“(The Brazilian quarter) represents where the original returnees were. Sadly most of the houses have gone and have been replaced with not so good buildings,…You see the old and then the new structures coming up and that’s how it goes… they just vanish and disappear.”
These are the words of Peju Fatuyi, an architect and volunteer with Legacy, a nonprofit working to save Lagos’ historic buildings. In a report by CNN, she describes Afro-Brazilian buildings as an embodiment of culture, able to tell the stories of those that both built it and lived in it. “A picture freezes a moment in time. A building freezes a time.” she stated. The decaying facades and passages of these buildings might not have the shiny veneer of Lagos’ booming commercial hubs, but they represent an important place in time.
The most pertinent ruin of Lagos’ diminishing Afro-Brazilian cityscape is that of Iloja Bar, which stood on Tinubu Square and was the center of the community’s social scene. It was recognized as a national monument. But in 2016 was bulldozed down, and is now just rubble.
“I think it’s a national loss. Even the Brazilian Embassy recognized the building, It is just the epitome of what is happening in our society. How the old buildings are just being taken away and destroyed.”