The pursuit of happiness: The Dream
Femi and Chika had always dreamed of owning their own home. Growing up in Lagos, they had seen their fair share of struggles with landlords, who seemed to take pleasure in constantly harassing tenants for rent money. Femi’s family had been forced to move multiple times when their landlord would raise the rent or refuse to fix critical issues like leaky roofs or broken plumbing. Each move took a toll on Femi’s family, forcing them to uproot themselves and start over in a new neighbourhood.
Chika’s family had it even worse. Her parents struggled to make ends meet, often having to choose between paying rent and buying food. They lived in a cramped apartment with multiple other families, sharing a bathroom and kitchen with strangers. The landlord was merciless, often threatening to kick them out if they couldn’t come up with the money on time.
As they got older, Femi and Chika both knew that they wanted something better for themselves. They wanted stability, security, and the freedom to create a home of their own. But they quickly realized that in Lagos, homeownership was a distant dream for most people. Real estate prices were exorbitant, and corrupt practices made it nearly impossible for ordinary people to afford a decent home.
One day, Femi’s father shared a story with him that would change his perspective on homeownership forever. In 2003, his father had been given an opportunity to buy a plot of land in Ajah, a fast-developing neighborhood on the outskirts of Lagos. But at the time, Femi’s father dismissed the idea, thinking that it was too expensive and not worth the investment.
As Femi thought about his father’s missed opportunity, he realized that owning a home was more than just a personal achievement. It was a way to secure his future and create a better life for himself and his family. He began to research the real estate market and explore different options for affordable housing, determined to make his dream a reality.
But Femi’s journey towards homeownership would be a long and challenging one, as he soon discovered. He encountered corrupt real estate agents who demanded exorbitant fees and unreliable developers who promised the world but failed to deliver. And as he looked around at the crowded, polluted streets of Lagos, he wondered if he would ever find a place that he could truly call home.
To be continued…