#HaveyouHeard! Naija has a Hotel Culture.

Culture: the way of life of a group of people. At least so I was taught in Social studies class some donkey years ago. However, this term has over the years sprung up one too many semantics. Some have come to terms with an ideology that wherever people live, work and often share similar interest, culture develops in such a space.

A social researcher once told me, that culture is like a bacteria (good or bad) once it finds root in a safe space, it grows. That is why you would find culture in music as the example of pop culture, in arts, in business (as seen in their fashion and speech). you name it, wherever and whatever floods the interest of a group of people, Culture develops there.

A couple of months ago, I had a random yet informative conversation with my fellow culture critiques on culture and identity after some vodka shots. One of whom is from the Gambia and had visited Lagos, Nigeria recently for the first time out of nowhere said with so much excitement that:’Nigeria has what I call a hotel culture Tolu’. My other friend and I who were both Nigerians were taken aback for a second to digest and comprehend what he actually meant. He probably saw the confusion on our faces so he went further to say: Nigerians have a thing for using hotels for almost everything. the hotel is a broke man’s way to hide his sexual sins while owning a guest house is the rich man’s way to follow suite. It then dawned on us that Nigerian men and cougars alike have made it a ‘thing’ to use the hotel or what we called ‘hush houses’ to satisfy their secret desires and in other cases, for those really discreet meetings that can not and should not be held in public. It seems according to my Gambian friend that the hotel management have come to this understanding and have become experts at keeping mum over what happens with their clients. (i mean, what happens in room 117 stays there right?).

He further told us that that must be the reason why you find a hotel or a guest house (as they are often called) almost at every street you walk on. Though we are yet to fully accept his standpoint, it seems like a reality we never knew existed. So for those in Nigeria, and those planning to visit, say hello to the new culture called Hotel Hush!



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