I have been in Lagos for more than two decades and bracing for the third, and I can tell you this assuredly, every time I step out of my haven into the streets, I feel like Alice in Wonderland.
It’s because every day comes with fresh madness that leaves your mouth ajar. Lagos will always shock you.
Is it the loud honking by impatient drivers, that threaten to puncture my eardrums? Or the cuss words that fly over my head daily from angry Lagosians on the street?
Oh! Have I mentioned the stubbornness that is naturally inherent in every Lagosian?
There is so much to talk about my beloved city. Lagos is my home, I love it here and hate it at the same time.
Contrary to what I was taught in school, the capital of Lagos is not Ikeja, it’s MADNESS.
When you think you’ve seen all the craziness there is in the world, Lagosians will unlock higher dimensions of craziness. Suffice to say, you ain’t seen noffin yet!
You leave home in the morning to make a living for yourself and you board public transport, (read as tricycle).
Eight out of ten times, I prefer tricycle, dubbed KekeNapep, to the yellow buses, otherwise known as Danfo because of the limited number of passengers it can carry.
Back to what I was saying, you are in a Keke, headphones blaring Omah Lay’s Godly because you want to start your week on a bright note. It’s going to be a good day; you can feel it, almost taste it.
Suddenly, a Petrol tanker overtakes your Keke in the most dangerous fast, and furious move you have ever seen. Your heart is in your mouth and your eyes widen in shock at the craziness that just happened.
You are yet to recover from the shock when you realize that your tricycle rider has accelerated the speed of the Keke to catch up with the tanker.
Your heart goes into an overdrive, pumping twenty gallons of blood per second.
By a stroke of craziness (because it is not luck), he catches up and tells the tanker driver, “Comot for road before I jam you!”
|Comot for road before I jam you!|
You look around you to be sure that you heard right. Did your driver just threaten to ‘jam’ a tanker with his cubicle sized tricycle?
You notice that the other passengers are unperturbed by the events unfolding and you are the only one who seems bothered. It’s no surprise; they are already used to the madness.
Then you tap the driver. “Excuse me, sir, you want to jam who?”
“I go jam this trailer now if he no leave road for me!” he blurts out with the confidence of Anthony Joshua.
In that moment, you remember that you’re still in your 20s, yet to be a millionaire, and have barely ticked most of the goals you’ve set for yourself.
You tap the driver again, this time, with a sense of urgency. “Please park!”
He glances at you. “Why? You never reach your bus stop now.”
“It doesn’t matter, just park.”
He does as instructed and the moment your feet touch the ground, you thank the Almighty God for sparing your life while looking for a sane driver to convey you to work.
And guess what? Sane drivers are scarce like Ostrich eggs. That is why there is so much traffic on the road most times because some crazy drivers left their route and passed one way, further adding to the long list of problems we face in the country.
The things we see in my Lagos are too crazy to describe with words.
In this city, everyone is always in a hurry to get somewhere.
This means that if you don’t walk fast enough, people will walk over you just to get to their destinations on time. So, you have to be quick on your feet.
It is in Lagos traffic that someone on a motorcycle will snatch the bone straight hair of a lady in a public transport before speeding off.
So, if you are sitting close to the window in a Danfo, you must not be too comfortable because your eyelashes can be snatched in broad daylight and the chances of getting it back is as slim as a Camel passing through the eye of a needle.
Living in Lagos will teach you how to be security conscious. If you see anyone walking through a crowded market with their bag hanging freely in their hands, then they are not true Lagosians!
That level of trust is not a characteristic of a true Lagosian. A true Lagosian is ‘always guiding’, and never to be caught ‘dulling’.
Living in Lagos is like an adventure for me. This golden city of possibilities will teach you grit, tenacity, sense, and patience.
Lagos remains my home for the time being and I love it here, craziness and all.
I’ve heard people say that ‘if you can survive in Lagos, you can survive anywhere in Lagos’.
They are absolutely right!
Ayobami Fasusi (kemiclassico) is a creative writer, comic character, and relationship blogger.
She is a true Lagosian at heart though she believes that she hails from China.
She is a lover of good books, comic movies, and small chops.
To read more of her works, click here
Happy Weekend Fabulous People!
I hope this post made you laugh as much as it did for me. If you missed the previous episodes, you can read up on #thingsweseeinlagos series Part 1 and Part 2. Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and don't forget to take some time to rest and be nice to as many people as possible.
I love you and I am rooting for you always.
Continue to the next part of the series Things we see in Lagos (4)
Photo credit: BBC
The Guardian Newspaper
© Onyinye Udeh