Festac is a town in Lagos that holds a very rich cultural heritage, it plays site to a federal housing estate located along the Lagos-Badagry Expressway.
The prominence of the town does not only stem from the fact that it was host of the second world African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) that was held there in 1977, but also because the village was intended to evoke the modern age and the promise of state-sponsored economic development fuelled by oil revenues.
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Here are some very interesting current facts that needs to be know about this town whose existence is enshrined in the core history of Lagos.
1. Pit meets palace
In Festac, both the rich and the poor find a place of shelter. There is no pronounced disparity in class although one can tell from the various houses and lifestyles who actually wealthy and who is not so well to do.
2. Most residential buildings are also used for business
Most of the places of residence have been transformed to serve a dual purpose as private homes and places of business. Many flats have their ground floors changed tom either shops, stores, offices, barbing and beauty saloons. This is because the town is fast becoming a very commercial place, with various businesses thriving.
3. Build your own fence
One very distinct feature of Festac as it today, is the presence of fences put up by individuals, in contrast to what the original structure of the festival village was. Most people living on the ground floors, are in the habit of building fences, in a bid to acquire for themselves an extra yard of space.
4. Okada is your best bet
Motorcycles are popularly called Okada in Lagos, and like in many other areas of the metropolis, they serve as the best means of transport within the town. With the influx of more northerners known as 'aboki' plying the trade, the bike men have become numerous.
The motorcycles are about a person's best chance to navigate through the network of bad roads and get to beat the traffic jam that tends to come up occasionally.
5. Most of the residents are Igbo
Research has shown that a major statistics of the residents in Festac are people that hail from the Southeastern part of Nigeria. There are rumours that most of the Igbos who live in the town are into fraud and many other vices.
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However, other speculation states that because of the town's proximity to major markets such as Alaba international market and Mile 2, most of the Igbos prefer to dwell in Festac.
It is noted that the South-easterners are known for their exploits in trade.
6. Every business goes
In Festac you can get every kind of business and business people, ranging from real estate to oil and gas and even unto the hospitality business; everyone thrives.
7. Home of hotels
If you are looking for a place in Lagos with so many hotels at very affordable rate, then Festac is one place you should be looking at.
There are hotels on virtually every street and avenue within the town.
Some of the best hotels in Lagos are also located there at Festac, they include: Golden Tulip, Rockview Hotel, Benny Hotel, and Brighams Suites-Hotels among others.
8.Watchout for potholes
When the rains fall, Festac can become a nightmare in most areas, with potholes that can trap cars and even trucks, this fact affirms the fact that using an Okada is about your best best in Festac town.
9. City where sex is sold like hot cake of sex
Prostitution is eating deep into Festac, with many nightclubs and strip bars popping up in diverse areas within the town. These development has really traumatised the residents of this festival village, however, it seem that the more they complain, the worse the situation becomes.
10. Robberies are rampant
With the crime rate at an all time high in Lagos, robbery has become a nightmare for people in Festac. The robberies in Festac have been fabled to be some of the deadliest in Lagos, with most of them leading to bloodshed.
Festac is a town that must be visited by everyone, especially residents of Lagos, reasoning being that the town possesses to a great extent the spirit of Lagos city.
Are there details we have left out from this review?
Do let us know if there are other characteristics of this great festival village we have left out.