Posted in Living In Lagos

LIVING IN LAGOS:- Me, a Pair of Missing Boots & An Angry Agbero

“Ki lo n so?” He asked angry but confused. I tried another line I knew.

Omo mi, you no know me oh” I shouted, “Olopa awa ku awon mejeji”. The whole place broke with everyone laughing, some leaning against each other trying to gain balance. I knew I should have stuck to English. You guessed right.

E don be I thought.

….. ….. …..

I’m sure by now you have some facts about me. I obviously don’t like what I hate, I tend to be quite dramatic when it looks like danger is coming my way. People never see it because of all the fat on my body but if you can see past the physical, trust me you will pay just to watch. Another thing is if it is a choice between my life and adventure, my body will always lean towards life because I am one of those sensible people who believe in self-preservation but this my spirit and adventure … let us just say God is sha in control. Also, Lagos has been quite eventful for me, I had met some cool people both in working environment and on a personal level. I had started picking ‘favorite’ places and activities. I was almost done with my probation period at work when today’s story happened.

“Guy, how far?” my colleague and friend T.J said over the phone.

Egbon, I dey. Any better?” I replied relaxing on the 3-seater at my cousin’s. I had just had a very long day. I had got back from site tired and still had to wash and then go and mark present at my girlfriend’s before I became girl-friendless. I had just got home.

“I want you to resume at Kuramo tomorrow” he said. I was confused. First of all, that wasn’t my site, secondly tomorrow was Sunday. Thirdly, did you see where I said tomorrow was Sunday.

Baba why you dey whine me?” I asked jokingly. That was the only logical conclusion I could draw.

Whine ke? You and A.B will resume there by 7.00 am tomorrow. Wait oga is calling me, I’ll call you back” T.J said and ended the call. I sat up, looking at my phone in disbelief.

Aburo, what is wrong?” my cousin said from where she sat watching TV.

“Big sis e be like film. I’m coming let me confirm something please” I said as I quickly scrolled through my contact list and dialed. He picked on the second ring.

“Baba, how far? T.J call you?” he asked immediately. I started laughing. “Wait, this is a joke right” A.B asked me again.

“Guy, why do you think I am calling you? I thought he was joking. Come where Kuramo dey sef? “I asked.

“Guy I no know, somewhere near Eko hotel on the Island” A.B explained. Unlike me, he had been in Lagos for a much longer period and thus had more knowledge of the state.

Guy, tomorrow na Sunday, I wan go church” A.B complained.

Guy I wan sleep tomorrow” I wailed. We both laughed in frustration. We both didn’t know how to react because this was the first time ever it had happened.

Toh, na to see how e go be” A.B said. We chatted briefly and I ended the call.

“Hmmmmm” I said and sighed. A text had come in while I was on the call with A.B, it was from T.J describing the site and how to get there.

“Safety boots again? My safety boots are on my site now” I thought in dismay. Which kind of stress was this?

“Muyiwa, you are not going anywhere tomorrow oh” I looked up from the depth of thoughts I was soaked in to remember where I was.

“Sis, hmmm this is from my boss oh” I tried to explain.

“Ehen, and so? Why will they be making you work on Sundays now?” my cousin asked. She had one of those her looks that said we will argue this to the last. My younger sister joined her.

“Uncle Muyiwa what of church? Won’t you rest? This is unfair oh” she said. Lord which English will I speak now. I tried and tried to explain. I was new to the job, I didn’t want to formulate excuse and for T.J to call me instead of my boss, there must have been a reason and from my relationship with T.J most of his reasons have been in my favor.

“If you insist, then you must go for morning mass before you leave for work. Se bi (it is true that) your boss is a Christian, eh, he will understand” she said.

“Sis, I am not the only Christian now. Others too will be missing church” I didn’t want to do anything that will bring problems my way.

“Hmmm, Muyiwa, hmmmm, well if you insist. It is your job at the end of the day” my cousin said and went into the kitchen. I was not happy about the situation but glad I had sorted out my cousin’s worry.

….. ….. …..

I pulled myself out of unconsciousness as I heard my phone ring. It was dark, the power was out. My curtain just above my head had been tied to allow breeze from outside get into the room. Outside was dark, I checked my wristwatch; 5.15 am. Who could be calling? I thought.

M.Y. you don reach?” I could hear T.J’s voice at the other end of the call.

Baba, good morning, I just wan go bath” I replied getting up, so it really wasn’t a joke.

Yeye, you just dey wake” T.J said. “Get to the site before 7.00 am, I want Oga to meet you guys there”.

My boot dey Ikoyi” I said.

“Eh, it is on the way. Just don’t waste time” he said.

I was tired. I got up and went into the bathroom with my toothbrush. The one good thing about bathing in Lagos was there was no need to boil your water. Cool water was very welcoming because of the heat. Even during the rainy season, same application. By 5.45 am I was ready and on my way out. My cousin and little sister were preparing for morning mass. Lucky them I said under my breath. I walked to the main junction of my street, took a bus from Obanikoro direct to Obalende from there. I got a cab going to Ikoyi. It was my first time going into the island so early on a Sunday. The roads were free and by 6.30 am I was standing in front of my site. I felt late, was it that Lagos behavior getting to me or was it because I didn’t want my boss to get to site before me.

Engineer, wetin carry you come site today?” the site guard at the gate looked surprised.

“James good morning. Oga Sadiuq dey? I wan pick up my safety boot from office” I asked after the storekeeper.

Yes, him dey container” he replied pointing to a group of containers at the back of the site where the laborers had converted to living quarters to sleep in. It was a general habit for them as most of them lived far away and only preferred to go home at the end of every other week or months end to reduce spending. I walked swiftly and knocked on the door of the container meant for the storekeeper.

“SADIQU!!!” I called out.

Who be that?” a voice called from inside.

Na Engineer Muyiwa. No vex abeg I need key to office” I said. I could hear ruffling and movement. Soon enough the door opened widely, and he emerged, keys in hand.

“Engineer hope all is well?” he asked concerned. I smiled reassuringly.

Ba damu wa (No problem)” I replied in Hausa, “I just need am for another site. I will give the key to James to bring for you, sai gobe (Till tomorrow)”.

Toh, sai gobe oga (Okay, till tomorrow boss)” he replied. As soon as I got the boots I changed, put my plain shoes in my backpack and then left. Stepped out, I saw a bike passing and hailed it down. It was 6.45 am by then. Goal was to reach there on or before 7.00 am.

“Kuramo” I said bringing out my phone.

“Where?” the bike man didn’t seem to know where I was speaking of.

“Errm, Eko Atlantic office” I repeated the message sent to me from T.J.

“Okay, I know that side. That is Victoria Island side, near Eko hotel” he described. I just nodded. It sounded like what T.J had said and even if it was not, I would call. He gave a fair price and I boarded. It was a smooth ride. I got to the building and it was a twin tower. Tall, beautiful and elegant. I met A.B at the entrance.

“Guy how far? Where T.J” I asked as we greeted.

Him say him dey Bony Camp. Should be here in the next 10 minutes” A.B replied.

Omo, na the place be this? Make sense, building is beautiful” I said admiring the structure. We sat near the guard entrance as nobody was allowed in without a pass.

