Top Ten Places To Visit This Holiday On A Budget In Lagos

Unarguably the most socially diverse state with lots of sight to behold, Lagos has alot of top fun places for it’s residents and visitors to visit this holiday season. We made (in no particular order) a list of top places to visit without breaking the bank this period.

(Note that this compilation was made based on places we’ve visited in the past and we factored in the experience and cost for this places to make this list. But we welcome suggestions on other ‘budget destinations’ to visit in the future)

With that being said, let’s roll 😎

1. Nike Art Gallery

Undoubtedly one of the top reputable art destinations in the country, Chief Mrs Nike’s gallery located at Lekki is a gallery displaying diverse beautiful art works by talented African artistes. The four storey building with opens its doors to the public for free entry and viewing everyday. (Read about our complete trip to Nike Art Gallery Here)

2. Tarkwa Bay Beach

Beginning from the boat fare that starts from N500 (from CMS boat jetty) to the beach entry fee of N200, Tarkwa Bay Beach located in Tomaro Island offers one of the top relaxation spots at an affordable expense. The tents, chairs and seats renting fees start from as low as N1500, while there are beach houses and yatch club for those intending to stay a few days at the beach with special treatment. (Read about our complete trip to Tarkwa Bay Beach Here )

3. Johnson Jakande Tinubu (JJT) Recreational Park

Asides it’s free gate entry, JJT Park as the newest Park additions of the LASG boasts of modern and functional facilities to effectively serve the public. Located in the quiet area of Alausa Ikeja the park allows you to enjoy the quiet and explore it’s features such as the Eyo and Triumvirate statues, exotic bird’s cage, board games, lyrical fountain, etc. (Read about our complete trip to JJT Park Here)

4. Oniru Royal Private Beach

Located at Victoria Island, Oniru beach is one of the highly rated beaches in Lagos. The entry fee per adult is N1000 and canopy/sitting facilities prices start from N3000 per set. Due to the private ownership/management, the beach is properly maintained all year round for visitors. There are also top restaurants and beach clubs in the beach for those looking forward to premium experience.

Fun fact: From either Both Oniru and Tarkwa Bay beaches you can have view of the Eko Atlantic rising City, which is quite beautiful during sunset.

5. Lekki Conservation Center (LCC)

An initiative of the Nigerian Conservation Fund, LCC was established to preserve and promote the conservation of nature in it’s original form. Several fun facilities have been added to the center to make a visit to the place memorable for visitors. This includes the longest canopy walk in Africa, a tree house, fish ponds, nature trails, etc. Entry into the center is N1000 for an adult but to access the canopy walk, an extra N1000 is charged. (Read about our complete trip to the LCC Here)

6. Freedom Park

Formerly ‘Her Majesty’s Broad Street Prison’ during the colonial era, this recreational park offers both a relaxation getaway and historical destination for visitors. Asides the food, drinks and live stage performances that attract people here, some visit to learn about the facsinating history of the place. Entry fee is N200 and it’s located at the end of Broad Street on Lagos Island. (Read about our complete trip to Freedom Park Here)

Fun fact: The present facilities in the park were built on exact spots of the former prison using the prisons original plan e.g the gallow area where death by hanging were carried out is today a stage, bath area was turned into a water fountain area, etc

7. Shodex Inspirational Garden

Shodex is a privately owned garden located below Anthony flyover along the Oshodi – Oworonishoki expressway. The garden is part of a private initiative to promote nature with the presence of a zoo, trees and botanical garden and natural water fountains. There are also adult/children playgrounds, swimming pool, bar/restaurant facilities for relaxation and enjoyment. Entry fee into the garden is N1000 per adult to access all the facilities. Access to the swimming pool attracts extra fee.

8. Floor One 9

Located inside the Art twenty one gallery at Eko Hotel and Suites, Floorone9 by Caline Chagoury is an art collection showcasing how the cultures from the different countries on the continent can be celebrated through interiors shaped by contemporary Art and Design. Entry is free and Floorone9 will be closing and moving to a different location in March, 2020. So if you intend to visit, try to do before it closes shop.

9. National Arts Theater

This is a primary centre for the performing arts in Nigeria. Located in Iganmu, Surulere, it was constructed to host the Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) in 1977. Equipped with cinema halls that host live several drama and music performances regularly and a national heritage gallery, the national theater is surely a destination to visit to relax and spend quality time with friends and family.

