Tag Archives: Lagos

Two Dramas, One Friday

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First Drama:

Today is one of those really rainy days, where you are not sure if to go to work with spare clothing because of the outpour. After braving the rain to get to the bus-stop, then the real drama begins. The actors include other persons on their way to work, those returning from ‘work’, those ‘working’ (pickpockets) as they go and of course the ‘agberos’ aka area boys …a constant in Lagos.

My colleague and I managed to find and settle into a bus after several failed attempts. Glad to be the lucky few, I allowed my colleague make the choice of which vehicle to enter. As the journey began, the conductor asked for his money…yes o! They claim it is their money, though it is in your hands. I brought out a N1,000 and he goes, “Driver, drop her now before we go far, I don’t have N1,000 or N500 change, everybody enter with ya change!” he continued for a bus that was already in motion. I simply ignored him.

You see, I was going to pay for my colleague and so had calculated that my balance would be N600 and that wouldn’t be so difficult to find. Thankfully, someone joined me in front and upon inquisition, he had change which I took from him and added him to the list of people I was paying for. I was about informing the conductor of this list and he says “Don’t talk to me.” I turned away and continued singing my song “Breathe” under my breath and nodding away. Then I said to the fellow beside me, don’t worry, he’ll soon come to me. Indeed, he did and was quite humble by this time. “Excuse me ma, the man behind says you are paying for him”, I responded in the affirmative and also paying for the man beside me.

Did I get my change? No! He held on to it though I requested twice for it. We got into traffic halfway down the trip, the bus engine went off, the conductor goes, “everybody, come down, I want to reverse”. Next thing he begins singing in a not too sonorous voice some pop local songs, feeling pleased with himself and went on for a while. I checked and found out there was a gaping hole in the place that once housed a radio. Some lady in the bus was about to pull out her earpiece, the conductor stopped singing and asked her why?

“I don’t like your songs and I want to listen to something else”,

“Don’t wear it, I will change the song” and he does to a worse one and the earpiece was secured in her ears. He went on to do a church song, which only he knew, we all began to laugh. He perched on me, “Madam, I will sing you a special song, 🎼 Come into my yoriyori ….etc I told him, let my husband catch you. No, my son, you will know yourself. Apparently the jean and funky natural hair had him thinking I was young and single. He left it and sang 🎼You are my African Queen. When he was done, he said, “Do you like it baby?” Hmmm.

He eventually gave me my balance at my bus-stop after the driver intervened by making change for him (which he could have asked for in the first place).

Second Drama:

Another colleague gets to work later than usual and as I stepped into the office looking concerned if she had gotten soaked and had to go back home to change before coming, she asked if I had seen her text. I said no and she proceeds to tell me her encounter this morning of how she was about to enter an “Ilesha bus” (small 8-seater buses) and she felt restraint but entered all the same because she was running late.

According to her, the driver had mentioned his price for each stop, which is the norm in Lagos. But when the bus got to a particular bus-stop (Igbuefon), which charge was to be N150, the two young men that were to disembark had paid less than the amount. The driver got upset and angrier when the boys didn’t complete their money. Before anyone could gather their thoughts, he zoomed off to the next turn which was four bus-stops (Jakande) turned and went back to Ajah (where the journey first started) without dropping the boys or any other passenger.

Sadly, our office from Jakande was two bus-stops away. Despite all the protest, he refused to stop, to drop the legal passengers (that is those that paid the correct fare). Took everyone back to square one, dropped the boys at Ajah, told the ‘agberos’ (area boys or louts) to beat them up and zoomed off again without refunding their N200.

Phewww One drama too many. So now, when you are entering a bus, apart from praying that the driver has not taken a sachet of ‘something’, got his license legally, pray it is not this man’s bus you enter. A word is enough for the wise.

Photo: Southport School

@imanikel 181019 Frances Kelvin Otung

ROOFTOP, HERE I COME!

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Have you ever been in a situation you just wanted some peace, calm and quiet away from the crazy world outside?

View yourself in a mixed crowd of people with half of them going nowhere specific, all they do each morning is wake up without so much as a splash of water on the face, or toothpaste to the teeth, set out to the corner of the street, with a sachet of alcohol in one hand and a Pepsi plastic bottle tucked into a pocket behind, walking the length of the junction or street corner, looking for who to brush past or harass and move on to the next victim.

I have to swim through these groups every other morning to get to the point I can catch a ride to work. Thankfully, I don’t make up their jurisdiction. Pheww. Imagine surviving that, getting into a bus of ‘seemingly’ sane people, only to meet a young man with beards that need a barber’s touch be nasty! Actually the beards have been shaven but it seemed with a blunt instrument. Well, I had no hand in that, so why was he nasty to me?!

He got into the bus before me (you know those 8-seater buses), I call them “Ilesha buses” because that’s where I saw them first. My Ilesha peeps, have mercy o! Mbok. On getting into the bus, I was trying to sit beside him and the driver moved, so I sort of slumped into the chair and ‘Unku’ moved himself to assert ownership of the zone and I said, “Please, take it easy.” He goes, “Do you want me to go out through the window?”

I’m only asking you to take it easy. Should I leave this seat, would it make you feel better?

What’s my own?  Am I paying for the seat?

Probably, you want to, so you feel more comfortable.

