Lagos is the centre of the Nigerian movie industry, often referred to as ‘Nollywood‘. Idumota market on Lagos Island is primarily the distribution center to other African and International States. The second world black festival and African festival on arts and culture also took place in Lagos in the year 1977, opening the borders of Nigeria as a whole to more international association and dealings. This also prompted the establishment of the center for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC) a federal parastatal with Offices in Marina, Lagos and Abuja
Lagos also houses several Arts and Crafts Galleries of world standard that are of great delights to visitors from far and wide.
Some of those galleries are as follows:
Nike Art Gallery: owned by Nike Davies Okundaye, her inspiring story from humble beginnings without a University degree to delivering lectures at Harvard University has increased the popularity of the gallery. For all things, paintings, drawings, stones, beads, adire and wholesome arts, Nike Art Gallery is a great place. PhotoCredit: Nike art gallery.
Terra-Kulture: is an art gallery, theatre, arts and craft store mashed up in one building. It was founded by Bolanle Austen Peters. They have occasional art exhibitions and feature numerous stage plays. It is the host location of popular Nigerian stage play ‘Waka the musical’. If any of these have not convinced you to visit Terra Kulture, then you should know that they have a food lounge that serves many delicacies. Their ‘to-die-for’ Jollof rice is a must-eat! Photo Credit: Terra kulture
Omenka Gallery: This is a contemporary Nigerian art gallery owned by Oliver Enwowu, son of one of Nigeria’s leading 21st-century artists, Ben Enwowu. The gallery showcases the works of established and contemporary upcoming Nigerians as well as international artists. Right outside the gallery is a chilled and quiet waterside hangout spot where you can sit and relax, free from the worries of the world.
Bogobiri: it is located in the high brow area of Ikoyi. It is one of the many spots to visit in Lagos that come alive mainly at night. It’s a unique place where food meets arts. You would want to go to Bogobiri on Thursday nights for ‘freedom hall’ and Friday nights for ‘Taruwa’. If you’re a lover of spoken word and good music – from jazz to Highlife and AfroBeat – then Bogobiri is for you! Interestingly, it also offers space for occasions like bridal showers, birthdays and more.
Freedom Park: is a memorial and leisure park area in the middle of downtown Lagos. Built on a road that was formerly the broad street prison, it has now evolved into a leisure park where people organize shows and concerts. The Park was constructed to preserve the history and cultural heritage of Nigerians as seen in its strategically placed monumental figures. It’s definitely one of the spots to visit in Lagos.
National Theatre: Constructed in 1976, it is the cultural center for performing arts in Nigeria. The well-equipped hall has the capacity to hold 3000 people. It hosted the Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) in 1977. The building has a bar, a restaurant, and 2 grand cinema halls. The great cultural performances coupled with the theatre’s architectural grandeur have pulled the attention of people from various walks of life.
Jazz hole: An offspring of Glendora books, the Jazz hole is one of the amazing spots in Lagos. It is located at Awolowo Road, Ikoyi. It is a place where literature meets good music. There’s a plethora of African artwork in the hole to help create a relaxed atmosphere. It’s known as one of the best cultural music shops in the country. It has a snack bar with great coffee and yummy sandwiches among other snacks.
Paint and bake: This place creates an opportunity for children to hone skills in drawing, painting, sculpting, and pottery. They provide all the materials to be used whilst encouraging a fun and creative atmosphere. If you want to ignite the interest of your children in Arts and craft, Paint and bake are where you should take them. They are open every day from 8 am to 6 pm.
The National Museum: is situated in Lagos, and has a relateable history, hence its position as one of the top spots to visit in Lagos, as it says a lot about the state and Country. Founded in 1957 by Kenneth Murray, the Nigerian National Museum is located in the city of Lagos. The museum boasts of a varied collection of prominent Nigerian art, including pieces archaeological and ethnographic exhibits. It’s a great place to learn about Nigerian history.
Kalakuta museum: Kalakuta Republic was the name of the place where Fela, alongside his band and family members lived. On February 18, 1977, the house was attacked by military officials and burned down. Now, it has been turned into a museum to honor Fela and his impact on Nigeria and the world at large. Kalakuta Museum is a place for people who want an insight into the world of Fela and one of the top spots to visit in Lagos
Badagry: is a small town located between Lagos and the Seme border and is now renowned for its slave trade museum. Many Nigerian schools bring their students to the Badagry museum mainly to learn about the slave trade era. The museum features relics like slave chains and other items used for exchange between the colonists and African leaders. You’ll get to see the first high rise building in Nigeria. You will also get to cross the lagoon in order to begin ‘the journey of no return’ but not to worry, it’s named that in honour of slaves who made the journey to foreign countries and never returned home. Badagry town binds fun with historical knowledge and with their rather interesting guide, you can be sure to have a fun-filled day!
Overtime, Lagos has become an important location for African and “black” cultural identity, who come from far and wide to partake in different festivals usually held in Lagos; festivals vary in offerings each year and may be held in different months. Some of the festivals are
Lagos Black Heritage Carnival, Lagos Carnival
Eko International Film Festival
Lagos Photo Festival