Ever since I returned to the mainland, it has been a tough challenge to get work done with the less than desirable power supply. Most days are void with shouts of ‘Up Nepa’ that greets the return of electricity to the Lagos suburb I reside in. With less power supply, there are higher chances of a dead laptop, phone and power bank.
As I have to still work remotely even after getting ‘released’ by my PPA (Place of Primary Assignment), it has been a tough call carrying out my tasks. When I was on the island, there were many places I could pack my gadgets to and have a fulfilling time working. But places like this on the mainland are far from my place of residence (Ipaja), so I had to do some research first. I did a search for co-working spaces in Ikeja and got several results. So I packed and left for Ikeja by noon, and after an hour I was under the bridge taking a keke napep to Allen for my first co-working space experience. I located the building on Allen, alighted from the vehicle, and crossed. Then there was the ugly shock that greeted me when the front desk person said they had moved. I was dead.
I opened the Google search results from before and suggested an edit of the business as having moved. This time, I tried to be smarter. I called the office lines of the other co-working spaces. The first one did not go through, like the one that disappointed me. These Nigerian businesses, they don’t understand the value of a strong online presence. Eventually, one at Mobolaji Bank Anthony went through, but the lady told me it costs ₦1,500 for a day. What? It was almost noon, and they close at 6 pm. Bad deal. Told her maybe some other time.
From my brother’s recommendation, I had learned there is a Café Neo in Ikeja, and I did a search to know its location. Another business came up at the first result. That isn’t great. If people search for your business and a competitor’s name ranks higher, you need to hire SEO experts to change that. All I could squeeze out about its location from the Neo website was simply ‘Isaac John Street, Ikeja GRA’. Now how do you expect me to find your business with that?
When I got to Isaac John Street, I kept looking here and there for any sign of Café Neo. Luckily, I found the logo on the fence of a building not far from the junction. And so I walked into a Café Neo for the first time.
After making an order, I got the SWIFT password from the attendant and connected with my laptop. The internet speed was irritating such that I had to switch to my phone’s hotspot. Even that one was slow. This just happened to be one of those unfortunate places the internet is horrible at. Anyway when I could get through I used my role as a Google Local Guide to add the business on the map. I added the name, type, opening hours, phone number and photos online. Less than a minute later, Google sent me a mail saying my suggestion had been approved and appreciated my contribution. Oh, I forgot to add that I bought Cold Espresso with milk and sugar. I didn’t even let the ice cubes get the drink cold before I sipped it all (Lagos sun no be here).
So at 3:45 pm, I packed my devices and was well on my way back to my midnight only powered Baruwa, Ipaja. That is how I found my favourite hangout spot on the mainland. So if you live around the Ikeja Environment, I enjoin you to check Café Neo out at their Isaac John outlet.