Uncommon Stories

Living In Onitsha

To many Nigerians, living in Onitsha is like living in a war zone. Anything can happen – and so fast. They believe that people are robbed – or shot at – every minute. The story of that city sounds as if you need more than divine grace to survive in that city.

Nevertheless, Onitsha metropolis is arguably the most populated city in South East Nigeria and will make the list of the first ten most populated cities nationwide. Because of the density – and the inflow of people into the city – Onitsha can boast of having the highest number of high-rising residential houses in the whole of West Africa.

Onitsha is known for its commercial nature. Almost every cranny of the city has a market. There are the Relief Market, Ochanja, Ogbo Rod, Timber Market, and many more. The one-time biggest market in the whole of West Africa, Main Market, is in Onitsha.

In Nigeria, Onitsha needs no introduction. It is a commercial octopus that spreads its tentacles to every part of the nation. People troop in daily to buy things from Onitsha. And while the huge cash flow wets the land, the criminal elements saw in the boom an opportunity.

But Onitsha remains the home of millions of people. The secondary schools in Onitsha are among the best in the country and their records are enviable. People living outside Onitsha send their kids to study in schools in the city.

And while some wonder how people survive in Onitsha, many in Onitsha have no plan of relocating from the town that pays their bills.

Watch as residents of Onitsha share their side of the story.

Ozii Baba, a TedX Speaker, is an Onitsha-based storyteller and social entrepreneur. He works directly with children and young people.

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