Fun fact: The exterior of the National Theater was constructed in shape of a military hat, which is no surprise since the Gowon led government that funded the project was in the military era. And also, the theater resembles the Palace of Culture and Sports Varna, Bulgaria which you can check Here

10. The Nigerian National Museum

The National Museum is a national heritage located in Onikan, Lagos Island displaying Nigerian art, including pieces of statuary and carvings and archaeological and ethnographic exhibits. Entry fee starts from N200 per person.

Fun factOne of the most notable piece on display in this museum you can’t miss to see is the vehicle in which former Military governor Murtala Mohammed was assassinated in.


Irrespective of it’s shortcomings, Lagos State is a beautiful place made up of hardworking individuals making the best out of the opportunities the metropolitan city offers. It’s healthy and recommended to take some time off to relax and appreciate oneself with a trip to one of these places. With this budget trip list made to include everyone, we hope some can take advantage of the holiday period and have fun before the 2020 arrives and the hustle continues.

We’re opened to hearing more suggestions on places to visit, questions concerning some of this places and other enquires. Let us hear from you below or you can email us at Follow us on Instagram @20somethingsteps to follow up on newer places we’ll be visiting in the coming year.


Nonye 👣

A visit to Ndubuisi Kanu Recreational Park

Happiness is the art of relaxation‘ -Maxwell Maltz

Despite the usual stress associated with life in Lagos, some make out time to relax and catch some break. As part of our hobby, we picked out visiting one of such places we’ve not been to and share our experience with you.

About Ndubuisi Kanu Park

Ndubuisi Kanu Park (NKP) is an actualization project by the Lagos State Government to make Lagos greener and healthier through creation of parks and gardens, planting and maintenance of trees. Commissioned in 2014 by the former governor Mr Babatunde Fashola, the park was named in honor of the Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, a former military governor of Lagos and Imo states who was one of the heroes in the annulled June 12 presidential election struggle.

Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu (rtd)

The park is located at Mobolaji Johnson Avenue, Alausa Ikeja, opposite the Johnson Jakande Tinubu (JJT) Park. Due to the proximity and similarities in both recreational parks, we’ll make some comparisons along the way to give you options to choose which to visit, when you intend to.

Mobolaji Johnson Avenue

Entry into Ndubuisi Park is free, a norm in all Lagos State owned recreational parks. Except there’s an event inside which requires entry by invitation or entry fee. Also, there’s a parking space with a charge of N200 per vehicle in Ndubuisi Park. In JJT Park, there’s no parking space so the only option is parking at NKP that’s few kilometers away.

From our entry into the park, we found a guide to several parts of the 17,195 sq meters park on one side of the walk. On the other side is a sign indicating presence of free Internet (just like in JJT Park). We tried connecting a device to the free hotspot but the internet speed was far from decent.

Features of the Ndubuisi Kanu Park

Children’s Playground:
There’s a children’s Playground open for kids everyday, with supervision by caretakers of the park. The playground has fun equipments that kids could play with all day. The park also has a water slide but we couldn’t confirm if adults could get on that.

There are few gazebos towards the south end of the park, distant from other attraction spots of the park which offers more quiet and privacy. The only cons to these gazebos is that each can take only a maximum of two persons. Unlike those in JJT that can take up 15 people in one large gazebo.

Books are available for free reading in Ndubuisi Park courtesy ‘The Open Library Initiative’ by Open Library Ng. The NGO has provided 5000 books to Ndubuisi Kanu and Muri Okunola parks to encourage and improve access to reading in a more relaxed and conducive environment for kids and adults. This feature isn’t available in JJT. 

Relaxation areas:
There are several parts of the park, more like seating areas where visitors can sit, relax and enjoy the ambience of the area. There are seats under tree shades along paths across the park. Also there’s the open field where picnics, etc can be carried out. The gazebos, multi-purpose court and the rotunda also offers sitting areas for visitors at the park.

We couldn’t complete a full tour of  NKP due to time constraints but for records sake, we have to mention other features the park has such as the rotunda and court for event gatherings.

Center of the park

Ndubuisi Kanu Park offers a clean and serene haven for those looking for a place to relax without the usual Lagos noise. It’s proximity to the government house guarantees orderliness and quiet. Well, except an event is taking place there or in JJT. The park is available for meetings, Hangouts, picnics, photo shoots, concerts, reading or even working.

We had fun visiting Ndubuisi Kanu park and we hope you’ll find it more enjoyable, should you visit. And while you’re there, also take out some time to stroll to the other park and have a feel of it too 😊. You can read about our JJT experience here.

Don’t forget to tell us what you think in the comments section below.