Security tight no be small” A.B said. “Some of our guys dey inside sha”.

“Oh really?” I asked. My tummy growled.” Guy you don chop?” I asked. A.B opened his bag and brought out a loaf of bread and a bottle of water.

If you go join me, we fit chop bread before work start” he said.

So, you feel say as we come na to come work?” I asked.

“No, we come watch film” he said sarcastically and we both laughed. We munched the bread in silence. It was nice really nice as it had little chunks of sardine that had been baked with it.

See as una sit down like homeless people” we turned to see T.J had arrived. We laughed and greeted him.

Baba no allow me choke abeg” I said in between laughter. “Guy, how far? You still haven’t told us why we are here on a Sunday?”. T.J laughed as he took a piece of A. B’s bread before explaining. Our boss had been called the day before and had been informed that the building needed to be submitted to the client the next week and they needed us to finalize all tests, finishing work and such before Monday and clear out of the building. The plus side was we were going to be paid overtime and we just needed to do keep the technicians on their toes and efficiently working while solving any problem that arises.

Guess what? I spent the whole day there. I worked from 8.00 am till 9.30 pm that day. As long and as exhausting as it was (exhausting because at some point we had to join the technicians to work due to the amount of work left), it would be one of the most fun experiences I have had thus far at my job. I met more of the staff who had been posted to different sites, our boss had come twice to check the progress of work and encouraged us to take breaks and even gave us money for lunch and dinner. 9.30 pm and about 8 more floors to go on each tower T.J called me aside.

“Guy, do you want to pull an all-nighter? More overtime for you but I told Oga we should let you go home” he explained.

“What of A.B?” I asked “Will we resume on our sites tomorrow?”

“Well because of the pressure on your site, whether you stay or not you have to resume tomorrow” he explained, “That is why I got Oga to let you go home”.

“Egbon, if that is the case, let me go home. It will be better I resume fresh and clean” I said.

“Okay, no wahala. Nice work, Oga was very pleased with you guys” he said. “That was one of the reasons I asked you to come. The more you show you are willing to work, the more your boss will like you”. I nodded in understanding.

So na uber you go book? It is late oh” T.J said.

Brothers and sisters se bi I should have just said yes abi? Mba, hard guy time.

“I can get vehicle going to Obalende from here abi?” I asked, he nodded. “Eh, let me just take that way and experience Lagos night life”.

“Are you sure? Okay then” he said. Then he added “Call me if you need anything”. One of the technicians working on my site was going to buy food for the others and we walked together. He hailed a bus for me.

“Engine, engine. Good night sir” he greeted.

“Good night and good job today” I replied. I jumped in. Now as I had finished work, I had changed into my normal shoes to be more comfortable. But my safety boots were to big and dirty so instead of putting them with my work clothes in my backpack, I put them in a nylon bag and kept them between my legs. As it was late, I expected the road to be practically empty and so was supposed as we approached Obalende to see it was still bubbling with life.

Notice how in all this your boy wasn’t scared? Na we dey run Lagos now, no worry. lol

BOLE OOOH (COME DOWN OOOH)” the conductor shouted as we reached the designated bus stop. I was closest to the door. I got down, picked my boots and headed to the buses going to Oshodi. I had planned to stop at Barracks junction and just cross over and enter Ilupeju. As lucky would have it, a bus was already loading. I sat at the edge because I knew I would be dropping early.

Alaye shift make this man sit down” the conductor of the bus said carelessly.

I go drop early na why I sit for here” I tried to explain.

Ki lo n se bobo yi (what is wrong with this guy), I dey tell you something you dey tell me another thing” the conductor said rudely. I was tired, all I wanted to do was go home and sleep. I bent to move my boots with me inside, but I couldn’t feel them. I decided to come down to look under the seat as I couldn’t bend comfortably.

Werey lo n se bobo oh, ma fo ori e oh (madness is disturbing this guy. I will slap your head oh)” he said aggressively.

“Bros, where my boot?”I asked him.

You give me boot make I keep for you, abi bomb dey your head” the conductor replied me. I was getting angry, I stood facing him in front of the entrance to the bus.

“I kept my boot under this seat, you kept disturbing me since. Now my boot is missing” I said. People in the bus and outside started gathering.

O so oyinbo, o fe confuse mi, ko work (You are speaking English, you want to confuse me, it will not work)”he said and wanted to walk away. I pulled his shirt and that was when I knew I had messed up.  In a second, he turned and pushed me.

 “Alaye maa ka e (guy I will kill you)

Se wo ya werey (Are you mad)?” I asked

“Ki lo n so (What did you say)?” He asked angry but confused. I tried another line I knew.

Omo mi, you no know me oh” I shouted, “Olokpa awa ku awon mejeji”. The whole place broke with everyone laughing, some leaning against each other trying to gain balance. I knew I should have stuck to English. The conductor joined in; all trace of anger gone.

Abeg make we dey go, night don do” someone in the back shouted. I looked frustrated.

“Bros, no be conductor carry your shoe. If your shoe no dey inside bus, the real owners don carry am” another guy answered me. I was silently pondering how my boots were stolen through the whole trip amidst some people repeated my lines and others laughing. By the time I got home it was 10.38 pm. My cousin had waited for me even though I had my key; God bless her heart. I greeted her and went to bed.

….. ….. …..

“Wait you said what?” T.J and the other engineers asked laughing hard. T.J had stopped by my site to see how I was doing after the previous day’s stress and I was recanting the events.

“A ah, I told him Omo mi, as in ‘you don’t know me’ right” I tried to explain, and they started laughing.

“And the second line what was it again?” T.J encouraged. I had already started giggling because I knew where he was going to.

Olopa awa ku awon mejeji, as in ‘police will come and arrest both of us’ why are you laughing?” I tried to explain my meaning, but they all busted into another fit of laughter.

“It is o mo mi (you don’t know me) not omo mi (my child)” T.J tried to explain; tears filled his eye.

“And police cannot come and carry two of you if you have already killed the police in your sentence” he said and we all busted into laughter again.

“Guy you don suffer enough, I will place a request for new boot for you jare”he said as we continued to laugh.

….. ….. …..

I promise my Yoruba has improved since then. LOL. Thanks for reading. Please don’t forget to share with friends.

Posted in Living In Lagos

LIVING IN LAGOS:- An Encounter With An Obalende Thief

“Oleeeee, MA KPA E, AWON OLOSHI (Thief, I WILL KILL YOU, all these useless people) CATCH AM BEFORE HIM RUN OH”. As I heard the chants and shouting, the sleep in my eyes vanished. Them go thief me today.

“E don be” I thought

….. ….. …..

Lagos was much more interesting than I expected, but it was equally as stressful. I had started working in Lagos and was trying to get a rhythm to my daily routine. Wake up around 4.00 am, have my bath, pray, take a bus to Falomo, attend Mass, head to my site in Ikoyi, close from work, head to Obalende and take a bus back to Oshodi then head home. Plain and simple right? NOPE!!!

