do you serve in; a friend is an usher in that church too?’

‘Well, I serve in the secret service sir!’

Without being told my sister knew it was a no-no for a secret servant of god.

-This may be continued or not. It has been on my draft for some days, and I feel it’s time to come out, feel free to add any tip missed out. Have a great life. ________________________________________________________________

Serious guys, this is short I know, but it will suffice to say Happy New Month.