Nonye 👣

About our trip to the Lekki Conservation Center (LCC)

Lekki Conservation Centre (LCC) is one of the top destinations to visit in Lagos and we had made plans to visit someday. After weeks of planning We settled for a weekend in March, 2019.
We had agreed to meet up at the popular CMS bus stop at about 10am, but as Lagos traffic would have it, we left by past 11am instead from the bus stop where we boarded a bus headed for Ajah (at N200 per person). From the Lekki toll gate, the journey was traffic free and in less than 14 minutes, we had arrived our bus stop (Chevron) from where we saw the Conservation Centre toll sign post.

We here !!!

Approaching the entrance, we met so many cars parked on both sides of the road leading towards the place. One of us actually thought we are about to gate crash a wedding 😳. The rest of us hoped she was wrong. Fortunately, she was 🤗. They were just vehicles of those who drove and are inside the facility.

Mental note: If you’re not a crowd person, visiting LCC on weekends isn’t advisable.

We proceeded to purchase our ticets from the ticketing officer. Each adult pays an entrance fee of N1000 to access any facility in the centre except for the canopy walk. You’ll have to pay another thousand (N1000) for that. Since the canopyplans walk was in our plans, we paid a total of N6000 for the three of us. And here’s where our adventure started.

Buckle up amigo 😎

Instead of rushing to join the tour guide taking the new comers on a tour of the place, we decided to do it our way. Slow and steady.

Let us tell you a bit about this place

About LCC

The Lekki Conservation Centre was established in 1990 by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) and is located in the coastal environs covering an approximate land area of 78 hectares, extending from kilometer 19 along the Lagos-Epe Expressway and ends up a very close distance to the Atlantic Ocean near Okun Ibeju Village, Eti-Osa Local Government Area in the Eastern district of Lagos State. It represents the flagship project of NCF for the preservation of the unique biodiversity, scenic, natural, scientific and recreational values of the coastal environs of the south-western Nigeria.
It is the only vibrant protected area in Lagos State and one of the very few vibrant tourist destinations of repute in Lagos and has thus been recognized as one of the notable Sites/Monuments of special interest and exceptional relevance by the Lagos State Government under the LISTED SITES for the preservation, protection and restoration of historical properties and cultural heritage in Lagos State and for connected purposes.

(culled from

Back to our tour 😁

We entered the nature park through the nature trail, which serves as the path between the Administrative area and the family park on the other end (2km in length).

On our way, we met some monkeys that were swinging from tree to tree, catching their cruise lol. One came down to meet us, but was disappointed when we didnt have ‘anything for the boys‘ 😂

The day was very sunny and this made the green vegetation and pathway beautiful. Breathing fresh air and experiencing quiet is a luxury here in Lagos so we didn’t mess with the opportunity the nature park afforded us.

After about 16 minutes of going walking the trail, we approached the canopy walkway which we can say is the highest point of visit for anyone coming here. This walkway is 401 metres long and the longest in Africa. It is an engineering feat and an amazing suspended swinging bridge walkway through the mosaic of vegetation types characterizing the LCC Nature Park. Only those between the ages of 15 – 65 can be allowed to use the walkway. Why? it is quite a scary walkway, lol. It consists of 6 bridges joined to different platforms in-between them. the first three bridges keep elevating as you walk on them, till you get to the 4th one where its a level bridge. Afterwards, its a journey back to level ground.

Another mental note: If you have phobia for heights, the canopy walk isn’t for you. please, don’t listen to those village people pushing you to overcome your fears. Just continue on the nature trail and you’ll still arrive on the other side of the park, just like the person who took the canopy walk.


Now it was our turn to climb the bridge, 😬

Nobody wanted to go first 😂🤣
Ah finally!

We initially thought it’ll be an easy walk but it wasnt. The tension we get from the dangling bridge, the funny thoughts that come into our heads and the taunting from each other made the walk scarier and fun at the same time.

Some were tired 😫
Others excited 😊
Right at the center of the canopy walk

We arrived the family park after about the 30 minutes experience on the walkway. The entrance to the family park is something one can’t resist to stand to admire and take few shots. We actually took many, lol.


We met several board games which includes Draft, Chess, Snake and ladder, Ludo, etc. and had lil fun on them 🥳

By now, everyone was exasperated and needed a break. We took shade under one of th trees and had our lunch before we continued with our tour.

After our break, we left for the rest of what the park had for us. And the next we met was the Tilapia and Koi ponds.

Fishes in the tilapia pond

We also tried out the Jungle gym facilities (Zip Lines, monkey bars, etc) to have a feel of those too.

