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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Differences between Oniru Beach and Kuramo Beach in Lagos

It is the tale of two beaches from
Emmanuel Onyeche who visited Kuramo
and Oniru Private Beach. He writes
that though they are just metres apart,
their vision and mode of operation
place them in two different worlds
The echo of a loud shout from Oniru
Private Beach would be heard at
Kuramo Beach. These
two beaches, located along the shore
line of the Atlantic Ocean in high brow
Victoria Island, promise lots of fun and
entertainment to their visitors.
But that is where the comparison ends.
Oniru – very private and exclusive –
offers serenity and protection to its
upper class visitors while Kuramo –
chaotic, untidy and unsafe - continues
to wallow in the notoriety it created
for itself with its swarming presence of
cheap prostitutes and criminals.
To cross over to Oniru from Kuramo,
one would need to first scale the
hurdle of money and security. Oniru
collects a gate fee of a minimum of
N1000 per person. This amount could be
up to N4000 when a show is being hosted
there like the one popular musicians,
Tuface Idibia and MI the rapper
participated in last Christmas Eve. Quite
a number of security personnel and
bouncers at Oniru are also ready to
embarrass any intruder.
Even if the struggling average guy
manages to sneak into Oniru from
Kuramo, he would need to be careful
as the charges could burst his pocket.
Bottled beer is not allowed at Oniru
and each can beer costs N300.
To sit under a canopy with four chairs
and a table, one would need to pay
N1,500 exclusive of the drinks and food.
Also, the bottled spirits – wines,
whisky and champagne – are quite
expensive and they are even much
more so depending on the exclusivity
and popularity of the bar where you
drink them.
At G12 – a popular and highly
patronized bar – you would need as
much as N11,000 for a bottle of Moet
Chandon – a popular champagne.
VSOP brand of Hennesy costs N10,000
while the 'Ox' brand can go for as
much as N50,000. G12 is so popular that
it was declared the best youth hang
out in 2010 at Dynamix awards.
Dynamix organization publishes a youth
magazine. Mr. Daniel Ekaragha who
works at Oniru says a group at a table
in G12 can sometimes spend hundreds
of thousands of naira in a few hours.
Dagrin, a popular musician who is now
late is said to have cut his musical
teeth at G12
But it is a bar called D-Block, owned
by one of the princes of Oniru, that is
the most exclusive. Mr Ayo Alele who
also works at Oniru says you can have
your pockets bursting with money and
still be refused entry at D-Block. Other
notable bars are The Royale, Hi,
Arisco, Handyz, Tommy and Ekaabo.
Food at Oniru is also different from
what obtains at Kuramo where several
local restaurants offer local varieties
from N50 and above depending on
what one can afford. At Oniru, Lolac
restaurant, said to be owned by an
unnamed wife of a celebrity, handles
the popular local varieties like pounded
yam, 'fufu', 'amala' with assorted meat
and soup and you need a minimum of
N700 to eat there. Lolac is said to operate
a branch in the United Kingdom.
Different Babacue fish stands at the
different bars also cost between N1,300
and N3000. Shawama hot dog costs N800 for
the single and as much as N1,200 for
the double. The fish is exclusively
croaker and it is grilled and garnished.
There are also lots of summer huts
owned by the same people who own
the bars and they are rented out to
people.
For all these, a clean and tidy beach
front awaits the visitor at Oniru which
is quite a big contrast to what happens
when Kuramo where cheap prostitutes
rent a space that is the size of a
dining table's top for N500 a day and
ask for as low as N300 for few minutes
of sex.
A source who did not want his name
mentioned says that many of these
prostitutes are under age girls who are
regularly made pregnant by men old
enough to be their daddies and uncles.
At Kuramo, the beach front is an
eyesore and it is nothing to be
shocked about to see people defecating
openly there. To lie down on the beach
sand at Kuramo is akin to a big risk.
Kuramo is also home to lots of
homeless Lagosians whose kids are
seen running over the entire beach and
getting enmeshed in the quagmire.
Kuramo is also said to be the hideout
of criminals who are always close to
where there are prostitutes.
Pastor Adamson Orioye who operates a
church said he had been at Kuramo
for over a year and his regular
members were not yet 10. He said his
possible converts at Kuramo preferred
a church where they could go and
worship and still have the freedom to
engage in their wrong doings.
He nevertheless said he would not
relent in his effort to win souls at
Kuramo as he had been called to do
so.
Business goes on all day at Kuramo
but at Oniru, if you are not in by 12
pm, entry is restricted but once you
are in, you can leave when you like.
"The special thing about Oniru is that
you enjoy the regular services of a
night club but this time at the beach,"
says Ekaragha.
Women of easy virtue are also found
at Oniru but they are said to be the
ones in a special class that can pay
the gate fee and buy the expensive
items on their own while waiting to
catch the man of their dream.
At Kuramo and Oniru however,
smoking Indian hemp seemed to be a
common occurrence as it is done
openly with no one bothered about it.

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