Life of a Lagosian 3.0


Issue 3.0

Last week I introduced you to the first personality I met in Lagos, well, let me introduce you to my place of abode in the beautiful city of Lagos. If my encounter with Lasgidi conductors was a foundation block in my falling in love with Lagos, then “Commotion Villa” is one key factor that cemented my love for Lagos.
Growing up,”Fuji house of commotion” was my best TV series…. Well more like the only one I saw. I don’t know if I liked the series because the actors caught my interest or because the series was my Momma’s idea of fun. If you ever saw the sitcom, you will know what sort of craziness abode in living in a crowd. Well, fortunately for me, I live in a real life fuji house of commotion.

3, Adele Street “Commotion Villa” is a typical house of commotion… Yeah commotion without a Chief Fuji and with all its occupants being unrelated. Ours is not a flat, instead, it is the infamous “Face me I slap you” or what I like to call “Face me I deck you.” Well that’s not surprising, considering that these sort of apartments are known for their drama.
If you’ve never had your pot of soup stolen while it was still on fire, or fought a neighbor for using your bucket of water, then I’m sure you must have queued to use the rest room or wrestled over who never pays their utility bills on time. Whichever way, it is a taboo to live in what is termed the poorest living condition in Africa and not witness or be a part of the drama.

Am I lucky to be living in No. 3 Adele, I think I am. Did I always feel lucky to live there? No but like I said, Lagos grew in me a little at a time, and this house is another element that fostered the love. Let me introduce you to the occupants of my house.
At the helms of affair is the “The lion of the barrack”. Ideally a lion should be a man but in the case of my apartment, the lion is my landlord’s wife. Everyone including her husband and neighbors call her ‘Mama’. Nothing comes into or goes out of our apartment without her. Her word is the Law. I particularly love it when Mama tries to string together her non-existent English vocabulary when trying to communicate with me. You hear her say things like; “Akowe, nepa e come, bill we pay next week” (Student, the electricity distribution company officials were here, we need to pay our outstanding electricity bill by next week), or things like, “Akowe, dustbin outside, people e cum carry it today” (Student, drop your dustbin outside, they are coming for the them today”. Despite Mama’s half-baked English, she wields a power that her husband doesn’t and in the little time we’ve spent together, I have discovered she has a heart of gold. Like the day she made me a bowl of hot pepper soup because I had cold.

Next is mama’s closest pal and the one I dub as BBC Yoruba is Mama Farouq. Mama Farouq is a loose cannon, if you ever need news about happenings in our street, just get a bottle of cold Lacasera and off she goes. I naturally won’t like a woman like Mama Farouq but trust me, I’ve learnt that people like that come handy. For instance, she was the one who told me about my next door neighbor, “The Stabber”
This is one personality, you want to meet, Nkechi, whom everyone calls the stabber, was my first friend in the house, she was infact the only friend I had for a long time. It was therefore baffling that when people people started addressing me as the stabber’s friend. I decided to get the full gist ’bout Nkechi and this is what I found.
My very calm and collected co-tenant happens to have a terrible anger and whenever she’s pissed, her weapon of warfare was always a knife. One fateful day she had a quarrel with a neighbour and ended up stabbing the neighbor. Hearing that was enough to put the fear of God in my heart and also marked the end of a not-so-advisable friend.

“Abegi! You dey wonder why I ended the friendship? Well, make one gel no cum stab me over a bucket of water one day”
Want to meet other occupants of my commotion Villa? Well join me next week, as I introduce you to the “Alarm”, “Klepto”, “Villa’s gigolo” and my favorite neighbor “I never chop”
Ever had a terrible experience living in the most popular kind of housing in Lagos; “Face me I deck you? Or your own block of flat is a one-day-one-trouble kinda housing?

Well slide into my mail box and let’s laugh it over.

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  5. Interesting. I was born and brought up in Ajegunle, a ghetto suburb in Lagos. I lived in a “face-me-I-deck-you” environment about about 13 years. My experience as a child is fascinating, and also has it’s cons.
    Then, as little children, we sometimes watch movies through our neigbour’s window, and also, fetch water from the well. During the dry seasons, the well sometimes gets dry, and we will have to go fetch water elsewhere. We also played hide and seek, suwe, pinto, “my name sweet o”, amongst other games. There are so many things I’d love to talk about my childhood living in Ajegunle, but time and tide won’t permit me. I love your own story Comfort, and I can relate very well with it.


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