It was 3:49pm and we had to cut short exploring other parts of the park (i.e. picnic grounds, rotunda, food court gazebos,etc) and start heading back home, before the traffic gets serious to get through. You can decide to take the canopy walk back if your liver is a strong one lol 😁 . We took the wooden trail alternative so we could have a swing at the last thing to do before we run home. The Treehouse.

The treehouse is one of the unique attractive spots of the park. It was constructed on a huge tree which its major branch at the top rests on another tree. Looking at it you’ll notice the supporting tree was planted there by the park or they discovered them that way and thought of a house at the top. Either way, the treehouse is wonderful and fun. Except that we couldn’t climb it as there was a crowd there when we got there . Waiting for our turn meant sleeping in traffic that day and that’s something we weren’t even thinking of 😔.

The treehouse

We hurried our steps out until we got out of the centre. Lagos reality hits you when you approach the expressway (to find your way home) and you’re greeted by the noise and air of Eko which resets you to default settings 🤕 . But before we left, we still took some more pictures lol.

We must commend the Nigerian Conservation Foundation for the incredible job they’re doing here in the LCC. Not just here in Lagos, they’re responsible for preservation of areas dedicated for conservation and endangered animals too.
The lekki conservation centre is a getaway spot to enjoy nature in its wild, a good retreat location, couple’s date destination, excursion point for groups/schools, music video shoots and finally for pre-wedding shoots .

They accept several endangered and rare animals from the public for preservation in their parks all over the country, so fellow Nigerians, you can reach out to any of the park closest to you (by checking the list here) and support the preservation of our wildlife for the future.

P.s: LCC is opened 8:30am and closes 5:00pm everyday, all year. That’s it on our visit to the Lekki Conservation Center 😊 and we hope you enjoyed it. Have you been there before or planning to? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.


Nonye 👣

Sand, Water and Fun: A Day at Tarkwa Bay Beach

The beach is unarguably one of the best places to go to relax and have fun. And Lagos happens to have so many of them for endless visitors and residents. We happened to visit one back in March, 2019 and we opted for the Tarkwa Bay Beach.

The Tarkwa Bay beach is located at Onisowo island community, commonly referred to as ‘Snake Island’ about 15 minutes away from Lagos island.

So let’s begin, shall we? 😉

We converged at the popular CMS bus stop at about 11am from where we walked down to the Lagos-Apapa Ferry Service Station which is located beside the pedestrian bridge after the CMS bus stop. Due to the existence of other buildings and structures, locating the station might be a bit difficult for a new goer. So its advisable to always ask around after crossing the bridge to the other side facing the sea.

View of the Ferry point from the pedestrian bridge

At the station, we saw the trip shedule and realized we just missed the last ferry to tarkwa bay by 3 minutes.

We even saw the ferry sailing away from us from where we stood ☹️

Stuck between waiting for the next ferry in 2 hours or boarding a boat, we choose the latter. We realised most jetty rides from this terminal were to Apapa due to the frequent passengers going there. Tarkwa Bay is popular only on weekends when fun seekers and tourists troop for weekend getaways.

Apapa bound passengers boarding their ferry

We boarded the next boat bound for the island and paid the boat fare of N300 per person. Then we strapped on our safety jackets and in no time, our boat engine roared to life and we were off sailing ⛵

Some of us were having their first ever boat rides and it was quite the experience. If you haven’t experienced one before, you can opt for it when coming to the Bay or destination else that requires water transportation to get to.

After about 10 -15 minutes of boat ride, we arrived the Tarkwa Bay Boat Jetty.

Then we took a short 15 minutes walk through the village before reaching the beach.

You can choose to take a boat ride to the beach directly instead of going through the village, which would cost you a little more. We had to go through the community to have a feel of life and activities on this island. We were lucky to meet a boy who volunteered to show us the way to the beach up to a point where we could see the shoreline.

On arriving, we proceeded to pay the entry fee which was N200 per person.

Afterwards, we picked our choice tent and bargained with the owner for a decent price. At the end, we paid N1500 for the tent, table and 3 chairs. We settled down, changed into more comfortable wears before launching into the water.

Enough talking, just enjoy !

Time to get in that water 🌊

Tarkwa Bay Beach is a destination point every tourist or fun seeker in Lagos should visit. The beach is well maintained by the host community and the surroundings offer a beautiful scenery for photo and even video shoots.

There are also beach houses along the shore for those planning a weekend or vacation getaways there.