And he goes on and on about how he didn’t even touch me and I’m wondering whose elbow was nudging me immediately I sat. When all I needed was to sit first before he started moving and claiming territories. I could see he was upset about something and this was purely “transferred things”. So I say to him, “I’m not the reason you are upset and I can see you are a nasty fellow.” Yes, I said it. And he responded back to me. Told him, he was a man (meaning he should have stopped talking by now), but he went on and on. I did the next best thing, I left him to the seat behind which was comfortable and free of the nagging man.

The good book says “It is better to stay on the rooftop than to live with a quarrelsome man”. I took the advice o! Did I tell you he had the last say? At this point, I’m sober and wondering who has gotten this young man to this point. What do I know? At least, I achieved that initial peace I was looking for, away for ‘Unku’.

Picture source: mintyfreshmangos, DeviantArt.

@imanikel 250919 Frances Kelvin Otung

Lyrical Monday

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I usually write about love and the sweet aspects of life. But you know that life is an embodiment of all things good, bad and sometimes ugly. It’s my choice to see the beauty in it despite the storms I’m thrown into. On this day, life threw me an ugly picture, as I write I remember the scene vividly and the expressions of the perpetrators and I shudder. What do you think happened here?

Lyrical Mondays_270415

© 2015. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

Freedom Friday on a Saturday

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Hey Dream Reader and the many Readers I have in reality,

I’ve been away from FREEDOM FRIDAY…not because I don’t have what to be Free about but my Fridays have become so busy and …no more excuse. I have missed you too. I heard this conversation yesterday on my way home and I decided to share it here. Pity it will have a lot of Pidgin English inside but you should be able to decode them. LOL

I closed rather late yesterday as has been the case lately (trying to finish up on some important work) and as I grabbed a seat on the bus, the following conversation ensued. By the way, this is one of the many reasons, I miss my bus rides when the car is available – so enjoy it with me today. Who knows when next I’ll have another experience?

“Conductor, give me my change!”

“I no get change yet.”

“But I will drop at Agungi,” she protested

“The first person to drop, is the first person I will give change.” He answers with finality

“No mind am, he doesn’t want to give you change, he has plenty N50s in his hand,” a fellow passenger joined in the discussion.

“What is your business in this matter? You NONONTITY!” the conductor reels out and the other passengers join the discussion laughing and telling him the proper pronunciation. “It’s NONENTITY o!”

“Don’t mind him, I don’t want to say anything to him, he is a miscreant. I don’t want to abuse him.”

“What abuse can you give me more than that, can you talk to your senior like that?” the conductor queried, “You are a NONONTITY!”

“This is one of the reasons I love Lagos, it is the City of Excellent Madness.” another passenger interjects.

“I love Lagos but TRAFFIC has made me to dislike this place. I went to Ebonyi the other day and would have remained there, but I didn’t have anything good doing,” another replies.

“For your information,” the conductor goes back to the pending matter “I paid for that English.”

At this point, one of the passengers that had been silent all along except for laughing in-between turned and looked at him and said “Who collect the money from your hand?” and that brought another bout of laughter.

Well, I was laughing all along and taking note in my head what each was saying and I picked up a strong whiff of alcohol and its source was none other than the Conductor! I pray he doesn’t fall off the bus before they get to their destination.

© 2014. imanikingblog. All rights reserved

1G1V

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I’m wondering what answers a lot of you would have come up with if I threw a general question enquiring to know your interpretation of 1G1V. Don’t crack your head about it too much, you will soon know what I’m all about this evening.

Like a seed, a desire to offer a thousand burnt offering in gratitude to God for all He has done and continues to do (whether we are aware or not) grew in his heart. He thought of how best to carry out this plan and also if he will communicate the passion he feels to the magnitude that the people will understand the vision and run with it. Beyond the dream, the meetings and seeming fear about its success, the 1st Edition held and it was mind blowing.

You would think that God had taken us there, but that was just the beginning and like I mentioned earlier it was a seed and if you know anything about seeds, then you will agree with me that when its harvest time, what you sow ain’t what you get honey, YOU GET MORE! With this appetite unleashed for more, we welcome you to The Experience 2014 converging at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos.

This will be the 9th Edition. In Obstetrics, we are told a pregnant woman usually would give birth in the 9th month; so we are expectant in this years’ Experience as we connect our faith with our praise in anticipation and gratitude to God for what eyes have not seen nor ear heard. I don’t know about you, but I know that come 5th December 2014, people of every nation, tribe and tongue will gather, lifting holy hands and hearts in one accord regardless of societal status or political affiliation to One God in One Voice. By the way, that’s the meaning of 1G1V 🙂

So Lagos, Nigeria, the world…are you ready!?

  • Photo Credits: Courtesy of theexperiencelagos.com

Photography 101 – A Pop Of Color

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Amidst the greyish walls of the Tafawa Balewa Square, grounds for the forthcoming Experience Lagos Concert – 9th Edition lies an array of Yellow cabs and buses waiting for the next client or customer, as we popularly refer to people buying our wares or services. Even when we have never known them before. The green leaves in the concrete case adds a beautiful contrast too.

For today’s assignment, I couldn’t resist putting up this random picture I took on one of my outing around Lagos 🙂

Venue for The Experience Lagos 2014 - 9th Edition

Tafawa Balewa Square: Venue for The Experience Lagos 2014 – 9th Edition