Waking up in a typical Lagos Neighbourhood

While people in different parts of the world may usually get woken up by their alarm clocks in the morning, such is hardly the case for most Lagos residents. The reason is simple- alarm clocks are needless here. Speaking from my personal experience, I get woken up by my neighbours almost on a daily basis. Imagine my neighbours, all of them with their school-aged children and all.  The mothers are up early in the morning (say 4:30 Am) as they busy themselves in the kitchen preparing the morning breakfast while also trying to get their kids inside the bathroom to shower. Meanwhile, utensils are clanking, even as the frustrated mums scream out the names of their children who have refused to wake up.  And in the bathroom, some child is crying because the shower is too cold. All of these will definitely wake you up without the help of an alarm clock. But that’s not even all there is to it!

Power generating sets are [perhaps] what really wake most Lagosians in the morning! This is because their use is almost inevitable, especially so on those unfortunate mornings when NEPA refuse to flash their light. The neighbours would turn on their generators. And mind you, I am not talking about the type that hum. Instead, I am talking about the very noisy types known as I better pass my neighbour. Just imagine that five of those are on in your compound early in the morning, even as many others are blasting in the next compound.  The noise would definitely serve as a better alarm than your clock can ever be!

Now I must admit that sometimes NEPA is nice, restoring electricity early in the morning just when most families need it the most. So let’s imagine one of such mornings; the fan is rolling and you are enjoying that early morning sleep that is simply priceless by the way. And then all of a sudden, somebody starts shouting from a nearby scratchy speaker. It is the Alfa at the neighbourhood Mosque calling on other Muslims to come out for the Morning Prayer. You get awakened, your wet dream suddenly interrupted, even as nothing else in the world becomes more annoying than the voice of an Alfa calling for prayers…

If you live and work in Lagos, you will have no choice but to always wake up early in the morning. This is very imperative, which is why it doesn’t matter whether you get woken up by a scratchy speaker from your neighbourhood mosque or a screaming baby. One thing is true however- the fact that having to wake up early in the morning is nobody’s favourite thing to do in the world. Yet, somebody has to do it, especially if you want to continue putting food on your table and a roof over your head in this chaotic [yet] interesting city of ours called Lagos.

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