An Actor’s Quest in Real Estate

Kelechi Udegbe

Vanessa Obioha

With the steady rise in the number of homeless persons in Lagos state due to a 2.5 million housing unit deficit, Nollywood actor Kelechi Udegbe, embarked on a quest to investigate and collate data on some of the challenges the Lagos dwellers face in accessing affordable housing.

The six-part documentary series ‘Kelechi’s Quest’ directed by Deji Akinpelu was screened recently at the Westwood Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Drawing the attention of various stakeholders in the public and private housing sectors, the docu-series elaborated on the misconceptions of low-cost housing schemes in the state, the role of cooperative societies in land acquisition, and the role of government in bridging the gap between low-income and the high-income earners through mixed and integrated housing schemes.

Eliciting questions from the audience, a panel made up of Lateef A. O. Sholebo, Rebecca Roberts, Dr. Bashirat Oyalowo, Ayo Ibaro, Kelechi Udegbe and Dr. Taibat Lawanson was set up with the aim of objectively tackling some of the issues raised by applying economic and financial policies, social and environmental policies, and mixed income policies in making feasible projection for affordable housing.

Sharing the experiences, he garnered during the investigative work, one which afforded him a fresh view on housing schemes and the social dichotomy it has created, Udegbe said: “When you sleep in a cosy environment, you don’t understand what that is until I was on this quest.

“For this documentary, I went to different places; I went to Makoko, I went to Yaba, I went to the island, the mainland… different places. I appreciated myself more, I appreciated the little things I have.

“Housing is a very serious problem in Lagos. If you wake up early in the morning and pass through Oshodi or Mile 2 Bridge, of course, you will see people sleeping outside.

“The government, I think they have a lot to do, it is not all about ‘enabling’, you still have to hold them responsible for some stuff.”

The project is a collaborative effort with Heinrich Boll Stiftung, Nigeria and Arctic Infrastructures, with prospects of working with the Lagos state government to provide 187,500 housing units per annum in the next five years.