A beach house

Also the beach offers a beautiful view of the Eko Atlantic for your viewing and backdrop for pictures

There are fun beach activities one can take part in with friends such as volleyball, quad bike ride, beach ball, horse ride, swing, etc. There are provisions for this and more, at affordable rates.

We spent the rest of the day basking in the sun and soaking up in the euphoria of the beach. We didnt leave until evening and we hope on returning back here soon.

Have you been to the Tarkwa Bay Beach before? Let us hear about your own experience. If you haven’t, let us know what you think. And also, we welcome questions and etc in the comments section below.


Nonye 👣

A Visit to Johnson Jakande Tinubu (JJT) Recreational Park

Following our last trip to the Nike Art Gallery here, we scheduled another visit to the Johnson Jakande Tinubu Park in Alausa area of Ikeja, Lagos State.

As usual, we all set out from our different locations and converged at about 9:00am at the park, which is a few metres from Lagos State House of Assembly. We met our guide and our tour began with a bit of history behind establishment of the park.

The park was officially opened to the public on 13th December 2017, by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, in honour of:

Brigadier Mobolaji Johnson, (J)

Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande, (J)

and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, (T).

These were former governors of Lagos. Although they weren’t the only past governors of the state, their administration’s incredible efforts shaped the state to what it is today. They are the political triumvirate of the littoral state.

An aerial view of the park

1. Brigadier Johnson, laid the foundation as the pioneer Governor of the newly created Lagos State in 1967 and constructed the Lagos–Badagry Expressway linking Nigeria with countries in the West African sub region, the Itoikin Bridge linking Epe and Ikorodu; the Eko Bridge and a network of roads and bridges that opened up the new Lagos.

Brigadier Johnson

2. Alhaji Jakande, was the first elected Civilian Governor of Lagos State who’s administration introduced masses-oriented programme such as the successful implementation of the Free Education Programme, the establishment of new neighbourhood Primary and Secondary schools, and also construction of over 30,000 housing units in different parts of the State for the benefit of low income earners. His tenure also witnessed the completion of the General Hospitals in Gbagada and Ikorodu as well as the establishment of about 20 health centres within the State. Alhaji Lateef Jakande conceived and initiated the Metro line transit system that would have provided a solution to the challenge being experienced in the transportation sector today.

Alhaji Lateef Jakande

3. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration developed the blue print for the future development of the State and which successive administrations have continued to build upon and actualize today.
One of his remarkable achievements was the reform of the State Tax administration system which resulted in the State attaining the status of the most viable and self sustaining State in Nigeria. He also made huge investments in education and initiated new road constructions, required to meet the needs of the fast-growing population of the State.
The ‘Jagaban’ as he’s commonly called, also established the institutional framework which ensured that the State was efficiently run through introduction of agencies like LIRS, LAMATA, LASTMA, etc. It’s said that one can’t simply talk about the history of Lagos State without mention of the ‘Jagaban’.

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu

About the Park

According to our guide, the park covers a total land area of approximately 21,800 square metres and managed by the Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK).
The park has zero entrance fee, so a one does not have to pay to enter the park or use it’s facilities. Well, except if the park is rented out for sponsored events like Musical concerts, wedding receptions, etc.

The park opens at 8:00am and closes at 6:30pm between Monday to Sunday. Unfortunately, there is no car parking space provided for visitors. So one has to park either at the Ndubuisi Kanu park or Secretariat park, for a fee.

Interesting features of JJT Park

*Eyo statue: A massive statue of Eyo Masquerade, a cultural identity of Lagos State people sits few meters from the entrance into the park. With a water fountain surrounding the statue and a wooden bridge to access it from both ends, the Eyo greets and welcomes you to the JJT Park.

*Birds: A cage house that has an assortment of exotic birds 🦜on display

*The Triumvirate: In the middle of the park sits an elevated bust of the political triumvirate (Johnson, Jakande and Tinubu). This is unarguably the most interesting spot in the JJT Park.

*Lyrical fountain: there’s a lyrical fountain which it’s water rises and falls in rhythm with beats of song played. Watching how the fountain works was quite a sight 😊

*The African Union: A circling of national flags representing the 54 nations in Africa. The elevated busts of JJT are situated at the centre of this beautiful circling.

*Kids playground: what’s a recreational park without something for the kids? lol

In the East section of the park is a Kid’s playground with fun equipment to keep visiting children busy and host kid events. The playground and the park in general is a nice place for photo shoots. we’ve met several shoots ongoing during our various visits to the park.