Of course, I still had issues leaving the house around 5.00 am but thankfully my area was quite safe. The next challenge was getting a vehicle to Oshodi. Kekes took time to come out for work during those early hours so sometimes, it was a drag and a waste of time. Then that morning humid air that at first comes like cool breeze but later turns into heat generator. Now, if you didn’t get to Oshodi under-bridge in time, that is a different story, you will meet a mob of people ready to push you into mud just because there is a struggle to enter a bus. Till today I don’t know if the bus drivers intentionally spaced their arrival just so people can rush and fight and struggle AND, in the end, they raise the fare. Now for professionals like me who have a master’s degree in jumping queues from Federal University of Technology, Minna, it was easy. But some days, it was just plain impossible. Today was one of those days.
As I watched people wearing suit and tie, fighting and clawing their sweaty bodies into buses in the Lagos early morning humid weather, I decided to take a different route. I looked for a bus going to Obalende. Luckily there was this bus that needed one more person and I quickly got in.

“OBALENDE, N250” the conductor called. I was a bit glad as I had just broken even. A bus from Oshodi to Falomo was usually between N250 – N300. Once I get to Obalende I just need to take a N50 keke and I arrive at my destination there by paying the same thing if I had taken the bus going to Falomo.

Why una go collect N250 early this morning. No be N200 e be” someone from behind complained. There must always be that one person who will always complain about the transport fare I thought and shook my head.

Oga no be just now I start dey call price, you fit comedown if you want” the conductor gave the classic reply. Their arrogance (while valid in this case) came from people’s needs to always be in a hurry in Lagos.

“….my night was fine. Sorry I had to leave. I am already late” the lady beside me spoke into her phone. ‘Already late’ Lagosians shaaaa. It was just 5:37 am. How late can a person be at this time of the day. Where are you going to? Do you work with witches? I wondered as I brought out my phone.

Bros keep your phone away from the window oh” the guy behind me advised. I looked up and turned back to see the person who would not mind their business this early morning. He was in military uniform, I quickly said thank you while pocketing my phone. We were moving quite fast I thought; how would someone steal my phone. But I wasn’t taking chances. I had other problems, how was I to keep sleep at bay now?

I looked out and noticed we had reached Iyanu-Oworo and were just about to climb the Third Mainland Bridge. The traffic was building up, we still had a long way to go. As I raked my brain of things that were not phone related to do, I drifted off to sleep. The bus didn’t help in making my nap a comfortable one. Unnecessary hard breaks, swerves and shouts from the conductor of “O WA OO (an expression indicating a bus stop)” when someone wanted to alight, “GBE BODI E (lift your body; in this case move the bus)” when it was time to start moving again and “WOLE WA ( enter)” when the conductor was helping the driver navigate the best/fastest possible route to take in the different lanes on the road. Finally we approached Obalende. The driver slowed down just before the decent to under the bridge.

OBALENDE SO KA LE OOOH, CMS WOLE PELU CHANGE OOOH (Obalende passengers alight ooh, CMS passengers enter with the minimum naira denomination required)” the conductor shouted.

No be Obalende be this na” someone shouted as the conductor jumped down the bus to create chance for passengers.

So na the place you plan to drop us you come collect N250?” another person complained.

Driver carry us go down now e no make sense” yet another person requested.

Both the driver and conductor acted like they were not the ones these people were speaking to. This was another ‘talent’ these guys had that blew my mind. Once they have collected their money, everybody was on their own.

Una want make LASTMA catch me for here, BOLE JARE (Come down quickly)” the bus driver shouted. I alighted, sleep still holding the most of my body as the driver pretended to want to zoom off as people where wasting time coming down as they were busy complaining. I slowly started walking down to under the bridge on the side of the road to avoid the sensible bus drivers and commuters who were taking that route.

He looked at me as he passed me, he was walking very casually, and I would have not paid him any notice but the way this guy looked at me as he walked past me. He was coming from under the bridge area towards the few buses that were parked where we had alighted. Everything happened so fast after that.

Oleeeee, MA PA E, AWON OLOSHI (thief, I WILL KILL YOU, all these useless people). CATCH AM BEFORE HIM RUN OH”. As I heard the chats and shouting, the sleep in my eyes vanished. Them go thief me today I thought.

This guy about 10 feet away from me seemed to be pointing at me as he shouted. I was scared as I had heard so much stories of jungle justice meted to innocents regularly in Lagos. Next thing now they will put tire round my neck. I am the only last born of my mother ooooh!!!

The guy who just passed me pushed me very roughly and started running. I tried to regain balance but like I said I was walking on the edge and so I slipped. Luckily a yellow bus was passing, and I hit the side of the bus and quickly tried to balance myself. By this time the guy pointing at me was very close to me.

What do I do? Run? Start begging? All of a sudden, I wanted to pee. But the guy just ran past me followed by several guys. It then dawned on me that it was the weird guy who was looking at me mischievously and who had shoved me that they were chasing.

Relief lasted 5seconds before panic came back. I quickly checked my pockets. Phones?? Check. Money?? Check. Mint gum?? Check. Okay I am good I thought, and the relief returned. I quickly rushed back to where I came down from the bus. The suspected thief had successfully dodged all the conductors and agberos around that area and had weaved his way through the busy traffic and I saw him jumping between the 2 bridges to get to the other side. As soon as he did so he started walking calmly, I believe so as not to be suspected. My heart was pounding in excitement and a bit of fear.

“Bros hope you are not hurt” it was the military officer who had warned me about my phone in the bus. I nodded in the affirmative. “They said he had snatched a lady’s phone in one of those buses as it descended to under the bridge. She was seating near the window” he said. He had this look of ‘be wary young man’. I thanked him again and continued walking.

Till I got to church, as you would expect, I kept checking for my phones in my pocket.

Posted in Living In Lagos

LIVING IN LAGOS:- My First Time in Lagos

Wo, ma le yin papo, se bi mo so fun e pe kosi change” the conductor shouted aggressively. I shook my head, mentally laughing at myself. Dolapo had left me. Now this dude was speaking Yoruba that was above my pay grade.
E don be” I thought.

….. ….. ….. ….. …..

 

Guy, you don ready?” Dolapo asked as he closed his door. I checked the zipper of my small carrier bag that it was locked. I wasn’t taking any chances.

“As ready as can be” I replied locking my door. I helped him carry his luggage out the main door as he switched off the electric switches and padded the backyard door with a rag. Then he walked out and locked the door.

“Hopefully that rat won’t eat its way through again” he said.

“You put the rag?” I asked, he nodded. “E stay?”, he nodded again.

We had just finished our second semester of our masters program and most students not based in Ibadan had plans to go home. Dolapo was heading to Lagos where his parents stayed. I was to be going to Abuja but no, I had delayed my trip because I was going to Lagos as well. What for you may ask? Omo to find woman, lol.

I had been talking to this lovely lady and the vibe was great. We had been planning how to see each other and this was my chance. No classes, no tests or exams, nothing. So why not take this adventure I told myself severally.

“Men them!!!” our friend and classmate Clinton hailed from his balcony, “na movement be that?” he asked.

“Yes oh” Dolapo and I chorused.

Una safe journey oh. Muyiwa bring something as you dey come back for me” he shouted as we walked out of the gate.

You go wait tire” I called back laughing.

