The BBC’s three-part series Welcome to Lagos was widely praised, and criticised. Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka castigated the “colonialist idea of the noble savage which motivated the programme”. The stories collected on a rubbish dump, in a meat market and beside the lagoon of Nigeria’s ‘Mega City’ are sympathetically portrayed. But in depicting resourcefulness and the precarious nature of everyday urban life, the series emphasised the commonality of human experience. For viewers in Britain, seldom has Africa seemed so close to home.