Ajegunle, which means “THE RESIDENT OF WEALTH” in Yoruba adage, is one of the most populated communities in Lagos state and also the largest consumer of products and services in food, beverages, electronics, telecommunication, fashion and design products etc. Previous survey has shown that Ajegunle is a huge and attractive sales platform for any product and services to flourish and make profits
Some, not knowing what Ajegunle stands for, have erroneously opined that, AJ is a slum city inhabited by the downtrodden in the society who must jostle for survival. But, Jonathan Akpoborie, former Super Eagles striker, an Ajegunle’s product himself, disagreed in strong terms with such insinuations. He said Ajegunle people are not less privileged. He said Ajegunle has produced more than entertainment stars. Jonathan Akpoborie says it was really interesting for him growing up as a child in Ajegunle.
According to him, the different estates seen around Mile 2 are places they called white sand then. “I think those places were sand filled by Lagos state government. When they sand filled the places they left them for few years. That was when I was growing up. So, we had so many places to play football”, he said. He said even in Ajegunle itself, kids had so many places they could play football. “There was a small field around Alao bus stop call Maracana; that was our own Ajegunle Maracana stadium.
Though, as a child my peers and I didn’t have all of the modern equipments a child could have, but we had each other. It was really fun. It makes you smart by growing up at that time in Ajegunle except you are an idiot or you are stupid. Ajegunle will educate you in so many ways. I was lucky during my time I grow up with very smart people and most of them are outside Nigeria”, he said, Jonathan Akpoborie, who started his professional career with Julius Berger before moving to U.S in 1990, and playing in German top flight football with the likes of Hansa Rostock, VfB Stuttgart, VfL Wolfsburg between 1995 and 1999, scoring 143 goals in the process, insists that the people living in Ajegunle should be seen as peculiar people.
He said there was something peculiar about growing up in Ajegunle. “Some of the kids in Ajegunle try to capitalize on whatever talent they have and you can see them overall in different fields including: music, comedy, sports and all through the entertainment businesses and coming to well educated people in Nigeria. Ajegunle people are very ambitious especially those that take whatever they are doing very serious. They have this believe that they can make it”, he said. The former Super Eagles forward, who was part of the Nigeria team that won the first edition of the FIFA U-16 Championship in 1985, scoring in the final against the then West German, said Ajegunle’s successes are not just in the entertainment field; adding that Ajegunle was well represented everywhere. “Maybe some people may not want to agree that they are products of Ajegunle for whatever reasons, the truth is still many of them were born or raised in Ajegunle. I don’t think anybody who had lived in Ajegunle, would be ashamed of the place. Ajegunle is actually contributing to the society”, he said.
He lamented the neglect of Ajegunle by successive government, pointing out that there were some areas that still seriously need the attention of those in authority; stressing that those areas have been left unattended to for many years. “Those are things I think the present government in Lagos state should be thinking about in order to help develop the place for the benefits of the country”, he said.