Like divergent rays of light, subcultures are simply various ways of existing and living far different from the cultural norms or traditions. Look around and there’s almost always someone, somewhere, trying hard to do ‘things’ their own way (as they are comfortable with) — in ways that those things have never been done before.
A subculture is usually an identifiable group — smaller than the larger group, distinct, different — lending a deeper perspective to life that the larger group fails to capture: mostly having to do with class (status), ethnic backgrounds, regional and rural or urban residences, even religious affiliations.
In Lagos (Nigeria), the Alté movement takes the cake. Short for Alternative, it is a way of existing that favours non-traditional means of expression. While championing modernism (began proper media proliferation in the year 2010), the Lagos Alté subculture has roots that can be traced back to the 1990s. It is a rare combination of old and new, vintage and modern — everyone can relate to its core of individualism and simplicity of purpose.
Beginning with fashion (the Lagos Fashion Week will awe you) and branching into music, the Lagos Alté way of living keeps spreading — the ultimate gourmet spin on life in these parts. People want meals prepared and eaten differently (as they imagine or prefer). Classic drinks are now mostly boring (we want the fizz, the bright colours, the weird zing in our cheeks — the new way please!). Boutique hotel offerings over the regular Bed and Breakfast (travel out and spend a night in those hotel rooms under sea, if you dare). Home décor, Art, Architecture, Medicine… all facets of Lagos living have this new and different spin to them. People take these elements of living and tailor them to fit who they are, in expression and demonstration. Weird is the new wonderful.
Lagos Alté living is one of the most interesting things about Lagos. Just take a walk on the streets, you’ll not be disappointed with your findings.