*Games: There’s a spot where Chess game set is available for those who are interested to play at zero cost . Just find and opponent and slug it out there 😎

*Free Internet: Within the park arena is the presence of a free internet Wi-fi, provided for visitors in the Park. Although the day we visited, the WiFi wasn’t functioning.

*Food Court: There is a food court in the park where fast food, snacks, soft drinks, ice cream, etc are sold. You can also come to the park with your own food and drinks, whichever option works for you

We brought our own food 😂

*Gazebos: There are big gazebos that serve as shelter from the sun and private relaxation spots. One can get a seat and share a table to sit, read or do whatever fun in mind. The gazebos range in sizes and capacity per size. The big ones can house about 10-15 persons while the medium and smaller ones can hold about 4 and 2 persons respectively

A medium sized gazebo on the left

Asides the gazebos, food courts and kids playground, there are other sitting/recreational options at the park. Such as as the lush green field where picnics and other activities can be held. Also, there are seats located under the tree shades towards the west end of the park

*The Convenience: we had to mention the restrooms in the park because of how clean and organized they were. There are two buildings designated for the convenience; one for children and the other for adults. Both apart but managed by caretakers of the park. The convenience also doubles as a changing room for mostly those taking photo or video shoots.

The adult convenience


The park sits in a serene area of Lagos state, devoid of the typical Lagos noise and dirt. So this makes it a good place to go to and relax, read a novel or even meditate. Although, due to the quietness of the place, it could be a boring for some used to loud life of eko or those who come alone. Also, the Park is barely a year old so the facilities are still very new, functioning and exciting to use.

The park is an ideal free spot for friend’s hang out, tour, meetings, picnic and fun in general. Parts of (or whole of) the park can be rented out to those in need of it for any event, which is managed by LASPARK.

If you haven’t been to JJT Park before now, this yuletide season is an ideal opportunity for you to pay the place a visit and tell us how the experience was like. If you’ve been to the park before, do well to tell us about your experience let’s gist 😉.

Nonye 👣

Everything Art: About Our Visit to the Nike Art Gallery

Just before 2018 wrapped up for us, we decided to check Nike Art Gallery box off our bucket list of ‘places to visit in Lagos’. We decided on a convenient date and time for the visit.

So on Saturday 15th December 2018, we set out from our various locations on the mainland to meet up at the CMS bus stop. When the three of us had gotten there, we boarded a bus to Lekki and about 18 minutes later, we arrived at our bus stop where the gallery is located (Ikate 3rd roundabout, lekki-epe expressway).

Looking towards the right on the other side of the express was the Nike art gallery road where the building stood out, a white storey building which looks like a typical Santorini, Greece architecture. We walked down to the gallery which took less than 3 minutes. Right from the exterior of the building, we were greeted with several art works which extended further inside and around the gallery’s premises.

Outside the gallery
The main entrance

On getting inside main gallery, we were stunned by the glory of numerous art displayed there.
Right from the ground floor up to the last fourth floor of the building (which is visible from the design of the gallery) was art and the sight was overwhelming ❤️

The lady at the reception welcomed us and gave us a very short information about the gallery and rules to abide by while inside, which included:

Entry is free

Gallery is open everyday of the week (7/7) from 10am-6pm

The gallery boasts of 8000+ art works, making it the biggest in West Africa.

No professional camera

Every piece of artwork displayed is for sale

Taking pictures of the art displays isn’t permitted unless one is in the picture.

Feel free and have fun 😊

Confused on which floor or where to begin with, we initially went different ways, walking around to view displays that appealed to our eyes lol. We rejoined after our individual sojourns to take pictures and view the rest of the gallery together.

There was breathtaking art everywhere, literally everywhere !

The collection in the gallery is so massive (8000+) that they can’t all be displayed in the big four storey building. This makes some works stacked and stored away in some rooms or open spaces.

Stacked away artworks on the floor

The display boasts of various forms of paintings such as water color, pencil and ink on paper, acrylic painting, etc.

We also spotted a couple display of realism, constructivism Impressionism, surrealism and a host of other forms of art we couldn’t accurately identify. And it’s a proud thing to say they’re all 100% original works by Nigerian artists 🇳🇬.

To reiterate how rich the gallery is in terms of collections, various works on display are regularly replaced by the ones stored/new ones to give visitors a different experience of the sanctuary everytime they visit.

