Real Crime: Louis Theroux - Law And Disorder In Lagos on One

9:30pm Tuesday, November 16 on TV One

Lagos is one of the fastest growing cities in the world. A city changing so rapidly that formal structures of law and order can’t keep up with its population.

In Real Crime: Louis Theroux – Law And Disorder In Lagos, Theroux spends time with local youths (Area Boys) who patrol the streets of Lagos charging or extorting money from drivers and local businesses. At the same a paramilitary state government group called the KAI (Kick Against Indiscipline) routinely storms different districts of the city, bulldozes whole precincts and arrests hundreds if they can detect any violation of the state’s environmental laws.

Talking to, Theroux says that his idea behind making the documentary was: “to experience life at it’s most lively in a city torn between law and disorder”. He goes on to explain, “I was hoping to understand how power is exercised and order kept in one of Africa’s most chaotic big cities.”

To do this, Theroux meets MC, who is the head of Area Boy life, a former street youth who has become a friend of the most powerful men in the city. Theroux describes him as, “an exemplar of a certain kind of charismatic and informal authority”. MC is rich, he has guns, drives flash cars, and lives in an enormous house with his own private mosque. Theroux remarks that MC, “leads a glamorous, celebrity-type existence.”

However, appearances can be deceiving as Theroux explains about his guide who, “introduced me to a woman stall holder selling a small pile of goods on a blanket. I asked if she knew MC she looked rather frightened and shook her head.”

As his journey continues Theroux says “as I came to know MC and his organisation better, I got more of these glimpses of the shadowy, less strictly legal side of his world.” And he witnesses someone firing a shotgun from MC’s car.

Watch as Theroux explores life in a world in which the forces of law and the forces of disorder are not always readily distinguishable and nothing is quite what it seems.

Subscribe to our mailing list

About the author