There is something for everyone at the bustling Yaba Market in Lagos, Nigeria.
Chatter rises from the merchants, whose stalls stretch across miles of cracked gray concrete and tamped earth. They might sell baskets of fresh fruit, wheelbarrows filled with phone cases, piles of sequined fabric, or racks of second-hand clothes.
If you’re lucky, you might find a vintage jacket you’ve been looking for, or a pair of durable Levi’s jeans. But you’ll never be as lucky as Dencity: the coolest of Lagos’ coolest kids. These skaters, often dressed in a uniform of baggy pants and crop tops, go to the market every week to frugal. Armed with fashion knowledge that only the young, fun and determined can possess, they set out to find the best streetwear they can find.
Founded by 26-year-old Blessing Ewona in 2020 in response to the lack of spaces for young queer people and female skaters in Nigeria, Dencity skate, dream and thrift together. From their trips to the market to regular skate gatherings at the dilapidated National Stadium or the beach at Tarkwa Bay, they’ve traced their own map of the city.
“I tried to find one,” she said, referring to a group she felt at home in, “and then I said, let me build one myself.” Not only for me, but also for other people like me who want such a community, but don’t know how to go about it.”