Meandering through the maze that is Balogun Market with my friend and a guide to ensure we didn’t get lost, one can see why this market is a favorite among Lagosians. Touted as the best market in Lagos Island to find fabrics, shoes, jewelry and all things fashionable, the traders happily sit in their stalls calling out or waiting for their next customers.
At the sight of a camera, they were all too happy to ask for their pictures to be taken, pose and request that their pictures be sent to them by any means necessary.
Balogun Market has different sections and it’s easy to get lost if you don’t know your way around.
Each stall is much bigger than it looks at first glance. Upon entry, there’s usually an inner section with more things on offer. As usual, have your wits around you and be ready to haggle. As the song says ‘if you no get sense, they go just gba e l’oju‘ (loosely translated to mean ‘if you’re not smart, you’ll get swindled‘).
We went there to source for fabric as my friend sells and makes clothes and also to look for some jewelry, but left with more than we wanted.
The key to going to the market is getting an early start as our journey started at about 9.00 am. It’s also important to know exactly what it is you want to get as it’s very possible to get carried away by other things you might see along the way.
While this isn’t necessary a bad thing, it can take up a lot of your time and you might find out you didn’t get what you originally went for.
You can definitely get overwhelmed by the crowd (if you go early you can avoid this) and the amount of wares on offer but stick to your guns and your budget.
While people are friendly, you also have to be careful and be about your wits as there are pick pockets and you could easily find yourself without one or two valuable items.
Another interesting part of a market trip is the food. After a long walk under the sun shopping and haggling, you can be sure you’ll work up an appetite. From the entrance of the market right down to the end (wherever that might be), there are food vendors peddling local delicacies and for those who aren’t adventurous, there are a couple of fast food restaurants.
The next time you’re look to go shopping, why not head down to Lagos Island, stroll into Balogun market and pick up a couple of items for yourself. Besides, it’s often cheaper buying in the market than in the stores you find in town.