"On the streets, everybody is an area boy"

Lagos Nigeria - In one of Africa's most industrious cities, skyscrapers sprawl the length of oceans and slums find holds in crannies everywhere. Here, you are bound to come across different kinds of people, but if there is a set of people that you'll definitely meet in almost every street corner in Lagos, it’s the area boys. According to 'Volume'; "The streetman might be the most useful person to you, but how wise are you to have separate the weed from the shaft?"

Awon boyz follows the lives and journey of 8 area boys living on the streets of Lagos. It sheds a much needed light on their struggles, ambitions, dreams, fears, peculiarities and the commonness that makes them human like everyone else, but will it be enough to change society's perception of them as Public Enemy number one?

The street no dey look your face, so make sure say as you waka come na so you go waka go.

The street is home so close your eyes and and rest on the cushioning breast of an ever open arm.

The street na teacher so hold ur street smart or hand as you dey enter class.

For here anything goes and nothing dey hardly go.

Awon boyz welcomes you to the street... shine your eye as you dey enter.


Jerome Roland - Yobo

All that artist cum entrepreneur Jerome needs is 100,000 to kickstart his entrepreneurial dream and he is serious about it but he speculates that to get 100k in Nigeria now is not easy.

He believes that the environment plays a huge role in a person’s life and success although he admits that you can walk out of any environment and make something for yourself, that was, however, with an addendum that this is a rather difficult thing to achieve in Nigeria due to lack of care from the Government.

His love for his wife and daughter is evident in the way he talks about and looks at them, he calls his wife ‘young but very understanding’ and says his happiest moment in life was when his daughter was born.

Yobo wants a better life and a society that’ll be okay for everyone irrespective of family or educational background.

Muri Malik - Ete

Ete understands how ‘dress how you’d like to be addressed’ works and how first impressions are made, perhaps that’s why his first words were a disclaimer that he is not a thief even though that’s what you would think he is at first glance.

After losing his dad at the age of 12, he was taken to his hometown in Ilorin but escaped back to Lagos because he was treated poorly by his guardians.

He was enrolled in elementary school but he was never serious about his studies and his stay with his poor mother in Lagos didn’t bode well as she could barely fend for herself so he ran back to the streets he had always known.

His career as a conductor started from Orile Iganmu and has now moved to CMS, he has a family and an apartment in Abeokuta.

Ete is quite popular in the streets and has several brawl scars to prove it, as a way of entrenching his kingly area boys status in the street, he demanded that he be called Ete because that’s what Big men, Chiefs and wealthy people in Calabar are referred to.

Avolumeh Adams - Volume

After riots destroyed multi-talented visual and performing artist; Avolumeh’s business in Kano, he travelled to Lagos in search of a better life but a bitter experience with Area Boys carting away his valuables left him with little choice but to be one himself.

He began pimping out ladies to men and makes as much as 45,000 to 80,000 daily, his success no doubt is attributed to his soft-spoken nature and ever-present smile.

Volume’s passion for the arts hasn’t simmered one bit in the streets, he feels free and this is evident in the beautiful artworks, graffiti and paintings in his makeshift studio and environment. He credits the streets as his confidence, courage and dream motivator and he credits the street as the muse behind his masterpieces.

Now, all he wants is a better life for his children and more opportunities for people living on the streets and in the ghetto slums.

Lekan Raphael Oladunjoye - Agamma

At the New Afrika Shrine - home to the acclaimed Fela Kuti and a relaxation centre for French President when he came visiting, Agamma arranges his Fela shirts and runs his hands through the long string of hair in the middle of his otherwise bald scalp.

He regaled us with tales of his rough childhood streets and how he ran away from home to the shrine where Fela took him into his home.

Much like his mentor, Fela; Agamma sings about Freedom, Corruption, Justice and Love but unlike Fela, he is not confrontational at all but he will fight back when pushed to the wall.

He believes in honest work but gives us much insight into what pushes a lot of young people into crime.


Writer / Producer / Director Tolulope Itegboje
Executive Producer Steve Babaeko
Associate Producers Omotoyosi Anifowose
Adeola Fadola
Director of Photography Kagho Idhebor
Editor Chuka Ejorh (Blink Studios)
Music Composition / Sound Design IBK Spaceshipboi
Stills Photography Logor Oluwamuyiwa
Location Manager / Fixer Kehinde Imoleayomini
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