I used to love yaba. I used to walk around the place admiring the very old structures. The buildings that reminds us of our historical and colonial past.
Buildings that shouted with Portuguese and Brazilian influence.
Borno way, Queens drive and Old Yaba road used to host very beautiful houses with nice architecture.
When you entered the houses, you will see the damp wooden floors, the well constructed but very old windows and the stone balcony.
The high roofs which held secrets of the past and the beauty of the ‘out houses” which usually housed toilets and baths.
When the colonials drove the owners of Ikoyi to obalende, they established Yaba as a base for Civil Servants and other type workers.
They named the streets after themselves and that’s why you get to hear names like McNeal, Hughes Avenue, Queens drive and the rest.
Today those historical monuments have been destroyed. Replaced by very ugly modern apparitions.
Storey buildings that look like ghoulish apparitions. The land sold by families who have fallen by the way side and have carried the blood money earned by selling our heritage to ikorodu to hibernate.
The stretch, Herbert Macaulay street no longer houses the home of the famous nationalist. His family now live in far away Iyana Ipaja having sold the land to modern day pharaohs.
The only thing reminding you of his legacy is an old ugly weather beaten Statue which stands at the Sabo roundabout
Old Borno way is being raped on a daily..the beautiful Colonial mansion that stood in its majesty has been put to sleep.
As you drive around Yaba, you feel like crying. The old building that housed the West African Pilot that was the first Newspaper on Africa has been taken over by ‘mallams’ who sell dollars
But opposite it still stands a very beautiful ancient building still owned by the family and passed on to generations.
I fear they may no longer withstand the wave. They may sell eventually
The old post office is begging to be left alone, but I give it 2 years, it too will soon go down.
The old Brazilian Embassy who has the envious reputation of housing the Queen of England on a visit still stands.
It is by the corner of Queens street and Alagomeji. Covered by very beautiful shrubs, if you dont look carefully you may miss it.
I love it and go stare at it regularly. I wish I had money to buy it and preserve it.
My brother Segun Mcmedals whose inlaws still live in a prototype Brazilian villa retains my respect.
The Bruce family still retain their old Colonial mansion complete with a Grove of bushes which protects it from the stare of marauders.
That’s the only thing remaining on that side of Yaba showcasing our history.
Even they, the family have led an invasion destroying our collective heritage in that part of town.
The old Niger Palace Hotel has been ‘renovated’ severally losing its ancient ambience and left standing in an ugly state like a bride after being exposed to an amateur make up artist
The Nigerian Army in its own savagery has brought down buildings to replace them with brothels and drinking bars.
Murtala Mohammed way is gone. The huge railway complex turning its vintage persona to a concrete jungle.
You will not see the famous Arts Place whose promoter the legendary Art Alade whose son Dare Art Alade carries his legacy on that road anymore.
The beautiful post office near Denton is gone. Replaced with a modern structure that looks like an Egyptian mummy.
If we take a census, I don’t think we will get up to 50 of those beautiful relics left.
Yaba has been destroyed and with it our history as told by the buildings and structures that reminded us of our heritage.
Duke of Shomolu