Manuwa Street

Original title: Manuwa Street

Author: Bouillon, Sophie

Publication Date:

March 2021



Original language and publisher

French | Premier Parallèle

Territories Handled

Netherlands, North America, Scandinavia


Narrative Non-Fiction

Manuwa Street

Original title: Manuwa Street

Author: Bouillon, Sophie


This narrative is as lively as it is in disarray. It pulls the reader into a whirlwind of a tale about a woman living in a city. The city has many beautiful faces but it is also a place that has a dangerous penchant for chaos. 

Sophie Bouillon was living in Lagos, Nigeria’s sprawling business capital, in March 2020 when the first case of Coronavirus was detected. Sophie is a journalist, so she pulled herself out of sleep that night to write a brief informing the world that Africa was contaminated with what was locally referred to as “the white virus”. 

Manuwa Street is the first-hand account of a year that ended in revolt. It is also a love story about a town that never sleeps and an urgent invitation to readers to see the world in a different light. 


“Lagos makes you feel alive. It kills you, too. In Lagos, you’re wrong about everything. Nothing makes any sense anymore.” 

“There’s no use explaining. You just have to experience it. Lagos is all-consuming. You are constantly faced with man’s madness, as wonderful and frightening as it may be. Here, the world lives on noise and pollution. Lagos coughs up as many millionaires as it does poor people. Nature flourishes and destroys itself all at once.” 

“But my fellow humans, in spite of all of your beliefs, as sure as you may be, never will you want to live as much as you do here. In this outpouring of people, trash, injustice, celebration and excess, you will live off of everything you tried to pretend did not exist.”