Lagos is a coin. Two faced. Good and bad. Sane and insane. Beautiful and ugly. Words and antonyms.
If you flip one side, you see Lagos as a man’s land.
Then, you flip the other side and you see Lagos as no man’s land: spirits, animals, ghosts and humans live here.
That is why in Lagos, you don’t even fight publicly or privately. As much as you can, run away from fights. There are some mad people looking for people to disorganize or worse, kill.
My mother told a tale of a man who died because of N10 change he was haranguing a conductor for. She told me this tale while insisting that, “Don’t fight for rights inside bus. I know you like fighting for rights. It’s small money. Leave it for them ooo.”
N10! Ha! May we not die because of N10, mbok (amen?)
Someone I knew died fighting in Lagos.
I hated using that “knew” right about this sentence but it’s what it is. I knew him!
I keep these two events in mind when I’m hopping in and out of big danfos and ‘normal’ danfos, kekes and taxis. Really!
But someone didn’t. Obviously, he’s not heard these real life events. So on this day, the conductor refused to give him change. And he had to drag the conductor down from a moving danfo.
This tale is convoluted because I was lost in my Playlist, so I can’t say if the passenger or the conductor was wrong. But dude kept harassing the conductor and the driver parked and went to separate fight – yes, it had escalated to a fight with punches here and there.
I sat still, inside, intuitively deciding to not leave the bus in any case a punch rearranges my fair face.
The driver couldn’t do the separation thingy because punches were flying up, down, left, right. Even slaps. And slacks (of shirts).
Lots of “Owo mi da?” had to come for the separation to work and it worked until the conductor screamed…
“I dey with N4,000 as you drag me down from my bus. Now, I no see am o. Wey my money?”
The passenger tried to explain but “Owo mi da?” conductor, driver and a man who hinted he’s in a force insisted he must provide the money: N4,000. He was fighting for N50 change and he incurred a debt of N3,950.
I waited to see the outcome of the issue and the issue dragged on for over five minutes.
My memory reminded me I had an appointment to keep. I jumped into another danfo as I saved this as Danfo Tales 6.
I don’t really know the moral of this story but I guess it’s about not fighting for puny things, whatever that thing is. Stay guarded!I don't really know the moral of this story but I guess it's about not fighting for puny things, whatever that thing is. Click To Tweet