Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tip of the iceberg

For such a suspect democracy, Nigeria has a thriving free press. You can buy up to a dozen newspapers on the street every day, including Punch, the Daily Sun, and the Guardian. All of them are interesting reads, and there are usually some hilarious headlines, like "When I kill a chicken, my husband eats the gizzards" and "I get compliments for having a flat tummy, but I don't have one!"

More importantly, the newspapers have been a great help to me as I begin my research. I have learned that the eviction of vendors last week in Ojudu Berger was not an isolated incident, but part of a huge campaign by Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola that has been taking place in markets all over Lagos this past month. It's being called the "Kick Against Indiscipline" or "KAI".

Here and here are some examples of the excellent reporting I have found online -- once I learned to search for "street trader" instead of "street vendor." There could be no more relevant time for me to be conducting this research. I really have my work cut out for me.

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