Non-fiction — One Lagos morning Femke van Zeijl sees the rooftop water tank tumbling down past her window. This incident reveals how much daily life in the Nigerian metropolis differs from life in Dutch society. While she is still contemplating which municipal service to call, her neighbours already came up with their own solutions.
In Nigeria, citizens are largely dependent on themselves, from basic amenities like water and electricity to education, security and health care. Van Zeijl describes what this means for the people around her and for herself, in colourful, investigative and anthropological stories, penned down with love and humour.
But she doesn’t romanticise. People in welfare states could learn a lot from the way people in Lagos deal with adversity. At the same time, despite their self-reliance born of necessity, her fellow townspeople would gladly sign up for more social security, justice, better education and healthcare and a government you can count on.