We walked to the junction and looked for vehicle. We got a keke Napep (a tricycle commonly used as a means of cheap transport). The keke took us from inside Agbowo to the express and from there we got a cab going to Iwo road. Dolapo had said it was cheaper getting a vehicle from there. What did I know, JJC like me, I followed. We got a bus that charged just N800. The thought of regular visits to Lagos started to excite me. “Go this one first” my mind scolded. I relaxed, plugged in my ear piece and enjoyed some nice music as the journey began. 2 hours 15 minutes later I was looking at the sculpture of 3 men painted in white and I heard Dolapo say “Baba welcome to Lagos”.

“Thanks” I smiled. But I became tensed, with all the stories of agberos (local thugs), thieves and the general Lagos hype of “if you do anyhow, you go see anyhow” I had heard, I was now feeling more anxious than excited.

We reached the bus park close to Dolapo’s house in an area called Costain. As we alighted; the smell of weed, dirty gutters and this warm, humid Lagos air greet us.

“Baba make we reach my side before we go see your babe” he suggested. I honestly didn’t want to be alone but I didn’t want to stress him. He had told me how he still needed to go see his mom at her shop and do some other things.

“Bro, don’t worry. Just put me in a vehicle going to Yaba. The guest house I am staying is near one place called White House. She said she will meet me there so no wahala” I tried to sound confident.

Ah, na bus you go take be that. Abi you wan order Uber as a big boy” he teased smiling. I had heard about the Uber app before now but as I had always had a vehicle to use in Abuja and Ibadan transportation was to cheap to bother about Uber I had never used it. Another problem was I had a limited budget with funds. Hard guy mode set in.

“Uber for wetin na, let me use this chance to know this una Lagos” I replied. Dolapo laughed but didn’t push.

“Se won ya werey, ma fo bottle si ori e oh (are you crazy, I will break bottle on your head oh)”out of no where, two muscular guys came from behind a bus dragging each other. They toggled at each other sweating profusely.

You think say anybody dey fear you for this park. If you no give me my money, person go die today” the other one replied. I stood perplex as I watched them. I didn’t notice I was the only one paying them hid till Dolapo dragged my hand.

“Baba na mouth. When them tire them go go drink, make we dey go” he laughed casually like it was an everyday thing. “You will find out it is money the collected from bus conductors the are fighting over” he added.
I shook my head as I noticed I was holding my properties tightly. We approached the road.

“See, you will take a bus from here to Yaba, tell the conductor phase 1 so he knows when to stop for you, it is the closest bus stop. From there just take a bike to the guest house. You can’t miss it” he smiled, my heart started pounding. After watching the fight I had already moved all the cash from my back pocket to the front, I repeatedly kept checking for my phones.

A bus slowed down and Dolapo indicated that it was going my way.

“SABO, YABAA!!! SABO, YABA!!! WOLE PELU CHANGE OOOOH (enter with your change oh)” the conductor shouted. As people rushed I followed suit, I didn’t understand what he said because at that time my Yoruba was very sketchy but I was not about to carry last. I got a seat beside the window of the 2nd row. My carrier bag in tact, I checked my pockets, money, phones in place. Good to go. I waved Dolapo.

Remember na phase 1 you go drop oh” he hailed as the bus picked up speed.

Four people on a row was usual. It was same in Ibadan, but It was weird how these buses were so tight. The plus size woman in the row in front of me kept sighing and trying to create more space for herself.

Why you go collect N300?” she finally complained to the conductor.

E jo (please) make una adjust” the conductor said as he tried to close the door and find space for himself in the already congested bus, it seemed he was ignoring the woman.

Conductor abeg this window no dey open?” someone from the back complained.

I no fit pay N300 to go Yaba oh” the woman said angrily.

Madam you hear me when I call N300, you still carry your dunlop body enter bus. I no want wahala this afternoon oh” he answered her as he tried to adjust the window for the complaint.

Na your mama carry dunlop oh. Anuofia (bush animal)” she retorted insulting him in Igbo.

Anything you wan talk you go sha pay that money” he said, “owo lati waju (money for front)” he said and started collecting money from the passengers seating in front beside the driver. This was so entertaining I was quietly laughing,enjoying the drama as it unfolded, my fare already in my hand. As I handed him my money he sighed.

Wo, ma le yin papo, se bi mo so fun e pe kosi change (See, I will join you people together, I told you there is no change)” the conductor shouted aggressively. I shook my head, mentally laughing at myself as I had no clue what this dude had just said.

E don be” I thought. I had this confused look on my face and the lady beside me noticed. She smiled reassuringly.

“He isn’t shouting at you really. He is complaining about change, too many people are giving him large bills” she explained.

“Ooooooh” I exclaimed with relief. Ibadan had taught me to always have loose change before you get insulted for not having N30 for a trip,so I already had the exact amount for the fare.

“You are going to drop at phase 1 right?” she asked. I nodded.

“You don’t know there abi?” I looked embarrassed but I didn’t want to be nodding like a lizard.

“What gave me away”I laughed uncomfortably.

“Well, you have been looking at the buildings as we moved like they have gold on them, plus you seem very edgy” she replied.

“Guilty” I had to admit. Her smile was quite soothing.

“Don’t worry, I’m heading there as well. I’ll let you know.

I smiled. Lagos was not as bad as I thought. A bit rugged, definitely had crazy bus conductors, so why have I always not liked the thought of it. I decided to enjoy this experience. I was not like I was moving here. I got to Yaba phase 1, apparently it is very close to the famous ‘Yaba-Left’ hospital. I thanked the lady and looked for a bike.

Where you dey go Oga?” the bike guy asked. I smiled. The familiar Hausa accent put me at ease.
ka sai ni white house (do you know White house) ?” I asked in Hausa.
Ah hanya, Herbart Macaulay (along Herbart Macaulay road)? He asked. I looked at my Google map and then nodded.
Aye, N200 (Yes, N200)” he said. I couldn’t be bothered if he was cheating me to be honest. I hopped on and we drove off. I was looking forward to whatever Lagos had in store for me.

Posted in Living In Lagos

LIVING IN LAGOS :- The Day I got Lost

Se o ya were? Oo mo mi, ma gbe e losi Ikotun” the conductor said to me. I looked miserably away as I mentally slapped myself for not just going to TBS and taking a BRT. Even with my poor Yoruba, I knew I was in soup.

“E don be” I thought to myself.

….. ….. ….. ….. …..

“So, you are going for the interview tomorrow” Chidimma asked me. I smiled excitedly and nodded.

“My friend explained everything to me and said I need to be at the office as early as 8.00 am tomorrow” I explained. “We will meet at one place called TBS” I said trying to remember the details.

“That is Tafawa Balewa Square, very close to Victoria Island” Chidimma explained. “Where is the office located?” she asked.

“Errm, wait I took it down on my phone” I said removing my phone from my pocket, “Marwa junction at Lekki phase 2” I read out the description. “That is Lekki phase 2 roundabout now” it sounded like a question and I was looking at her like madam, how am I suppose to know? This was like my fifth visit to Lagos and I was almost always indoors in my cousin’s house.

Timeout...

For those who read the first post “My First Time in Lagos” on this new series “LIVING IN LAGOS” let me clarify … Chidimma is not the person I came to see in the last post. After my first visit I found out one of my dearest cousins stayed in Lagos so no more guest house, free accommodation activated. So yeah more visits to Lagos began and YES, the visits were “woman-based”, and NO not the same person as the first time but a different woman; Chidimma. Lol. I was already approaching the end of my MSc program and was job-hunting. On one of these visits, my friend informs me of a job interview but I am not prepared based on appearance hence the current discussion.