Nike Art gallery is owned by the incredibly talented chief Mrs Nike Davies Okundaye, a 68 year old renowned artist and fashion designer who has dedicated her life to telling the African story through her works. Mrs Okundaye didn’t receive much formal art education growing up after she dropped out of school due to lack of funds to support her education. She still defied all odds to carve a niche for herself and today she is globally recognised for her efforts. She has been featured on several documentaries on CNN, CNBC, Al-Jazeera, etc and even lectured in the prestigious Harvard University.

Chief Mrs Nike Davies Okundaye

Going through the gallery and admiring the incredible displays, we thought these works won’t go for cheap so we went on the official website Here to confirm our guess.

You now have the link, check it yaself 😂

Since we couldn’t afford the works (yet), we decided to at least have fun and take pishures.

And guess who we stumbled on in the gallery ?! 🤔

None other than Mummy Nike herself 😍🤩

We weren’t able to take enough pictures because almost every art we saw held our gaze, speaking the rich African lifestyle and culture to our minds.

The gallery pays alot of homage to Lagos through various arts depicting the typical daily life of Lagosians.

We were so fascinated by the place that we didn’t realise we’ve been inside the gallery for over four hours (lol). And it was time to go 😔.

Reluctantly, we had to leave the haven with a mutually agreed plan of a revisit. But before we left the premises, we couldn’t resist taking a few more shots outside the gallery where the café is situated with a couple of interesting displays.

We departed and took a returning bus back to CMS and from there, boarded different buses back to our various destinations.

Visiting the Nike Art Gallery promises an unforgettable experience for any art lover. For us, the visit made us appreciate art more and feel proud of being Africans.
There are a couple of other galleries on the Lagos island and we intend to visit some of them in the near future.

That’s it on our visit to Nike Art Gallery 😊 and we hope you enjoyed it. Have you been there before or planning to? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

Nonye 👣

Prison to Park: A Trip to Freedom Park, (formerly Her Majesty’s Broad Street Prison)

On Thursday, 20th September, 2018 my ‘Tourism’ Community Development Service (CDS) group, embarked a visiting tour to the Freedom park (formerly Her Majesty’s Broad Street Prison), which is located at Broad Street, Lagos island.

Before we arrived at our destination, we passed a couple of historical buildings along broad Street that bears remembrance of the British colonial era. Among them were the famous Cathedral Church of Christ, (responsible for the popular CMS bus stop landmark on the island), St Anna’s courthouse, CMS bookshop, etc.

Cathedral Church of Christ

It’s commendable how these architectural pieces of history have been preserved for several decades until date. In no time, we arrived at our destination; the freedom park 🙂. We finally arrived at the Freedom Park and sorted out our entrance fee at the gate (N500 per person) before we proceeded to meet our tour guide, who treated us to a history of the place.

History of Her Majesty’s Broad Street Prison/Freedom Park

In 1861, the British gunship, Prometheus,threatened the then Oba of Lagos, Oba Dosunmu who acceded and handed over Lagos to the then Queen of England, Victoria, effectively making Lagos Island a colony of the British.
With the annexation and subsequent colonisation of Lagos, and then Nigeria, in 1876, the colonial government passed the ‘prison’s ordnance’ that introduced their own concept of crime and criminal justice to the colony, to enforce order and protect their economic interests.

Because the British criminal justice system allowed for the creation of the penal system, this prompted the design and construction of prisons.
Hence in 1872, eleven years after Lagos island was ceded, the British built Her Majesty’s Prisons – which later came to be known as the ‘Broad Street Prisons‘.

Layout plan of the Prison

The initial prison structure was built in 1882 with mud walls and grass thatch but did not last long as it was an easy target for anti-colonialists.

They kept throwing fire into it and setting it ablaze and so then in 1885 the colonial government imported bricks from England and rebuilt the prison,” says architect Theo Lawson.

What was even more remarkable was the bricks were imported for £16,000 and that year the British spent £700 on education in the colony, so it shows the priority then was on law and order,” says Mr Lawson, who drew up the plans to turn the former prison into Freedom Park.

But it’s notable to state here that this brick fence remains the only non demolished structure of the former prison today, after over a century when the prison was constructed.

The anti-colonialists who destroyed the former fences would later be arrested by the force, who were made up of mostly Hausa speaking natives from the then Northern protectorate. The colonisers deliberately chose military recruits from northern Nigeria in order to have a disconnect between the local population and the personnel tasked with imposing law and order and violently suppressing any resistance to their rule.

In the years leading to Nigeria’s independence, the prison was a maximum security prison where political prisoners, amongst other prisoners were kept. The Broad Street Prisons held some of Nigeria’s foremost activists and nationalists like Sir Herbert Macaulay, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Chief Lateef Jakande
and Michael Imodu who all served time there at one point or the other due to their political beliefs and activism.

