On a sunny afternoon in Lagos, Nigeria, Kayak business owner Diane Williams is marketing her services to customers on the shores of the Atlantic ocean.
Here, the Lagos lagoon provides opportunities for people who want to get a different view of the city while Kayaking
Despite its proximity to the ocean, water sports and activities such as a kayaking, canoeing or surfing remain rare in Lagos.
“This is like the craziest experience I have ever had in my entire life. You know at some point I was feeling like what if a big fish, like a shark just comes out and just swallows me, what will happen to me? Like you know the tides where just going, the waves and everything,” said Lagos resident, Oluchi Eged.
“My first time, I felt I did not do too bad, you know it is just to listen to instructions and probably know what to do. You know many people stand a high risk of actually falling in, but I think if you should just listen to what you are supposed to do, I think everything will be fine,” added another Henry Nwankwo.
Nigeria’s sprawling city of Lagos mostly sits on a coastal plain. For Kayaking enthusiast Diane who has been living in Nigeria for thirty five years, the lagoon presented an opportunity to promote the sport.
Three years ago, she launched her business, where clients spend between 300 Naira (9 USD) to 6000 Naira (17 USD), for sessions that last between one to four hours. Visitors also get to learn basics of Kayaking.
Diane said that although business was slow at first, it has slowly picked up through word of mouth.
“Most have never kayaked before so as you can see some of the kayakers today, most of them never did, one man was a little scared on his own but I took him out with me and I let him do the paddling once we got out there and he was quite happy,” she added.
Diane said she plans to expand her business and add more kayaks to the seven that she currently has. She is also working to reach more people with her services through social media.