Festivities have been muted this December in Nigeria as a cost of living crisis reaches new heights.
Lagos, Nigeria – Chinenye Ikechukwu’s Decembers are usually dotted with concerts, parties, and restaurant and beach outings with friends. But this year, the 27-year-old resident of Yaba in Lagos has stayed mostly at home due to the economic downturn plaguing Africa’s largest economy.
The rising cost of living and soaring inflation, which stands at 28 percent, forced her to draw up a preference list. What was most painful to strike out was Detty December, as Nigeria’s end-of-year celebrations are known. They feature a rolling succession of concerts, parties and other festivities.
“The point is that Detty December this year is very tough, and this is the worst recession I have ever seen. These days, you come back to something that you saw just the day before, and it has an increased price,” she told Al Jazeera. “And there is nothing to do about it.”
Lagos, the nerve centre of Nigeria’s entertainment scene, puts on hundreds, if not thousands, of events every December. This extravaganza also goes on in towns and villages far from Lagos but at a much slower pace.
These concerts are a big contributor to the music industry’s more than $2bn in annual revenue.