This Insightful Documentary Shows How The People Of Makoko Live

May 22, 2019
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Given how busy and bustling Lagos is, it’s very possible to live in the city and have no clue about what goes on in a lot of different areas.

A new documentary, Makoko: The Floating Slum, is contributing to changing that narrative, as filmmaker Reggie Akingbade takes us into the slums of Makoko, giving us insight into the community’s day-to-day.

(Photo: YouTube/Debo J Films)

Makoko is a neighbourhood situated across the 3rd Mainland Bridge, on the coast of Lagos’ mainland. One-third of the entire community is built on stilts along the lagoon, while the rest of it is on land. Given that it’s surrounded by water, there’s a very large fishing community.

In the last few years, Makoko and its people have become a sort of prop for creatives and foreigners. The scenic slum is now a tourist attraction, regardless of its poor living conditions, and this documentary presents it to us as more than that, as it actually regards the lives of the inhabitants. 

Reggie Akingbade (Photo: YouTube/Debo J Films)

(Photo: YouTube/Debo J Films)

Reggie meets with various people within the community — such as fishmongers, doctors, new mothers, the Baale and others — who are all keeping it together despite living in poor conditions, swearing that there is no place like home.

Speaking to Konbini about why he decided to explore this community, Reggie said: 

“After crossing 3rd Mainland Bridge numerous times and seeing the living conditions of Makoko from the bridge, it became hard to ignore.

Not only did we feel obliged to help with our own donations, we also wanted to create more awareness and shed light on a community so other people can see how much support they need.”

Created by Debo J films, the beautifully-shot documentary shows just how scenic the settlement is, despite its inherent challenges. With clear and wide shots, we are shown an accurate and raw depiction of Makoko, which isn’t stylised for viewers’ entertainment. 

You can watch it right here: 

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