The Lekki arts and Crafts market is like a hidden treasure island patiently waiting to be discovered. If you love works of art and crafts then you need to add visiting this place to your bucket list. If you love exploring the endless possibilities and skills of the African culture, history and tradition, then you need to see this place too.
Arts and crafts is such a beauty to behold, sadly I never had the opportunity to incorporate it into my space until recently. After surfing the internet for a while I was certain about a few pieces i could work with. The next step was actually buying them, I came across a couple of online stores that stock similar pieces the deal breaker turned out to be the pricing. A little outrageous, yet still tempted to work with the cost as I didn’t spot an available option.
Luckily (I’m literally screaming as I type this) I found an alternative, an avenue to actually shop beautiful and unique African decor pieces “The Lekki Arts and Crafts Market” also called The Oba Elegushi Market or Jakande Market and located at Oba Elegushi street, Off Lekki-Epe expressway Lagos, Nigeria.
WHEN TO VISIT
Unfortunately, due to the corona virus preventive measures at the time I visited, a new rule, one I knew nothing about had been implemented, a change in opening days and closing days, so on my first visit, I did not have the opportunity to look around as the stalls were barricaded and locked up, I had to visit the next day.
However, I asked the traders a couple of questions about how busy the market gets on normal days and they advised picking weekdays over weekends since it gets a bit rowdy during the weekends because people take the break from work as an opportunity to visit to either shop or on sight seeing. Hitherto, if you are a content creator or a blogger, you might want to pick a weekday to visit to avoid the rush, to have access to crystal, clear pictures free from intrusion here and there and of course.
Also, check with the weather to make sure you visit on a sunny day, the market is a sight to behold when sun-kissed.
Ensure to tick all boxes above before embarking on the trip.
WHAT TO EXPECT
The market is well arranged in rows and neat too, at least the part I made my entry with was, as well as the stores I visited. The traders spoke basic and simple english making communication easy too. If you speak rich expensive queen’s English then you might want to tone it down a bit for smooth communication.
Sight seeing never hurt anyone. I advice that you do a bit of sight seeing, move from stall to stall using the opportunity to take pictures for your blog or article if you are a creative (killing two birds with one stone) while taking mental notes of items you wish to cart.
Even if you are not a blogger or creative, I’d still advice that you move around the market, ask for prices too as you move from stall to stall to allow you do comparisons before finally picking the best items and at the best rates too because in the end, it should be a win-win situation.
WHAT TO REMEMBER
Some might say acting friendly works to the disadvantage of the buyer but in my opinion it does the exact opposite, initiating small talks with traders might make your experience less stressful as it happened for me.
I got familiar with a trader who seemed like a tour guide and he made the shopping easier. All I had to do was tell him what I needed or simply show him a picture and he would take me straight to the trader, he went as far as providing assistance by making a couple of bargains on my behalf thereby saving my energy, time and money of course.
Also, he provided the option of making an exchange for two items more than a month after purchase as I ensured that I kept in touch. Loosen up, visit with a free mind, have fun, ask questions and shop with caution too to avoid going bankrupt because trust me, it might be difficult initiating the stop sign.
WHAT TO BUY
Although, I cannot exactly tell you what to buy, however for insights on the most popular items you’ll likely find at almost every spot in the market, check pictures below.
I didn’t take as much pictures as I desired as my battery died almost immediately i got into the market so if you have plans of visiting, please make sure you go with a well charged battery, because there are so many beautiful pieces to actually capture and beautiful people too, in all shapes and colours, I even made a friend, a young lady who fell in love with my hat and volunteered to flex her photography skill by taking some pictures and yes, the pictures came out great.
Few lucky pieces found their way into my home including a gigantic wall frame, wicker baskets, serving trays, a picnic bag, a beach hat, lots of white sea shells, wall decorations, a centre table piece(a large crocodile), a jewellery box, a complete dinner set (a wooden wine cup, a wooden soup plate and flat plate). No trader had wooden curtleries in stock at the time and it left me heartbroken, however you might be in luck, lucky enough to cart home a nice cutlery set when you finally visit. Well if you do, make sure you buy for two.
I was also this close to carting the famous pampas grass. Sadly, luck forgot to shine its blinding lights on me as the trader with the pass was absent at the time, better luck next time hopefully.
- The entire market has a natural outlook and is breathtaking in the most simple way, if you have intentions of creating stunning contents there, I’d suggest you employ a simple and natural theme, one that would naturally complement the environment seamlessly. A simple makeup, simple dress code too. Well, depending on what your identity portrays, you might want to do otherwise, in the end, Just do YOU.
- Make sure you go with someone with amazing photography skills, someone with apt knowledge on angles and lighting positions (the roofing in some stalls tend to block the amount of lighting that gets across other stalls). You’ll need someone with knowledge on how to get the best out of lighting to ensure you win on all ends.
- Lastly, enjoy your visit and make sure to share your thoughts and feedbacks about your experience with me and other avid lovers of art and everything craft.