One Week in Lagos (Nigeria)
Above is todays phrase that pays when it comes to expressing the absolute joy I felt being in Lagos Nigeria as a speaker for Social Media Week. Let that sink in, I left the grand ole US of A to talk social media strategies for start-ups and entrepreneurs in Lagos, Nigeria.
If it didn't happen to me, I swear I might not believe it.
The trip was really outstanding. From the hotel to the many people I met and interviewed, honestly I can't wait to go back! Now there were things that had my side-eying...like Lagos's airport which is about half a century due for an upgrade. However if you know how to navigate a thrift store, meaning sifting through people, lines and extortion attempts, you'll be able to make your way unscathed through Lagos International Airport!
To be honest most of my time was spent between the Landmark Center where the social media week activities were taking place and my hotel the Wheatbaker where I laid my head every-night and wrote my daily recaps each morning. In fact I am still transcribing interviews I did while at social media week and I can't wait until they're published; for now catch up with my Lagos trip and social media tips here.
Social Media Week Lagos was filled with entrepreneurs, small business owners and people sincerely interested in using social media to push their ideas and visions further and go beyond Africa. I met the general manager of Afro Cab, a car service similar to Uber located in Africa. What makes Afro Cab different is that in addition to linking your debit or credit card to pay for your trip, you also have the option of making a cash payment. Lagos's traffic rivals that of Los Angeles, the way Afro Cab is set up, the consumer holds the power. What I mean by that is - when you book your cab through afro and check the fare estimate - which comes from the driver you can send a counter offer once a driver accepts your counter offer there is no turning back! The price is set.
On my final day I ventured out to the local market. I could not imagine going all the way to Africa, the motherland, and not stepping outside of the event space and seeing some of the country. If you know me, you know I love a good market. My appointed driver for the week, Abah took me and my social media week Lagos compadres to the Leikki market in Nigeria where we proceeded to power-shop for a solid hour and half. The market had everything from roosters, to alligator handbags "original skin" to me discovering Nigerian chess. While it was thrilling to haggle prices at the market, after-all haggling is one of the main attractions to shopping at flea markets and such. I have to say I felt a bit bad about haggling already low prices, considering the currency exchange rate, US is rolling in dough compared to the deflating Naira.
But, be that as it may I got some great pieces in Nigeria which I'll share in another post. And believe me, I'll be heading back to Nigeria before you can say Social Media Week Lagos!!!