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Documentary Film - Welcome to Lagos

             After watching the documentary "Welcome to Lagos", a film which follows various people in three distinct areas of Lagos: a debris filled dump, the Lagos lagoon, and the city's beach area, immediately drew the conclusion that the Lagosians are a people of substance, they are strong people who through adversity will overcome all the while maintaining their resilience. They are a nation whose hope which never seems to be fleeting but rather the means to which propel their continuing perseverance. .
             I could not quite understand why such a glorifying documentary, whose portrayal of resourceful people, entitled, so pleasantly, "Welcome to Lagos", could invoke a great deal of controversy. After reading Wole Soyinka's critical article in the guardian dubbed, "Wole Soyinka attacks BBC portrayal of Lagos pit of degradation", my fundamental reaction continued to be the film was able to capture the harsh reality of typical Lagosians. It wasn't until I stepped away from both works and began to contemplate how I arrived at my initial response, that I was able to recognize the disparity of the film through my newly acquired post-colonial lens to critically analyze the documentary in the critic sense. During the film, unconsciously, I stripped the people of Lagos of their environment and made it less about the actual person but more about the resiliency of a nation and its people. Which according to the respected Nigerian who won the Nobel Prize for Literature, Wole Soyinka, is the inherent problem. Consistent with Soyinka, "there was no sense of Lagos as what it is- a modern African state", he was also quoted within this article of the Guardian paper stating, "the worst aspect of colonialist and patronizing attitudes to Africa". There is something to be said about the characterization or lack there of for a nation of people with varying backgrounds.

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