Continue….

“Why is he making you go to TBS when you can get a bus from Oshodi isale (under) straight to Lekki?” she said looking at me. I stared back at her in utter oblivion. This girl must think I am one of the founding fathers of Lagos.

Nwanyi oma (‘good woman’ as I fondly called her) what are you talking about? Where is Oshodi esalee?” I was completely confused and couldn’t hide it.

“Aah, it is isale not whatever you just pronounced” she teased. “Oshodi is just at the back here now. Where you dropped when you were coming in from Ibadan before entering Ilupeju” she tried to explain.

“See, you people and this your Lagos, don’t stress me” I said beginning to feel a cloud of despair engulf me.  “All I know is he said we should meet there so he can give me a pair of shoes” I explained.

“Wait, you didn’t come with shoes?” she asked.

“I didn’t know the interview will be tomorrow nau. It was because of your birthday I came to Lagos remember. He didn’t even know I was in town sef” I explained.

“Oh, that’s true. Eya, that’s really nice of him” she said “but I still think it will be easier going straight from Oshodi. Let traffic not make you late”.

“Please, let me just follow his description” I concluded.

“Then you will leave early oh. Like 5.00 am” she advised.

“You say?” I exclaimed. Which kind of life is this one now? 5.00 am in the morning? Does this girl realize I am the last son of my mother? Do I look like I can handle being attacked by Lagos agbero?

“My dear, that’s Lagos for you. Lekki is on the island. It is far oh” she tried to explain. Anxiety started to tickle my spine. This was one of the reasons I was not attracted to this Lagos of a place.

“But you will be fine, since you are using BRT” she said.

“And between my house and the BRT junction fa? How fine will I be?” I asked with every air of skepticism I could muster, She laughed thinking I was being funny. I faked my own laughter too. This ‘hard guy’ of a thing will not be my undoing.

“Babe, let me go and print out my documents and CV and read up on HVAC and ACs. Get prepared for this interview” I said. I had resigned myself to my fate. Worst case is I will just dash the agberos my phone and beg for my life I thought to myself.

….. ….. ….. ….. …..

“Guy that’s a great one” I said to my university colleague as we walked out of the building. He also came for the interview and it went very well. I was so excited.

So, because of tension I woke up around 4.00 am and by 5.00 am I was ready to move. My cousin had asked me to call my friend to know if it was too early to move. It was a good advice because when I did, he asked me to wait till 6.00 am before moving. That calmed me a little. By the time I left the house there were a few people already up and about. I got to the BRT bus stop at Obanikoro and bought my ticket. The bus came, a modern-styled commercial transport vehicle unlike anything from where I came. I boarded. I must say I enjoyed the trip. The seats where comfortable and the AC was a pleasure. I met up with my friend who helped me get to the office just in time. I had a good interview session and was just leaving the office building with another candidate.

Mehn we thank God oh” he replied back. My phone began to ring. “Na, T.J?” He asked, I nodded.

Egbon (senior) how far nau?” I greeted him.

“M.Y how far, how did it go?” he asked.

“It went well oh. A few technical questions then a lot on my past experience” I answered.

No, wahala. Na to dey pray now and hope for good outcome” he said.

“Amen oh. Thanks bro. Make I call madam. She don dey monitor me since I comot house this morning” I joked.

She suppose. We go talk later” He said and hung up.

I dialed Chidimma’s number and she picked on the first ring.

Nwanyi oma, how far?” I asked smiling.

“Babe, how far now? You just left me in the dark. That your text I didn’t understand sef. I was worried you would reach late when you said there was traffic at Fadeyi” she said.

“Calm down, na we dey run Lagos” I boasted loudly. She had to laugh.

“You? You that was shaking yesterday” she teased.

“I have no idea what you are talking about” I pretended “me that was giving the driver direction to TBS. See just forget” I responded and we both laughed.

“So, how did it go?” she asked.

“It went well sweetheart” I said and proceeded to giving the run down of the interview. As I spoke, my old colleague indicated he was going. I waved at him and continued my discussion with Chidimma …. mistake number 1.

“So, now it is to go and pray I get the job”I rounded up.

“Like play like play you will become a Lagos somebody” she said.

“Please, please, don’t call me that. I rep only Abuja and Jos” I said jokingly.

“Be there” she laughed at me. “So where are you now?”

Den! Den!!DEEEENNNNN!!!! I was looking morose. I had been walking and talking on the phone, the office was a distance away and now I was around the express, ALONE. (Egungun be careful)

“Muyiwa, are you there?” Chidimma asked thinking there was a problem with the connection.

“Baby I don’t know oh. Looks like I’m lost. I don’t know where I am” I blurted out laughing as I scratched my head. I didn’t even know why I was laughing because it was not funny.

“Oya calm down and ask someone close by” she said soothingly. I saw a guy holding some carpentry tools standing and I asked.

This roundabout for our front na Lekki phase 2 roundabout” he said. I thanked him and held my phone back to my ears.

“Baby…”

“Lekki phase 2 roundabout. I heard him. You don’t have problem. Either you wait for bus going straight to Oshodi or you take a bus going to Obalende” she explained, “Or just go back to TBS and take BRT back the way you came”.

The first thing that came to my mind was that comical  “am I a joke to you”  meme. This girl must be thinking she is talking to someone else because it is not me.

“Madam you are giving me options like I know where you are talking about. Which one is Obalende again?” I replied her. She chuckled.

“Obalende is that place we dropped and took keke going to V.I that day now” she said trying to remind me. I could not remember the said day. “Okay, see just take a bus going to Oshodi under bridge, make sure it is under-bridge oh. Tell them Oshodi isalé” she insisted.

“Okay, will call you when I am on the bus” I said and ended the call. I stood pensively watching as white buses and yellow buses passed.

“OZUMBA!!! BONY CAMP!!!”

“IYANA OWORO!!!!”

“CMS, COSTAIN!!!”

They kept calling all these places but no Oshodi. About ten minutes had passed but it felt like an hour. I was sweating because the weather was a bit hot.

OBALENDE N150, enter with your change oh, wole pelu change ooooh, NO CHANGE OH!!!” the conductor shouted as the bus slowed down. He looked at me as if he knew I was supposed to be on the bus.

Bros, make we go na” he said. Well, Chidimma did say I could go to Obalende. I would just call her as I am going, she would give me directions. I hopped in and tried calling Chidimma, it didn’t go through. I convinced myself that I would just find someone to point me to the Oshodi bus when I arrive. Not long afterwards we reached this grand building near the water. CIVIC CENTER was written in it. A bus passed us.

“OSHODI, OSHODI!!!” the conductor on the bus passing us shouted as the bus joined us in the traffic cluster that was growing in front of us.

Conductor, abeg make I drop join this bus abeg. E go pay me pass” a woman sitting behind me with a little child said.

I no go give you change oh madam” the conductor said grudgingly

Obalende wey we don almost reach, no worry” she smiled.

