Nigerian Lives: 5 People Tell Us About The Ups And Downs Of Living Alone

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Growing up as a kid, dealing with your Nigerian mum calling you from your bedroom to get the remote control to the TV which is laying a couple of inches away from her in the living room, to imposed curfews, being an adult and living alone is quite attractive. Then you grow up, move out of your parents’ house, and get hit with the reality of ‘adulting’. You enjoy your privacy and good mental health, but at the expense of huge responsibilities and accumulated bills. For Nigerian Lives, we reached out to five Nigerians who share the highs and lows that come with living alone:

Onyebeat, 27

There are two sides to it. There is the good part where you have independence, privacy, and you control your life. Basically, you don’t have the barriers of a curfew when you come back at a specific time except your landlord imposes that on you. As an adult renting a place, you know you have a considerable amount of liberty to come in and go in as you please. The downside of it is you have to be responsible for yourself and in Lagos, it’s a lot because you have to consider going to work, the cost, and also feeding. Living alone is challenging, but it has its perks. There are times I have had to run back home to find solace, meet my mum, enjoy some family time, eat food but I wouldn’t change anything.

Rae, 32

Living alone in Lagos is quite an exciting experience. Unlike living with parents, you have the opportunity to be more responsible and accountable. At first, you will live lavida loca, but when sapa hold you, you will be counting the water you will be drinking in your house. Also, maturity depends on each individual. I miss my parents because with them I can live like the spoilt brat I want but I have to be reasonable. If my parents were in Lagos, I would still be with them, it would help me save more but living alone, will help you adopt a proper saving culture because you have to also factor in housing expenses and groceries. If you work, you have to sort out transportation to work, if you do business, you have to factor in how to manage your business from home. You need to plan better as a human being because If you don’t plan, you will always be broke. 

Esther, 26

From my experience what I love about it is the freedom that comes with it, I can go out anytime I want, I don’t have anyone controlling me, giving me curfew, monitoring me or sending me on errands I don’t want to go. On the other hand, ther are the bills. The bills are crazy. It is not easy but apart from the bills, I love every other thing. The fact that I am free to do anything I want and have no parent reprimanding me about my lifestyle. I still love living alone regardless of the bills. 

Didi, 25

Living without my parents has been bliss. I am introverted and I love my personal space. Personal space isn’t in the dictionary of my African parents. I have found myself, who I really am, what I enjoy doing, people I like to interact with all without the influence of my parents. The only downside is the bills. I actually like paying my bills, it gives a sense of responsibility and I’m proud that I can take care of myself without external help but as a freelancer living in Lagos without the gigs “flowing”, high bp is a given. I plan on leaving Lagos very soon tho. It’s a madhouse and I’m looking for soft life now.

Inem, 30

I have been living by myself for over five years and it’s been quite the experience. It’s great because I love my space and I have a place to recharge my social battery. On the other hand, the bills are quite a lot to handle by myself in this Buhari’s economy. Then, there is the drama that comes with being a single woman living on her own. You have to deal with creepy male neighbours, the occasional handyman who comes over to fix something and thinks they can cheat you because you are a woman. It can be a lot but I wouldn’t change a thing.

*This article is based on real-life events. Names used are mere pseudonyms to protect the identities of the individuals mentioned in the article.

Nigerian Lives is a Culture Custodian weekly series where we hear from Nigerians who share tidbits about what it’s like to live in this country. It goes up every Monday.

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