Last Updated On October 15, 2020.
“Lip balm! Get your pink lips here,” the young lad beckoned to me as I wiped my sweaty face with a handkerchief, I’m hardly done crossing the street when another calls, “Hey! Fine boy! You want phone, laptop or charger. Which one?!” Ahan, una no go allow pesin rest for this Lagos. Haw! I thought to myself.
Quick introduction; Computer Village as the name implies is the Lagosian’s go-to place for gadget shopping, hardware repairs and software installations.
In all my years in this vibrant city, I’ve been to the location in Ikeja at least five times. Haha! There have even been occasions when my friends from neighbouring states like Osun come to visit.
If you’re thinking of how your visit to the biggest technology hub in West Africa will turn out. Say no more, here’s a quick shortcut…
1. Have a Plug
What’s a plug? According to urban dictionary, a plug is someone that… well go find out for yourself!
But really, I can’t stress this hack enough. You see, Computer Village in my understanding is cut into two sects. The corporate and the street, while the latter includes traders on the road, kiosks or little spaces, the former are big office buildings like Slot and Microstation.
Irrespective of who you choose to see about your computer problems, it’s good to always have a plug. Have a plug for everything whether it’s buying, selling, replacement or exchange. This saves you time and energy! Computer Village (CV) is way too huge to be walking around looking confused.
Again, if you don’t have any plug at all, you can call a Lagos based friend for advise. Trust me, most Lagosians have someone they know in CV.
2. Secure the Bag
Davido wasn’t kidding about securing the bag in his hit song with Duncan Mighty. Computer Village like I mentioned before is very rowdy, everyone’s on the move and if you’re not careful enough you can fall victim to pickpockets or bag snacters. No jokes!
Avoid overcrowded spaces, walk briskly and shine your eye! If you’re driving, you may have to wind up your windows, lock your doors or park in secure neighborhoods (paid spots preferably).
It’s not uncommon to see folks cajoling you left, right and centre! Chanting words like, “fine boy, fine girl, oga, madam I get am” even without you asking what you really need.
Some even take an extra measure by convincing you to “follow” them to their shop. And because I don’t want you to get lost in this gorgeous city, I think you shouldn’t always…
Remember when I advised that you should watch your goods always while commuting in danfo? Well, need I say more. This is still the same populous city of Lagos, home to over twentysomething million people so when you buy stuff, make sure you test it and see that it works, over and over again!
I always tell my friends to buy from recognised retailers like Westgate but in case the price tags exceed your budget and you have to buy from cheaper sources, I’ll stress that again, make sure you test the device.
Sometime ago, my friend was given eba (starch meal) as phone and another time, a fake battery was sold to me! I didn’t know until I got home. Again, I wanted to replace my laptop hinges and this guy welded the former parts together when I paid for a new set.
Just be carefully-watchful, if there’s anything like that.
5. Stories That Touch
I don’t know if this has only happened to me but on two occasions I was told the most deceiving and confusing stories. Anyone else?
Back in 2018, while rounding up my thesis, a mid-aged fellow approached me. He spoke of how he’d travelled from Ekiti state to sell some herbal medicine. I explained that I didn’t know anything about that. A few minutes later, the naive fella was whisked away by a street thug who obviously harboured questionable intentions.
This is Lagos! Stay out of trouble.
That same year, one Armel met me to explain how he’d come from a neighbouring country to sell some goods. Imagine! Do I look like a retailer? He said I should escort him so we split the sales in half. Trust me, I snubbed him.
Now I’m not concluding on whether these guys were genuine or not but the choice is yours? Many of them come up with these skeptical or sketchy stories just to get your attention. And because you may never know who is who, don’t answer anyone.
My Friends Thought on Computer Village…
Sincerely, I didn’t want this article to be single sided so I asked a couple of my friends about CV (follow them on socials, there’re cool guys).
Chika [@chika_richy] says…
Computer village is super rowdy I’ll say. But it’s like the home for all things phone related.
One time my iPhone had issues, I was at an Apple store in Ikeja City Mall and they couldn’t even fix it, I took it Computer Village and boom!! My phone started working again o!!!
But the secret is, get a referral to a particular store before you go o cos as we’ve all heard before they use to put fufu (starch meal) inside the phone.
Just in case you can’t get referrals, look for legit ads (I’ve used one before) or go for legit looking shops.
Jesse [@0utofline] says…
First few visits were hectic as hell, but I’ve been there more times than I can remember, it’s just like any other place in Lagos.
Domnan [@_deven96] says…
A place of legitimate and fraudulent computer savvy folks evenly distributed 50-50.
In case you ‘sabi’ Lagos, you can also add yours in the comments below.
If you’ve read up to this point, I’m super happy for you! Because as much as this depiction of activities in Computer Village may seem a bit scary to some, that is not the intention of this writeup.
A closer look at this mega technology hub will make you discover that Computer Village may just be Nigeria’s own Silicon Valley.
Because in CV, you’ll come across teenagers discoupling laptops like matchboxes, repairing phones by the minute and naming gadget components that you weren’t taught in school.
This is the ‘tenacity’ of this urban jungle and the sooner me and you realise this, the better for many underground talents.
So, over to you. What’s your most memorable experience in Computer Village?
Photo Credit: weetracker
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