ALAYE!!! Duro, passenger mbo (chairman!!! Wait, passenger is coming)” our conductor hailed the other one. As I was in front, I had to alight so the woman could get down. A voice said join her. I did. Mistake number 2.

Oshodi na N200 oh” the conductor said as we entered and the bus took off, the woman didn’t argue so I didn’t argue, either.

 It was a few minutes passed 2.00 pm. There was a cool breeze blowing despite the sun and it felt good as I needed something to counter this sweating. I had just had a good interview and I was on my way home I decided to enjoy the remainder of the trip knowing that I will come down where the lady would come down. I was almost dozing off when an argument between my partner in jumping buses and the conductor arose.

… madam no disturb me oh, na oke (above), na Oshodi oke I don dey call since” the conductor replied.

You no tell me before oh. No give me that one” she replied him. I was confused. I decided to inquire.

“Sorry, what is the problem?” I asked the guy sitting beside me as I looked around. We were passing this bridge and the woman kept pointing like she wanted to get down.

“The bus is taking the Ikotun route so it took the bridge. Meanwhile this woman thought the bus was going under the bridge” he explained. I looked at him in my mind wondering what sort of explanation it was.

Madam we no dey stop for on top bridge. When we come down, we go drop you” the conductor replied the woman. The woman was unhappy but kept mute. I shook my head realizing that maybe we were not going the same way while trying to understand what my seatmate had said. Just as the woman alighted and the bus took off, it hit me. ‘Oshodi isale’ meant under Oshodi bridge while ‘Oshodi oke’ meant over the Oshodi bridge. My heart started pounding, stories of kidnapping flew past my brain. I didn’t know what to do.

“Abeg let me drop” I quickly said to the conductor.

Se o ya were? Oo mo mi, ma gbe e losi Ikotun (Are you mad? You don’t know me oh, I will take you to Ikotun)” the conductor said to me. I looked miserably away as I mentally slapped myself for not just going to TBS and taking a BRT. Even with my poor Yoruba, I knew I was in soup. “E don be” I thought to myself.

Ko to be, duro je ko sokale (It has not gotten to that, stop let him get down)” an elderly woman said from behind.

Conductor na JJC no vex” Someone also added. The driver who was paying attention quickly slowed down off the road and came to a stop.

Ogbeni come down. No dey waste my time” he said.

“Thank you sir” I didn’t know when “sir” came out of my mouth. The conductor gave a long sigh dragging the door shut as the bus sped off. About two kilometers back was the Oshodi bridge. I told myself my punishment would be to trek back to Oshodi.

“Chidimma must not hear of this” I said to myself laughing.

Thank you for taking time to enjoy this piece of mine. I look forward to sharing some more Lagos experiences with you all. I have other stories I have written in times past that I would love to share with you like With The Gang, The Vengeful Gift, among others. Thank you and stay safe

Posted in Monday Muse

Settling for Less

Normally monday is for MONDAY MUSE, something funny, something to kick off your day and not let that “oh no it’s monday again” feel weigh you down. But today I dey provoke. I woke up all happy and joyful for reasons best know to me :), but o remembered a conversation with a friend yesterday that really saddened me. So lets get to it. I hope this does some good out there. Enjoy!!!

It was a Thursday in January 2016, I remember we had just come back to the office from marketing and everyone was in a good mood. As always the Fred was teasing the ladies. It was a habit we had grown accustomed to. Even Anita, his office nemesis was not taking shots at him.

We were in our usual spot at the back, Kabirat, Ene and Ify were doing some aproko work at the front desk when a young couple walked in and as always everyone was stretching neck to find out if it was their clients. Apparently they were a walk-in customer so the ladies at the front desk took charge. They had good taste because their bill was about seven hundred thousand Naira. We were all hoping one of us will be picked to take the commission on the deal. Fred had already gone to make his pitch to the ladies. Man must hustle.

“. . . . I can’t believe he was even this bold to be carrying her about” I overheard Ene say as I walked back from the restroom. Apparently one of the ladies knew the man.

“Men shaaaaa” Ify joined.

“Wetin? Wetin? Una no go just free us” Fred retorted playfully. “What if he is just helping a friend?”

“Na so. Helping friend when his wife is at home abi?” Kaburat replied rolling her eyes. “Why cant he go and help his wife? It is like they use it to curse you people. You must always cheat”.

“A aah why you come dey personalise am na? When you see me cheat?” Fred pretended to be offended.

“I no know oh” Hassan another marketer who was charging his phone at the front desk joined in.

“Haba not all men are cheats oh” I added to support the guys.

“That’s what they all say” Ene replied waving me off.

“A ah, Ene as I am like this now you will say I can cheat?” I teased.

“E no dey show for face” Ify shouted and we all laughed.

“Muyiwa you? Na una wey dey always look innocent do am pass sef” Ene shot at me.

“Yeee!!!” I exclaimed, “A aah, no now” I tried to defend myself.

“Sha me I don’t even send, if my husband likes he should cheat, if he likes he shouldn’t. He should not just do it to my knowing oh” Ene added.

“Abi oh. At least i will have my kids. They won’t cheat on me” Kabirat added.

I was taken aback. Or was it confused sef. I had to confirm.

“Wait you girls have already predicted cheating in your future?” I asked because none of them were married.

“Nigerian men can’t be trusted. Better to prepare your mind” Ene said. I was shocked. We talked about cheating in relationships and marriages and the day went on. But those words stuck to me.

Soooooooo, Fast forward to yesterday. I had a conversation with a friend and the same statement came up. It is sad to know there are women out there who feel they will be cheated upon in marriage. But what is even worse is they have factored it into their lives as a constant and have accepted that it is okay and they will live with it.

What happened people? When did we get to this point? Is it because of societal pressures? Social media stories? Celebrity news? Breakups around us? Stories of cheating and infidelities that have corrupted our minds to the point we are willing to settle for less? Are you telling me there are no men and women who can be faithful? If yes, are you telling me you don’t deserve such people?

Is it because you have cheated before and so you feel karma is coming for you? (If that is the case I understand. Go with God and may the odds be ever in your favour). If not the stated case, why will you feel it is okay to accept that “because of how the world is” (that’s what i always hear) it is hard to find that faithful person.

Please don’t get me wrong it is not easy to be faithful. It is not easy to be faithful while single sef talk more of when in a relationship, but it is possible. And if it is possible why don’t we advocate for it? Women why don’t you demand it? One thing I know about men (please when I say men I am talking about the ones that have sense in their brains) is if you make yourself worth it they will gun for you. How do you expect a man to hear his female friends whom he holds in high regard and who are successful and making it say they expect to be cheated upon in marriage and still feel he will want to be faithful?

Women teach your sons, your brothers, your male friends to stand up. To the men, be faithful.

To be man no be by who fit give woman belle – African proverb

To the men out there: do better. Just because you are given a free pass (because to me that statment is a free pass) doesn’t mean you should take it. Nobody holy pass, I just dey come from school make i go find food my people. God bless you all.

Have a great week.

 

For those who might want to say both sexes cheat, thanks for the know fact. Today I want to talk about the men. Cheers

Posted in Uncategorized

The End of Yet Another Year

I woke up this morning to see two links from a friend to two very hilarious twitter threads. One was a bad sexual experience written by an awesome creative writer (Click Here) blessed with the gift of humor and the other was about time management told by a very pretty lady (Click Here to view). Of course I didn’t end there, I started my small work of stalking my numerous crushes on twitter and I stumbled upon something I would love to share.

