Ikeja has quite a number of obvious red-light districts, a dangerously fertile gathering of prostitutes, thieves, hoodlums, and all kinds of nefarious characters. After dark, these characters come out to play. They are seen aimlessly milling around in groups on the streets, getting high on all kinds of substances and liquor at beer parlours or joints, cheap hotels and motels, doing little to hide their interest in crime and violence.
The prostitutes stand by the road scantily dressed and in bright coloured outfits, wearing odd, tardy wigs and weaves, and enough heavy makeup to last them the entire night. Walking or standing in cheap, uncomfortable heels and gum-chewing are largely peculiar to these ones. They make motels and hotels their home, for this is where they often meet the demands of their “customers” or make demands of their “customers”.
One of such hotels is the Cornerest Hotel, in Ipodo, Ikeja. The decrepit three-storey building is right in the hive of activities and is, in fact, surrounded by a busy market with stalls where items from as little as recharge cards to items as sizeable as clothes and household items are sold. Normal, daily activities continue around this building, with everyone acting oblivious to the activities going on in the hotel. Rooms and lodgings with air conditioners are available for anyone who wants to have a “good time” in this hotel popular for housing prostitutes. The prostitutes wear their vocation on their sleeves. They do not hide what they do, neither are they ashamed of it. The men, too, spend their time here drinking and smoking, and “enjoying” the services of the prostitutes.
Photo Credit: King Solomon Ekhaiyeme