Life of a Lagosian 5.0


issue 5.0

In issue 2.0, I hinted that the ‘danfo’ conductor isn’t the only personality that makes every ‘danfo’ trips memorable one. We have other personalities, in particular the passengers, who add spice to every trip. It’s is quite funny how much fun you can have in a bus packed with strangers but believe me when I say that, 5 to 10 minute friendships are common occurrence in a ‘danfo’.

When every individual boards a ‘danfo’, he or she does it with the sole intent of facing their own worrries and minding their business but then a clown or a frustrated being in the ‘danfo’ will end up cracking you up or add to your woes. I’ve met different categories of passengers (Aproko like me be one category too). So, fellow Lagosians (and even the non) let me narrate my ordeal, the first time I went to Oshodi, which is incidentally the day Chidi stole my bathing scrub.

My first trip to Oshodi introduced me to quite a number of personalities. When I boarded the ‘danfo’. I was still seething over my stolen bathing scrub but no sooner had the journey started, when I met the first sect of passengers; “The gossips” The gossips are often a group of two or more women who boards the ‘danfo’ at the same time and all through the ride, they talk about an invincible character.
These two women (the gossips) were seated right behind me. This gave me ample opportunity to listen in.

Woman 1 and Woman 2 were neighbors and throughout the journey, they fed the whole bus stories about their Co-tenant who borrows money but never pays back. Their conversation started like this.
Woman 1: Why Mama Boniface dey shout for yard this morning?
Woman 2: Na mama Jubril oh. She borrow money from Mama Boniface since January but she no gree pay am back.
Woman 1: She don borrow from Mama Boniface too? I don talk am, that woman no get shame. She too dey borrow.
Woman 2: E no surprise me sha. How person wey dey sleep for house everyday, wey no dey work, go get money to pay back. I even hear say that her son wey she talk say dey work for Abuja, na prison in dey.

Ehn ehn, why he no go dey prison? The boy dey thief. If person no stand well, he fit thief person.
(I started disliking these category of passengers when I started missing my bustop because I was listening in their conversation). Don’t roll your eyes, I know I’m a certified Aproko 🤦🤦 but to be candid, they are known for never being discreet, so, if I wasn’t seating right ahead of them, I would still have heard everything. I bet everyone in the bus could hear then loud and clear.)

Their conversation kept on going until the driver in a bid to avoid a pothole in the road makes the unfortunate mistake of swerving his rickety ”danfo’ ‘ , the bus lurched forward precariously, shouts erupted from the occupants of the bus and that was when I discovered category 2; The every experience Woman. When everyone got their bearing from the swerve, ‘Madam all experience’ faced the passenger next to her and started

“Make God save us from all these drivers, last week for Ikeja along, Na so one drive jaja-jaga go jam trailer, all im passengers die but driver take juju disappear.”
Another name for Madam all experience is “Witness of doom.” If your driver speeds too much, they will share an experience of how passengers died in a bus earlier that week because the driver was driving at top speed. If a student crosses the road without looking and almost collides with a coming vehicle, she will share a scenario of how some 10 boys were killed because they were playing by the road. In short, she has an experience of every bad occurence you can think of.

Fortunately for ‘Madam all experience’ but unfortunately for us(other occupants in the bus), the passenger next to her was another category that I call the ‘Historian or Oldies’.
Be careful of those elderly men and women who wear glasses and are often seated in the front seat or in the row right behind the driver. Unlike ‘Madam all experience’, these ones are always quiet until you give them an opening to talk. Most of their conversation starts with “in the year 199…. or “during the time of…, back in the days….” These ones are educated and they therefore use big words and they have enough gestures to demonstrate their pains.

Immediately “Madam all experience” took a breath, Mr Historian kicked off.
Madam, you’ve said the truth, when Lagos was still Lagos, I mean in the days when we still have a military governor, a driver wouldn’t dare to drive after drinking but what do we see now (takes a pause, readjusts his shirt and continue). There is no law and order in Lagos. Yes… everyone in lagos is now after money (he shakes his head, looks around the bus and continue)… Imagine, even police officers who are meant to set these drivers right are also to be blamed…..
When the Historian starts, this is always my cue to plug in my headphones and sojourn into la-la land because believe me when I say that no one, not even the Over-sabi government clerk can beat him in a battle of words.

OK.. I think I should stop here and let you get to the business of the day but not to worry, I will introduce you to all other category of passengers in the next issue but until then, when you board a ‘danfo’ today or over the weekend, look out for the Historian, “Madam all experience” and the gossip

Still your nerdy girl
Thank you for keeping up with the “Life of a Lagosian” series.

Think we aren’t getting something right? Or you have a storyline or idea that you think should be incorporated into the Life of a Lagosian series, slide into my mail box and let’s get better together.
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  3. Laughs out loud! Goodness me! Pinpoint accuracy, CiCi! There are different characters we see in the bus(danfo). The ones that won’t stop arguing about politics, football, or even musicians.


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