For every pair of original Yeezy 360’s there are at least a 100 fakes. For a sneaker head like me, who actually checks the forums and knows all the little details that an original is supposed to have, going out to TPL or Mente De Moda is like starring in an episode of Myth Busters. And they’ve gotten so good at the dupes, so good.
Lagos is a bastard, especially when it comes to the weather. I can’t tell you how many times I leave my house on a bright, sunny day only for some freak rain to turn Lagos into a swamp. If you see someone walking knee deep in rain with his pristine vintage Jordans in a cellophane bag over his head, that’d probably be me. Don’t be an asshole, say hi.
THE GOOD STUFF NEVER BEING AVAILABLE IN YOUR COUNTRY
In case no one told you, the first rule of being a sneaker head in Nigeria is furnishing yourself with decent internet from at least two providers and a personal Amazon/Ebay account. The good stuff never, NEVER comes to Nigeria. Have you been to the Nike stores in Lagos? They’re still selling shoes from 2012 (because your government won’t let them import the good stuff without ridiculous tax tariffs). And if a miracle happens and new sneakers do come to Nigeria, they’re almost always sold out before you get to the store. So be kind to yourself beloved, and pre-order that shit direct from the Reebok site.
Hahahahaha! Forget that Nigerians don’t know the ultimate goal of a sneaker head is to have a pair of sneaks that match every obscure colour in your wardrobe. Good luck getting shoes that aren’t black or white (and if you’re lucky, all shades of blue). You won’t even find fake converses in a colour like maroon, let alone fuschia. Ogbeni, get your card, close your eyes and open Amazon.
ALL THE CELEB SNEAKER LINES IN NIGERIA ARE SO TACKY
I want to buy Nigerian, I really do. God knows it would be easier on my wallet, plus I’d be supporting a local brand. But have you seen these Nigerian celebrity sneaker lines? It’s bad enough that they’re merely clones of international sneaker lines, but why they gotta have so many colours though? What’s with all the logos everywhere (*cough* Sasha P, Rugged Man *cough*). I’ve bought clothes I knew I wouldn’t wear because #BuyNigerian but sneakers? Nah. Y’all need to do better. Funfere Koroye does do good work though, you should cop something from him.
FINDING FELLOW SNEAKER HEADS
I’ll gladly endure everything else Lagos throws at me, as long as I find my own community of sneaker heads who actually collect because they understand and appreciate the work that goes into the design of each sneaker, it’s pedigree and function, its exclusivity and accessibility, original year of manufacture and how many reissues have been made, all the geek stuff. But finding a fellow sneaker head who isn’t in it for bragging rights or doesn’t have his head wedged firmly up his ass is like finding a grounded Nigerian techpreneur.
But I’m nothing if not persistent. I keep searching.