FUTURE LAGOS | Voices of the City: Mark Slade

‘…when I see a hawker sprinting 100m in flip-flops for a 50 Naira sale, it pushes you to do more.’

Our voice of the city this week is Mark Slade, an entrepreneur who is an advocate for great outdoor spaces.


Voices of the City is a weekly feature that spotlights the everyday lives of our citizens, living and working in the city. By asking the same five questions to all our interviewees, we discover not only how our experiences of the city differ, but also what we share. It is a daunting task to try and capture the diverse experiences of our city’s inhabitants, but we feel that it is a worthy, and necessary, endeavor, in order to better understand the present and future of our city. 

This week we meet Mark Slade is Head of Swiss Digital Marketing business RDM and co-owner of Lotus at Pattaya, Bar – Lounge. He originally stayed in Lagos 7 years ago for a 6-month contract, he enjoyed it so much he moved back full-time.

Question: What about Lagos inspires you the most?

Quite simply the energy and the hustle. I’m not one to sit down and do nothing. Even at the end of a long day when the traffic is horrible and I’m hungry and tired, when I see a hawker sprinting 100m in flip-flops for a 50 Naira sale, it pushes you to do more. The energy brings movement, which brings change. The landscape is constantly evolving and visionary people are constantly creating. I love it.

QDo you have a secret space or place that you enjoy in the city?

I’d have to say Lotus (no shame!). My oldest Nigerian friend and I had a vision of creating somewhere different for people to enjoy back in 2008 when I first came to Lagos. We opened almost a year ago. After hard days in the office or on the road, it’s my favourite place for calm – and a beer.

Q: What was the last exciting event you attended in the city?

As it’s wedding season, I’d probably have to say a wedding last Saturday in Lekki. Nigerian weddings are a lot of fun. Great outfits, great people in high spirits and lots of drinking and dancing. Any excuse to wear my white trad.

Q: What frustrates you about the city?

The basics. Traffic doesn’t affect me too often, my commute is quite short so I’m lucky there. But if fuel, light, Internet or the phone networks are not working, I’ve learnt it’s best to breathe, smile and enjoy a rare moment of nothingness. That said, if deadlines are pending, it’s annoying!

QYou can have dinner with one person living or dead. Who is it and why?

Richard Branson. He is an all-round achiever. I admire him for for having such influence on a global scale, and he has fun doing it.

This interview was done by Nothing to do in Lagos and Future Lagos

For more Lagos voices: Lola Adefope,  Papa OmotayoOyindamola FakeyeMedina Dugger, Dolapo Adejuyigbe

About FutureLagos

Olamide Udoma is a researcher, writer and filmmaker holding degrees in BSc Architecture, MA Design and MPhil Infrastructure Management. Olamide has worked in London, South Africa and Nigeria with various organisations focusing on transport management, slum upgrading and housing rights in urbanising African cities. At Our Future Cities NPO, she is the Lagos manager and editor.