In Lagos District, ‘Slum Celebration’ Brings Hope And Life

In Lagos District, ‘Slum Celebration’ Brings Hope And Life


Dancers of Ennovate Dance Dwelling influence in a boulevard all through a slum gain together at Oworonshoki district of Lagos, on November 27, 2021.  PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP

To the rhythm of drums, two plastic giants whirl and kick up dust in an alleyway in Oworonshoki, one in all the poorer districts of Lagos, Nigeria’s megalopolis economic capital.

From shanty properties of wood and tin, inhabitants creep their heads outside and look wide-eyed because the unfamiliar procession bounces previous.

Quickly, the whole boulevard sways and joins the dancers, whose costumes are crafted totally from plastic bottles restful from the neighbourhood streets.

The “Slum Celebration” kicks off with a burst of music, dance, and the flames of a fireplace-breathing act.

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For 3 years, a collective of 10 younger Nigerian performers has sought to bolster the lives of Oworonshoki’s residents through dance, hoping to alternate the recognition of an command once blighted by gang violence.

“In 2019, Oworonshoki became facing a quantity of security challenges, and no one became going out in boulevard anymore,” stated Valu, one in all the creators of the “Slum Celebration” that’s held once a one year.

“We started to bop within the boulevard in inform that the folk gained’t be worried anymore and additionally they started to head abet within the boulevard,” stated Valu, dancer whose staunch name is Sunday Ozegbe Obiajulu. “We started to raise existence all over again.”

For the length of the one year, the collective organises dance workshops for youth and successfully being activities for ladies folk within the district.

“I simply feeble to shut all day lengthy with my youth at dwelling, but now due to them I establish something assorted, I relate like I exist,” stated Martha Eze, 37, who dances later within the gain together.

Wealth Next To Poverty 

People dance with outfits manufactured from plastic wastes all through a slum gain together at Oworonshoki district of Lagos, on November 27, 2021. PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP

Oworonshoki is positioned at the foot of the Third Mainland Bridge, Africa’s second-excellent, that stretches 12 kilometres above the Lagos Lagoon.

In sub-Saharan Africa’s excellent city the attach one in two residents lives in poverty, prosperous island districts with swank fashion and restaurants are a world far from the miserable mainland districts like Orowonshoki.

In the distance from Oworonshoki across a stretch of the waterways surrounding Lagos, residents can peep Banana Island, an uncommon, internal most Lagos enclave of villas and residences.

In Orowonshoki, the totally dollars viewed are these printed on the shirt of a teenage boy wiggling his legs to “Peru”, a music by Nigerian singer Fireboy.

“I’m in San Francisco jamming… I simply arrived from Miami,” the youth yell alongside to the lyrics dancing barefoot.

Even one in all town’s each day energy cuts that stopped the music dull did no longer ruin the gain together: the viewers kept dancing.

“We bear a quantity of fun lately, I like dancing,” stated Beke Olamileken, a 16-one year-passe boy who dreams of becoming an actor.

Sort a Incompatibility 

A dancer spits fireplace all through a slum gain together at Oworonshoki district of Lagos, on November 27, 2021.


Bigger than a straightforward performance, organisers also peep “Slum gain together” as a instrument for political awareness.

“I desire to yell that it’s doubtless you’ll possibly also create a incompatibility with easy actions on the ground,” Valu stated.

Closing one year, a video showing Valu dancing in a immense mud puddle in entrance of a police officer to denounce the disastrous command of the roads became successful on social media.

For the length of the “Slum gain together”, subsequent to the dance floor, on the steps of a ruined rental, the collective planted cardboard gravestones, inscribed with the phrases “People”, “Wealth”, “Rights”, “Security” and “Peace”.

Dancer Henry Bethel Data ties his body with an orange rope and improvises a performance that freezes the team. The artist soars into the air, making an try to gain out of the improvised cemetery, but is caught by his mates who proceed him abet with rope.

None of the dancers makes any reference to it, but the performance remembers the big shriek motion in opposition to police violence that gripped southern Nigeria in October finest one year.

Hundreds of youth took to the streets to inquire an relating to human rights abuses and corruption, sooner than being suppressed by the protection forces.

“We feel like we are slaves of our govt, what we need is security wealth, and peace,” stated Olamide Ballyqueen, one in all the dancers.

“We don’t desire to undergo like our oldsters and we no doubt don’t desire them to undergo like us,” she stated pointing to the crowds of younger youth.


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