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Adulting in Hard Mode – Lagos Style

There are 4 main things about being an adult that I find extremely frustrating in Nigeria. Some of them may seem trivial to you but to me, they are a source of terror.

One of the greatest traps that kids fall for is that being an adult is amazing. It’s not. It’s tiring and more tiring. You go from one exhausting activity to another. So kids, enjoy your youth free of responsibilities for as long as you can.

As hard as adulting is, growing into adulthood in Nigeria comes with extra baggage. If we were playing a video game and the rest of the world was in easy more, Nigeria would be in extra hardcore hard mode. Everything in this country is designed to be difficult and to frustrate you, growing up is not exempt from that privilege.

There are 4 main things about being an adult that I find extremely frustrating in Nigeria. Some of them may seem trivial to you but to me, they are a source of terror.

Finding and Paying for Accommodation

Finding a place to live in Lagos is already a hassle, especially if you are on a budget. Visiting the apartments/houses is a source of tears. They are extremely unkempt, have poor finishings, and as a tenant, you are expected to do the cleaning and final touches yourself. When you finally find a place you can see yourself living in, you have to shell out at least one year’s rent upfront. WHHHYYYY? Salary is paid monthly, so why can’t rent be a monthly bill? Or at the most quarterly. It puts a lot of people into hardship and unfavourable conditions because if they cannot afford the rent, they’ll have to keep living in a toxic environment and other unsavoury conditions. Landlords, please rethink your rent expectations.

Basic Amenities

In developed countries, basic amenities are a right. You consume the resources and at the end of the month, you pay your bills. Not in Nigeria. Here you are responsible for creating your own consumption. You are responsible for your electricity, your water, your air, your internet, whatever you need, you have to get it yourself. Or pay someone/people a hefty sum to provide it for you. Growing up, I didn’t use to think about these things too much. I never had to worry about the cost of diesel or creating a borehole in the compound. Now, these things are always coming to my mind. How to budget all these expenses in my already thin income (God will provide!).


Another big one for me would be healthcare. I remember once when I was younger, I had serious pain in my belly and my mum quickly rushed me to a clinic and I spent the night. As a full-grown adult now, if anything happens to me, I don’t know what to do. I’ll probably call my dad and/or partner, but by the time they get to me, it might be too late. I don’t know where to go to or who to call for assistance. It’s not that I don’t know where the nearest health centre to me is, but I don’t know what their emergency response is like and if they’ll actually treat me properly. Just pray that you never have a reason to visit the clinic or hospital in an emergency in this country. I interned in the emergency ward at one of the public hospitals in Lagos a couple of years back, and it really was nothing to write home about. No one there cares about your life as much as you do.

Killing insects and rodents

Have you seen all those videos about weird creatures in Australia? Well, Nigeria is in the tropics. So you best believe we also have some creepy ass creatures. Every time I step outside and decide to look around, I always see an insect that I have never seen before. And they are usually huge. All those dense forests around us, imaging wanting to go camping (God forbid bad ting!). Without comparison though, the one insect I hate the most are cockroaches. The worst part is that they seem to be everywhere in this Lagos. In your house, on the street, in stores, in restaurants, in the air. EVERYWHERE!! Why did God create cockroaches and mosquitoes? They are two insect families that if wiped out, no one would miss. Don’t get me started on flying cockroaches. That’s just game over. But as an adult, you have to be ready to kill them yourself. You can’t call mum or dad to help you out. I’ve killed tens of cockroaches so far and have seen just as many already dead. I don’t even know how they die on their own. I should probably find out their lifespan, but I don’t want to know the answer.

Those are the 4 main things that I find make adulting extra hard in Lagos, Nigeria. I’m sure there are more so if you think of any, leave a comment! I would like to know what makes adulting hard wherever you live.

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