 

“Darling,                                                                                              

Never disrupt your blooming progress to water someone else’s garden. You’ve worked too hard on yourself to compromise your growth for anyone who doesn’t grow you.

Your growth comes with no apology letter attached to it. It comes with no honey coated words and actions. It comes with no guilt or regret. 

Be grateful for anybody you left behind, because their absence helped you find more of you.

So when their love for you doesn’t have a voice, awaken the voice inside of yourself. Let the love you have for yourself speak for you. Let the love for yourself be so loud, that it fills their silence with beautiful music.

And when your soul feels heavy? Unpack. Take the bag off and take a closer look inside. Why are you still holding on to situations that weigh you down? Why are you still fighting for connections that disconnect you? Get rid of what no longer serves you. You deserve to feel lighter.”

Billy Chapata @iambrillyant

 

I thank every single person who has visited my blog this year, who has commented, encouraged and criticize me and my writing this year. I hope I was able to put a smile, cause a laugh, probe a thought.

As we go into the new year, I hope you take the above message and run with it and be free. Happy new year folks, may 2018 be better than 2017 for all of us. Amen.

 

It has been a pump-pleasing-pleasure as well as a privilege.

Thank you,

M. Fadare

Posted in Uncategorized

COLD CHILLS

. . . . . It must have been 1.00 am or so, we were all in the building, the barbecue had come to an end and it was just drinks and having fun. Some were gisting in group, others had found a new ‘friend’ and were doing what we called “two-aside” in different corners or rooms. I had been drinking and I was tired but she had been winking at me all night. There she was again standing at the door, I wanted to go to her, say hello, see if I too would get a new friend this night, I could hear the imaginary voices of my friends urging me to go on . . . on second thoughts I sipped my drink and sat were I was, observing.

We had heard about these guys before but when they came in it was like a movie. First a gunshot then a scream. Everyone around me panicked. What the hell was that? I thought, then that scary statement followed.

“MAKE NOBODY MOVE IF UNA NO WAN DIE”

More screams, another shot, I thought I heard a thud, like a body dropped. Damn these were my friends they were gunning down. I wanted to go to the door but as soon as I stood up someone grabbed me, footsteps . . . I quickly ducked and laid down.

The door was kicked, BANG, BANG!!! I felt the warm sticky feel of blood slash on me, I saw her eyes as her lifeless body hit the floor. She was running and collide with him.

“Dumb bitch” I heard him say. I was scared but I was enraged.

“Make any of una try something stupid oh” he threatened.

I had experienced an armed robbery attack once in 2007 but nobody was killed. It was when I was at home and that was the first time a gun was pointed at me. This was different, I couldn’t tell if it was a robbery or some trigger happy assault.

The guy walked away. Another shot!!!

“TONY!!!!!!!!!” I heard someone scream. No, I knew that guy. I was a little buzzed but I could still remember everyone who came. As the host I tried to be social, one of my poor skills; he was a young chap my cousin had brought with her. I remember teasing her about him.

The room was dark, but I could hear sobbing, like a game the blueprint of the building came to me like an imaginary screen. My phone was in the adjacent room. If I would just get there I could call my brother. He knew a number of security Agents both in the police and in the Secret Service. I crawled quietly to the door scared shitless. Someone gave a little whimper, I’m sure it was an attempt to stop me.

I as I looked down both sides of the hallway I wondered. I had no idea how many they were but more importantly I had no idea how I was bold enough to do this very, very, very stupid thing. I am Nigerian, we RUN away from trouble not TO it. I reached the door at the end of the hallway and quietly pulled the handle, it opened and I peeped inside.

“Muyiwa”, I heard a whisper. I turned to see my sister. What the hell she wasn’t supposed to be here. Before I could reach her the door opened. First thing that came to my mind was to “form dead”. I laid still. I was praying, hoping he didn’t see me. The silence felt like forever. Then I heard the sound of a cocked gun.

“You wan form say you don die abi” a devilish voice said. “Oya make I grant your wish”. I knew I was a done for. I still laid still. I heard him pull the trigger . . .

CLICK! Nothing. I heard him his.

CLICK, CLICK!!! The gun was jammed. “Damn, all these fake guns” he hissed in anger. I wanted to turn, attack, but I couldn’t feel my legs. Before I could turn and get up . . .

“Confam” was all I Heard, then BANG!!!!!! . . . .

 

I woke up, sweat on my forehead, and my shirt was partially soaked with sweat as well. Across I saw my friend Godwin on his phone. He was most probably watching wrestling. It was 5.13 am. I turned on my laptop and decided to write.

 

 

Posted in Quotes & Poems

Call Me Back

So there I was sitting on the rug in room wondering why my fridge was void of food and why the shops were all closed and it wasn’t even 10.00 p.m. yet and I got this beautiful voice note. I was touched about how much someone wanted to read something written by me.

Well today on Poems&Quotes I will post something written by someone who was inspired by my post titled Here Is To Us. I was so excited when I got the mail and promised to post it. She tags it ‘Call Me Back‘. Enjoy!!!

 

Dear G,

I sit here wondering what is wrong with me.

I thought this will be much more easier but it isn’t. Being this forward, being this bold . . . It is so unlike me, it is not what I am used to. But I did this, I caused this, so I must fix it.

All you wanted was to hear my voice but I was too busy to take your call,

You had that surprise day all planned out, but movies were more important than your call.

He isn’t worthy of you, you know you are better than this, don’t be easy, he doesn’t even have a car . . . these and many more where shot down my ears and for a moment I listened. I have regretted that moment ever since.

I miss your text messages, I miss you, I am sorry I played impossible to get, I am sorry I didn’t appreciate your effort, I am sorry.

Please Call me back.

– Chi

 

Chi I really hopes he calls you back. I love good ending to a love story. So guys I will do this once every month. You can send your message for that special person to me via fadarated@gmail.com and I promise to post. Cheers

Posted in From The Ancient City of Ibadan

My Ibadan Tale 05

WOES OF A STUDENT

“You all are here to be better, to harness all you have learnt as undergraduates and improve in that area which you are suppose to be passionate about”.

Whenever Dr. Ambode spoke it was like therapeutic music, it brought focus, a desire, it rejuvenated my resolve to make something better of myself.

“I am going to give a term paper” he continued.

“Haba sir”

“Sir no now, we are choked as it is”

“Sir don’t do us like this now!!!”

Different chants from different students. What was so interesting was that Dr. Ambode was just smiling. After a while he raised his hand for silence and as always everyone behaved.

“You guys know this isn’t undergrad. We will not pamper you. We will not feed you everything” he spoke as he strolled through the middle aisle of the lecture hall. He was quite tall, about 5’9″ and had a healthy amount of flesh on him. “Nomso abi am I wrong” he smiled. For a minute I lost concentration ad my eyes drifted to the epitome of beauty that was called Chinomso. She smiled at him uncomfortably and nodded.

Chinomso Orji!!! I could write a book about her you know. She was tall like me, but slim, she had this … how do I describe them? … ‘child-bearing’ hips that swayed as she walked. She wore glasses and she was left handed. I don’t understand my obsession with left-handed girls but it just makes them more attractive. Oops, see me day dreaming; back to the story.

