Sign of the times: Nigeria’s very own Monopoly board game.


Isabelle Alenus-Crosby

A new report published by the World Bank has declared that as many as 38 of sub-Saharan Africa’s 48 countries could be regarded as ‘middle income’ by 2025.

Currently, 21 countries have middle-income status, and at least an additional 10 are therefore poised to transition to middle-income status over the coming decade on the back of prevailing growth rates.

In fact, if sub-Saharan Africa were one country, it would already be considered middle-income.

No wonder therefore that the Monopoly board game now has its first customised African edition (Kenya’s Kumiliki is a Monopoly rip-off).

Set in Lagos, Banana Island is the new Mayfair, and instead of simply going to jail, players are sent to “Kirikiri jail”, Lagos’s maximum-security prison. A fair warning for anyone deciding to mess with the city’s precious real estate sector. The chance cards include “for attempting to bribe a law enforcement agent, pay a fine”, as well as “You’ve been caught driving against traffic. Report for psychiatric evaluation”. The airport, bus station, shipping port and stock exchange stand in for the railroads and utilities of the original games set in Atlantic City and London.

The Nigerian metropolis is one of the fast-growing cities in the world and a new edition may already be called for in just a few years. In fact, most of “Makoko” no longer exists, making this brand-new edition already out-of-date. A clear sign of the times.