How did you spend your weekend? Last weekend, I did something different; I visited a unique place known as DUSTBIN ESTATE in Ajegunle area of Lagos State, Nigeria. It was my first trip to this popular neighborhood and a very emotional one.
We all love exotic destinations and would stop at nothing, planning a memorable vacation, but what you are about to witness is definitely not a dream destination.
Ajegunle is a popular ghetto neighborhood located in the heart of Lagos State. It is bordered on the west by Apapa Wharf and Tincan, two of Nigeria’s biggest sea ports from where over 70 percent of imported goods come into the country. This popular area, often referred to as the center of Nigeria’s entertainment, has produced notable footballers and musicians such as Samson Siasia (coach of Nigeria’s Olympic Team), Taribo West (former Super Eagles ace defender), Emmanuel Amuneke (former African Footballer of the year) and Daddy Showkey (popular Nigerian musician).
Dustbin Estate is located within Ajegunle and is a settlement erected with planks, on refuse very close to a canal that drains waste and flood out of Ajegunle. Very few houses are built with concrete. Your imagination is just right, as this area stinks of decomposed garbage, yet thousands of people live here. You can see kids play around in the mud without shoes and people stepping on garbage to move around.
The beautiful, Chef Walaks of Homemademealsng turned a year older and graciously opted to impact the lives of the people in this community by organizing a birthday food drive- with hot meals and gifts for over 200 children and their families. Representatives of Oto Tom Foundation were there to support this cause. Oto Tom Foundation is a non-profit organization registered under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to cater for the well being of persons with disabilities, particularly the hearing and speech impaired in the society.
Worthy of commendation, is the amazing Ms. Tolu Sangosanya, often referred to as “The Mayor of Dustbin Estate”. She is the founder of LOTS Charity Foundation. Tolu, through her organization and partners have provided amongst other things, two toilet facilities for this community. Before then, there were no toilet facilities and residents use to defecate in the open and discharge same into the canal. The LOTS charity foundation also operates a resource center that offers free literacy and vocational classes for the children in the estate.
My greatest take away from this trip was that of gratitude. The things we take for granted, someone else is praying for. We should never let the things we want make us forget the things we have.
Be Kind to One Another.
These pictures can tell our story. Be Inspired!