“So you have to do your research” Dr. Ambode concluded. O shit, I missed the assignment.

“Pssst, Bally” I whispered to my friend sitting in front of me.

“How far?” He leaned back.

“I didn’t get the assignment ”

“Between 1000 – 3000 words on how your option can affect this present day Engineering” he repeated.

“Thanks” I said. That should be fun. Dotun and I were always having such conversations at home.

“Okay people, we will see next week” Dr. Ambode said shutting down his laptop and turning of the projector. Everyone else in the class was either shutting their laptops down or making small talk about the term paper.

“Salako, see me in my office before you leave today” he said as he passed me.

“Okay sir” Dotun replied. I gave him a questioning look, he raised his hands, he had no clue what the lecturer wanted.

We got up and walked out of the hall. Ibadan and its humid air. It was hot outside, I almost wanted to go back into the AC-ed lecture hall.

“Badt man” Dotun hailed Chigozie who caught up with us on the stairs of the Department building.

Faculty of Technology was located on the left of the school map, way inside. University of Ibadan was like a small local government area to be honest. It was that big. But it was beautiful. I had done my undergraduate degree in Owerri and served in the North so doing my masters in the West was an easy decision to make as it made me feel like a full Nigerian and University of Ibadan is one of the best in the country.

Nna (friend) dey hunger wey dey do me now eh” Chigozie started.

“Guy you like food” I teased.

Nooo, you no like food na, na why you fat like this” he retorted.

“Hi guys, Tobi what’s up?” Nomso smiled at me . . . sorry at us as she passed.

Nwanya oma (good woman), how far?” Chigozie just had to form tribal. I shook my head and smiled back.

“Fine girl how now?” Dotun answered

“Hey Nomso, I’m good, how are you?” I replied.

“I’m fine. You guys have a great day okay” she smiled again and walked down the stairs.

“Come oh Dotun, is it only me that noticed she put me and you inside ‘guys’ but Tobi greeting was on its own?” Chgozie said. Dotun began to laugh.

“Chingy you have started oh” I said, knowing he was about to start his banter.

No now make we reason am. You no be guy? Why she say ‘hello guys’ THEN ‘Tobi what’s up’ or you didn’t hear her?” He insisted.

“Guy I am hungry” I deflected the question.

“Oooh, na now hunger dey catch you abi?” We all laughed. “That babe like you oh, I be your guy, I no go lie you“.

Chingy make we go find food abeg” I tried to change the topic.

“Tedder Hall fa? Their food isn’t expensive at all” Dotun said.

“Oya let’s go. From there we will just head home” I suggested.

“Okay, let me see Dr. Ambode then I will meet up with you guys” Dotun replied.

“No problem” Chigozie said and I nodded.

 

………         ……….          ……….

 

[2:23 p.m.] Mystery Lady: Doubting Thomas

[2:26 p.m.] Me: Mystery Lady

[2:28 p.m.] Mystery Lady: How you?

[2.28p.m.] Mystery Lady: Is that what you call me? Lol

[2:29 p.m.] Me: Sad, You?

[2:29 p.m.] Me: Well you didn’t give me an option.

[2:29 p.m.] Mystery Lady: Why sad?

[2:30 p.m.] Me: Because it is an emotion and i tend to feel it from time to time.

[2:30 p.m.] Mystery Lady: I’m pissed. At work while on leave.

[2:34 p.m.] Me: oh you work, well one new thing I know about you.

[2.34 p.m.] Mystery Lady: Well not all of us have the brains to go for Masters.

 

“Guy you just dey press phone since” Chigozie cut into my thoughts. I raised my head smiling.

“Na woman you dey chat with abi?” He winked at me. I laughed. We had been waiting for Dotun for over 15 minutes now.

“Na this babe oh” I replied.

“Has she finally said her name?” He asked. I felt my phone vibrate. I shook my head as I picked it up.

[2.44 p.m.] Mystery Lady: How is your day going?

[2.45 p.m.] Me: Just finished from class, want to eat.

[2.45 p.m.] Mystery Lady: and you didn’t invite me😔

I mentally rolled my eyes. See, she won’t see me, but I should invite her to lunch. Girls and their drama. Just then, I got an idea.

[2.47 p.m.] Me: so that you will job me again? Naaa I’ll pass.

I hoped it worked. Let’s see if some guilt tripping would have any effect.

“This girl is either a tease or annoying. Either way the excitement is running out” I said to Chigozie.

“Did you do the video call with her that day?” Chigozie asked.

“If I hear. She jobbed me again” I replied. I checked my phone, still no reply. Oh well she didn’t care I guess. Just then Chigozie began to wave. I turned and realized he was trying to get Dotun’s attention. He had just arrived.

“How far, sorry oh, Doc and I were just talking ” he apologized.

“I was almost eating my finger na. As this yeye boy just dey smile at him phone” Chigozie said mocking me. We laughed. Got up and went to buy our meal.

“So what did he want?” I was curious to know what my favorite lecturer wanted with my friend.

“Just wanted feed back on his teaching and his course as a whole.” Dotun explained.

“And he asked a student?” I asked surprised, “mehn that man is humble”.

“Same thing that crossed my mind” Dotun agreed with me. “He told me chat is students were the best tools to use to evaluate himself so he finds those he feels will be comfortable enough to be real with him”.

“Wow” was all I could say as we took the food we bought back to our seats.

“Meanwhile some lecturers will be forming boss oh. One thin they don’t know” Chigozie added.

“As in eh, you will think people will try and learn from him” Dotun stated.

“So this term paper, how are we running in?” I asked.

“Baba this is something we are always chatting about at home now” Dotun replied “we’ve got this”.

“Same thought I had when I heard it” I laughed.

“Anyhow una wan do” Chigozie said with a mouthful of rice, ” make una no loose guard your guy. Una be my guys oh”. Dotun and I laughed and shook our heads.

“Baba by the way, madam fit show this weekend oh”. I smiled.

“Really?” I asked, Dotun nodded. “That’s good oh”.

“Omo it is not good oh. That NEPA issue got me bad” Dotun complained. “Still recovering”.

I could understand with Dotun because I too was running out of cash fast and it was till mid-month. Just then I noticed three girls giggling were they were serving food. They were mumbling something and stealing glances our way. Undergraduates I guessed, I shook my head as I felt my phone viberate. Finally she had replied I thought.

[3.34 p.m.] Mystery Lady: I see you. Stop shaking your head.

I nearly dropped my phone.

 

Posted in Quotes & Poems

Life Line

It is another lovey duvey session on Poems&Quotes day. This song was written by a young guy trying to get his girlfriend back. By the way … He did get her back.

I didn’t mean to bruise your heart
I’m so sorry it drove us this far apart
Drowning in a sea full of tears
I thought we could’ve lasted for years
And I still do, wanna live my life with you

So throw me, throw me a lifeline baby
Say that I’m really sorry, pick up the phone.
and Show me, show me you really want me
Hold me, love me, need me
Don’t wanna make this climb

People change and I can try,
Expectations I will defy
Girl I’m begging on my knees
Come on, come on baby please

By Ruben Gray