Sir Herbert Macaulay
Profiles of unknown prisoners containing crimes committed and duration of their sentences

Chief Obafemi Awolowo, was imprisoned here in 1963 while undergoing trials for charges of treasonable felony for purportedly conspiring to overthrow the federal government along with some other members of his Action Group political party. There’s a myth that Chief Awolowo placed a curse on the place, the curse of which was responsible for the site being in a derelict, undeveloped state for decades until its transformation into a park.

Chief Obafemi Awolowo

But the most discussed inmate at the Prison till date was a 22 year old Esther Johnson, popularly known back in the 50s as ‘Ada Ocha Ntu’ who murdered her expatriate lover, Mark Hall, in 1953 after she found out he’d used the £400 she loaned him for her business, to marry an English bride while he was on holiday in the UK.
Mark also used ‘change’ of Ada’s money to buy his new bride a car which she would use as a taxi cab. He returned to Nigeria and told Ada what he’d done with her money and a very furious Ada used a pair of scissor to stab Mark. Mark eventually died from injuries sustained from the attack.

Esther Johnson and Mark Hall

She was arrested, tried and, in 1956, convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death. Ada remained on ‘Death row’ in Broad Street Prison until her sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment.
In 1961, on the first anniversary of Nigeria’s independence, perhaps recognising that her crime was a crime of passion’, Governor-General Nnamdi Azikiwe pardoned Ada ‘Esther Johnson’ Ntu “in the name of the Queen.” Her story went viral globally and carried even by international tabloids like the NY times and UK’s Telegraph, etc.
Today, on the grounds of the park is a section called ‘Esther’s Revenge’, in remembrance of the infamous female inmate.

An enlarged publication of the New York Times bearing Esther Johnson’s story

In preserving the history of this place for future generations, the Lagos State Government chose to recreate the former space of oppression and colonialism into a memorial park.

Model of the new Freedom park
Transformation of the former Prison ruins into the present day park

In October, 2010 Freedom Park was opened as part of events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Nigeria’s independence celebration. The Park serves as a National Memorial, a Historical landmark, a Cultural site, Arts and Recreation centre.

After the (long) history lesson, we took our tour further round other areas in the park where we were told that the present structures in the park we’re seeing were erected on same spots of notable parts of the then Broad Street Prison.

Where the hanging gallows used to be, is now a stage where notable performances have been carried out

In one corner of the prison is where condemned prisoners were executed by hanging.
It was very shocking indeed – to watch this man being brought in, cloth over his head and then prayers for him,” recalled Kofi Duncan, who worked as a doctor in the prisons in the early 1960s shortly after independence.
The man who carried out the executions had to be brought from northern Nigeria. He has to be somebody who knows nobody at all,” said Dr Duncan.
All he has to do is come into this small room and when they say ‘go’ he pulls and the trap door opens. Brrrrrm bang,” he said, adding that he then witnessed the prisoner’s tremors and after one and a half hours he had to do a medical examination to confirm he/she was dead.

A hanging gallow
Where the kitchen used to be, is now a food court
Where the record’s office used to be is now a museum
The bath area for the Prisoners is now an open fountain area

In the centre of the Park, one cell block has been rebuilt and is a chilling reminder of the conditions. Each cell is just 1.2m x 2.4m (4ft x 8ft). Our guide told us each cell was containing just one inmate, but this increased gradually to about eight per cell when the Prison eventually became overpopulated.

Cell block turned into booths

We went on to wander about the Park’s garden which is filled with several statues, celebrating the several tribes and their tradition in Nigeria. Some other notable art works depict the sad life of a prisoner in broad Street prison such as hanging, slavery revolt, freedom, etc

In the centre of the garden is a statue celebrating the three founding fathers (aka the three wise men) of Nigeria’s independence; Chief Awolowo, Dr Azikiwe and Dr Bello.

There’s also a bust of Nigeria Nobel Laureate, Professor Soyinka in the garden, amongst other art works

We completed the last leg of our tour by visiting the museum which holds several artefacts recovered from the ruins of the 1979 demolition, as shown below

Recreated cell in the museum
Cell window bars

We rounded up the tour, posed for pictures and took our break before our departure at about 2:05pm.

Have you been there before or planning to? We’d love to know what you think in the comment section below. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @20Somethingsteps and subscribe to our email newsletter to get first hand alerts of our new posts.


Nonye 👣