Friday, February 27, 2009

Hard knock life

One song I've heard constantly since coming to Lagos is Hard Knock Life by Jay Z.

It's certainly a hard knock life for this guy, who works in a plantain chip "factory" near the waterfront in the Ebute Metta neighborhood. It's the most simple operation you can imagine. The plantains come in every week by boat. One boy in back peels them, cuts them up, and feeds them to this guy, who stands over these two very hot vats of oil all day (this was about as close as I could get without singeing my eyebrows). A woman works in front, arranging packaging and delivery to the wholesalers.

I read today in
Africa Rising that the informal economy makes up more than 55% of Nigeria's total economy. With operations like this, which are everywhere, I'm surprised it's not more.


  1. This post inspired me to round up what's been going on in the US since you left, in case you missed it:

    >Chris Brown beat up Rihanna
    >Some woman had 8 babies, they call her Octo-Mom
    >Michael Phelps got in trouble for a picture showing him with a bong
    >There's a fourth judge on American Idol
    >Mickey Rourke gave a profane acceptance speech
    >Sarah Palin's daughter had a baby
    >Jennifer Love Hewitt called off her wedding

    I think that's it.

  2. amazing sean- what you are doing is so interesting. i will follow along everyday. what is the healthcare situation there? kennyA

  3. Four judges? Hard to imagine that, Chip. Thanks for the update, though - who needs Perez Hilton when I've got you?

    And good to hear you're following, Kenny. I don't have a good feel for the health care system but I do plan on visiting a hospital before I go -- and hopefully not as a patient!

    There is a pretty good blog I found, though, about health care in Nigeria: