The Pulse Of Lagos – Carnivorous City by Toni Kan
Time would surely pass but Lagos would forever be my New York. The city with bright lights if the inhabitants pleased PHCN, the city where anyone can make it even if they came on an ABC night bus from Onitsha. Lagos my Lagos has been captured so aptly in the words of Toni Kan in his novel ‘Carnivorous City’. This novel tells the story of Sabato- a Lagos Big Boy who goes missing without a trace and his brother Abel, who lives in a quiet community in Asaba and has to come to the city to find his brother and soon but quckly experiences what it means to live in Lagos.
In this very descriptive novel, Toni Kan captures Lagos in every way a Lagosian would understand as he also addresses the concerns and feelings of a non-Lagosian currently living in the big city. The true essence of the ever pulsing city is depicted as the carnivorous plant that attracts you and then swallows you whole, it is also the lion of the jungle, so majestic you want to catch a glimpse of it in action.
A tale of Abel and the life handed over to him by his younger brother Sabato – a character we are all too familiar with in Lagos, the big money spender, the most popular man on the block with an uneasy heart because of his business ties and has been condemned to a life of looking over his shoulders as he monitors his demons.
Right till the very end I rooted for Sabato, a character who embodied the persona of the city that never sleeps, wired different and ready for the night. The carnivorous city tells a compelling story of the city that is Lagos, the energy, the places, the scales, the people, their stories and the moment that changed their lives.
This review was done in collaboration with the recently concluded Ake Festival