This is why I hate Lagos By Olufemi Olofinmuagun


This city called Lagos is a habitat for crazy people. I woke up 4:50am to use our dilapidated general bathroom, knowing fully well that Mama Yetunde must have lined up her children to bath them one after the other. I actually would have got out of bed 5:00am, but all in my effort to avoid Mama Yetunde’s early morning drama, I woke 10 minutes faster. Yet I still can’t have the luxury of cleaning this sweaty body on time. In my anger, I entered our “network-forsaken” pit toilet to drop some load, only to lose the last round of my Imperial Leather bath soap in the pit latrine.

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I had to rush back to my room to scoop some OMO detergent to clean myself. I hate to bath without soap. In the midst of these confusions, deafening sounds of morning prayer call was blaring from the public address system of the Mosque on our street.

I wanted to eat after dressing up but oh – incompetent PHCN, I would have asked Aunty Clara to help me refrigerate the leftover of the beans I had yesternight, but we haven’t had electricity in days. Wasiu had been very useless, if only the nitwit had serviced my “I pass my neighbor generator”. but wait.

I’m actually going nuts, I don’t even have a refrigerator let alone powering it with a tiny Tiger generator.

I had to bin the spoilt beans before I leave for work. I was so disorganized. The only thing I could suggest was positive that morning was that I had actually remembered to polish my worn-out, haggard-looking shoes the previous night .

Its 7:30am, I had locked my door, and was on my way to work. I was actually at the end of my street when LAWMA workers came around, the whole street immediately starts smelling like a decomposing rat. I knew Mama Yetunde would never help dispose my trash. I was practically crying on my way back home to trash it myself. When I was done, I quickly washed my hand and re-applied my cheap Hausa perfume.

It took almost an hour, l was being disturbed in a danfo bus by the stench emanating from a young man’s sweating armpit. It’s not even 10am yet I thought as I moved an inch away. I poked my nose out of the window to avoid the stench only to be confronted by a beggar who pleaded for money to cure his prostate cancer. A bag of urine with a tube dangled loosely from his groin. Much as I had tried to avoid the bedlam around me, I was confronted from all sides by the omnious chaos.

I was trapped in a poorly assembled railings of rusty metals, and not the driver, nor his conductor was pampering me with soothing words. Words I need to encourage my hustle. So I assaulted them with words I couldn’t take back.

On getting to work, my boss who assuredly knew I don’t have super-powers, was expecting me to lift the moving-dead, fume-oozing, metal-box we were trapped in on my head and get it out of Third Mainland Bridge traffic so I could resume to my workplace in Obalende early. I was really angry with his facial expressions and pissed off by his constant policing of my work area that I forgot to charge my Tecno phone all day.

Mrs Okonkwo is another monster I had to deal with, she has no iota of sympathy. If it were possible, she practically will add her work to my own and join my salary to her own. She is that wicked. I actually didn’t have a tangible work output on this day. I couldn’t wait till its closing time. I didn’t enjoy working. And voilà, work closed for the day.

Mr. Segilola is a man that unintentionally do stuffs that’ll make you detest him more, He never finds it hard to piss people off. It comes naturally. I wasn’t planning to go home in his rickety car, but he endeared me with a wry smile while convincing me to join him on the ride back home, I obliged. We drove for 20minutes.

“Government need to start works on the 4th Mainland Bridge” I enthused.

I haven’t finished my statement when Mr. Segilola’s “thing” started to jerk vigorously and grounded to a halt, the useless car had developed a fault in the middle of Third Mainland Bridge. We were left stranded.

Large numbers of exotic cars with glass wound up drove past us, none of them bothered to stop and ask how they could help us. I stepped away from Segilola’s car a little bit. I was angry. Not too long, another rickety danfo pulled up close to me. “Oshodi N300!!!” the conductor shouted. The fare has tripled. I hesitated for some seconds, then I decided to join the bus. Before I left, I noticed LASTMA towing vehicle has pulled up to Segilola’s car, from the expression on Segi’s face I knew he can’t afford a quarter of what the LASTMA officer will serve as his bill. I left.

In the bus, I was thinking probably by 9pm, I may not be in my house yet. I decided to steal a nap, before I could finish processing that thought, the fat woman who sat beside me hit her head on my shoulder in deep slumber, she snored heavily. I wasn’t going to embarrass her, so I carried her extra weight with me to Oshodi .Lagos is making me rehearse for an eternity of sleeplessness.

I got home late, Wasiu hadn’t serviced my generator, my phone was dead, there was no electricity as usual. I knew my new babe must have tried to reach me to no avail, I couldn’t reach Adio my friend either. I had a premonition Olabisi will bring me food. She actually did. But then I couldn’t find her.

“Aunty Bisi left angrily, she was insulted by Mama Yetunde because she sat on her stool outside waiting for you” my neighbor’s little daughter Falilat enthused.

I didn’t have the strength to go and confront Mama Yetunde for assaulting my babe. I also couldn’t reach my dear Olabisi and comfort her with soothing words (the type I couldn’t get in Danfo buses). I opened my pots hoping for a miracle, but their emptiness stared back at me. I was very hungry. I wished my sweetheart Olabisi was with me.

I slumped tiredly into my wooden chair, thinking why my boss has decided to make life difficult for me because of N60,000? Why is it compulsory to wear a permanently angry face to succeed as a Danfo driver and conductor in Lagos? Why fat people use public transport? And why Mama Yetunde has decided to be a ‘thorn in the flesh’ to Olabisi my new babe.

“she is not expecting me to marry her with those kids of hers, is she?”  I wondered as I drifted off into a deep sleep.

I hate this city !!!!!!

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