I have always sparingly heard of Freedom Park but never gave much thought to what it was or the history behind the name, truth is it never rang a bell to think of the name; not until I visited the park last weekend and saw the sculptures and sign about the prison cells before it dawned on me what the name represents and I had the expression like – “oh, really?!”
Just before I tell you more about my visit and best time to visit the park, let me share with you a little of what I learnt about it.
Freedom Park Lagos is born out of the ruins of Her Majesty’s Broad Street Prisons. It was reconstructed to preserve the history and cultural heritage of the Nigerian People. The Freedom Park is a Heritage Site
Freedom Park Lagos is a National Memorial, a Historical landmark, a Cultural site & an Arts and Recreation centre.
So I was at the Park last weekend for Afropolitan Vibes hosted by Bantu and his crew that holds monthly, it was my first time and as I walked towards where the “iGroove Radio” was situated within the park, I was welcomed by aromas of tantalizing chops of different kinds – “asun”, chicken and chips, barbecues, at a point I lost count of several smells I perceived as I couldn’t really tell what they were, but they smelled heavenly, enough to rouse one’s appetite and make a stomach groan.
The program kicked off at about 8:20 pm with lots of danceable beats and melodies from Bantu and his crew to open the show. I must say that, if you cannot stand for too long but you don’t want to miss an iota of the show by seating away from the venue, it is advisable to arrive at the venue earlier so you can spot a place to seat at the bar close to where the stage is always set up. Truth is, it was so much fun I didn’t even realize I had been standing for two hours. If you are a lover of jazz, pop, traditional or soul music, this is a show you are bound to fall in love with like I did – you can call it love at first “attendance”.
The only part I disliked was the rate at which cigarette smoke was puffing in the air that day, I had to walk away frequently to get a breathe of clean air so as not to get choked – maybe I just have overly sensitive nostrils that can pick virtually any smell from a mile radius.
I would advise that if you do not stay close the venue, getting back home can also pose a problem if you do not have a car or made prior arrangements for a taxi. You can choose to book a hotel around Freedom Park Lagos for the night. There are cheap hotels you can get around for as low as
An entrance fee of 500 naira applies per person; the payment will be made at the gate with a ticket issued to you and symbol on your hand made with a stamp.
Black Heritage Festival is also an event that holds yearly in the park.