I work from home a lot… My room is my workspace. While this might seem like the dream seeing as I get to avoid Lagos roads and traffic, and work flexibly, it’s also the worst arrangement as power supply is erratic in Nigeria, and generators are noisy and I almost can’t resist a well laid bed so I am tempted to sleep off or I get distracted by something else at home.
I’ve found out that you can work from almost anywhere in Lagos if you really have no choice… In traffic, KFC and even mama put. Deals can be closed anywhere especially when you are the one receiving the money… don’t let anyone deceive you. Noise: what noise?
What happens when you have to do work that you actually need a quiet place for like writing, freelancing, or when you want to read for an important exam?
Remember how I tried to study for the Gmat exam and the IELTS some months ago, I studied for both exams from home and at some point, I could not read at home anymore … I decided to look for the best places to study from (mostly on the mainland) at a minimal cost. There are coworking spaces in Lagos, some of which I have access to but I really wanted to find out options available to regular Lagosians like me at little or no cost.
Dingy suspicious buildings, Mosquitoes at unilag waterfront, rude people in sweet sensation, loud music in TFC, .. Etc. But I came out victorious… I found ok places to read for almost free and aced my exams… whoop whoop.. Click To Tweet
Here’s my list:
- Cafés like Cafe neo: Cafes are great places to work from all around the world and the most popular one in lagos is Cafe Neo. The Cafe Neo in yaba was closer to me so I used that a lot but it was really tiny and sometimes crowded… maybe not always but all the time I visited, I had to wait to get a seat. Also, seeing as Yaba is the Silicon Valley of Nigeria also called Yabacon valley (I hate that name btw.. ) You will definitely meet a lot of techies and “creatives” in the Café Neo in Yaba trying to work or having those their endless meetings… That gives it a serious kinda vibe. You might actually like it if you don’t mind the peculiarities. The experiences in the Café Neos in Lekki and Ikoyi are much better and conducive for work as they are bigger and well thought out. You can check out their website for the location closest to you.
- American corner yaba: This is located on the ground floor in Cchub building yaba.. Its on the ground floor and its easy to miss. It’s behind a very unremarkable door that reminds me of Platform 9 and 3/4 in harry potter. Lol. It’s a perfect place to read when they don’t have a noisy event going on. They have constant electricity and fast internet. This used to be my best place to read at the beginning of the year and last year but its gotten quite popular and a little bit crowded. The con of the place is that its quite small and You are not allowed to use your laptop. This can also be a good thing if you don’t have a laptop as they will give you a chrome book to use if you need one for your work. (If a lot of people need laptops on the day you visit then you can use it for 2 hours. )here you are given a laptop to use for about 2 hours. The internet connection is good and there’s always electricity. They also have books. I found books I was able to use to study for my IELTS and GMAT exam. There’s an American corner in multiple states in the country. I think 12 states. Its actually an initiative by the American consulate to address the issue of places to study in developing countries and you can check out the one closest to you here. I wish the one in Lagos was bigger sha and in multiple Locations in Lagos.
- Gtb library yaba: This is the official lagos state library, renovated and painted orange by GTB.. Its located in Yaba and apart from the fact that there’s no parking space, It’s not a bad place to read. I almost couldn’t use the place at all because its always crowded and you have to come super early to get a space. But eventually, I got there pretty early and got a seat but I just couldn’t concentrate. The vibe wasn’t right, there was no mobile network to use the internet with and there were so many people waiting to get a space that I felt kinda guilty.. I had other options but not everyone else has. So I got up and offered my space to someone else. They also have a space for coding classes which I thought was really cool. https://techpoint.ng/2017/07/12/herbert-macaulay-yaba-elibrary/
Can i rant a little about how there’s almost nowhere to park your car in Yaba? Why am I the only one complaining
4. Zodml (Zaccheus Onumba Dibiaezue Memorial Library) : Located on Awolowo road in Ikoyi. The name is a mouthful so I just call it that library in Ikoyi. This is a hidden gem.. I’ve had 2 of my friends study here for their ICAN and ACCA exams and they loved it. I haven’t used it for some strange reason even though I’ve been there.. (Had to leave almost immediately) but its an almost free library which was either donated by an NGO after the death of an influential man. You need to pay for a library card and I think that’s all. I don’t know about the facilities they have there.. I know there’s a generator for electricity and security men but it’s a good place if you need a place to study considering how private and unknown it is. Check out their website here
- Terraculture: Terrakulture is easily my best place to go to in Lagos… It has everything you want and needs in there… I once spent almost 10 hours of my life there… I went to the bookstore to get a book, then the restaurant to eat.. Seeing how serene it was I brought out my laptop and started to work, took a break and went to see the art gallery, got joined by friends and we had drinks then we bought a ticket t see a play before going home!! All in one building. I don’t know if they do this anymore, but TerraKulture used to have a library/workspace where you pay and get a space and internet to read/work. I used it once but wasn’t so comfortable. If you don’t mind the chatter of people you could go to their terrace and do some work while you eat (It’s a restaurant). This is what I do all the time. As a footnote… Once, a friend and I went there very early in the morning to buy something and we met the owner Bolanle Austen Peters cleaning tables with her staff… we recognized her, walked up to her to have a conversation and I was just super awed with her.
Some other places to check out are:
- Bogobiri: I only go there for events but It’s a bookstore and I went there once in the afternoon. It was totally empty and super quiet. I was able to read but not for long as it just felt awkward.. Let me know if you have used bogobiri to study before.
- Unilag waterfront: If you can ignore the mosquitoes, absence of chairs and smell of the lagoon, It’s a perfect place to study. Unilag students are always studying there so it gives it a relaxed study vibe. I really liked studying here but I don’t like being eaten alive by mosquitoes. Oh and bring your own chairs.
- Jazzhole: I see pictures of it and I even RSVP for events going on there but It’s strange how I’ve never been to jazzhole before. It’s a really nice place but I really don’t know how conducive it is to study/work.
- Freedom Park: once I had to have a meeting and was stuck in traffic in marina. My college said we should enter freedom park to take a call and it was amazing. We got drinks, went to one quiet area and had a 1-hour meeting. There are not so many events there during the week and They have quite a number of hidden places you could chill to gist, read or do whatever you want to do. There’s also a kinda VIP seating area upstairs
- Ndubuisi Kanu Park in Alausa: I’ve never been there but looks like it will be an ok place to study if there are no events going on there. Oh and there’s free wifi there sooooo….
These places are not on the first list because they are usually used for events and not exactly set apart for studying and reading. You can if you want to and can find the right time when its silent
Do you have a place you work or read from? Please share in the comment section below.
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