The chick in the purple top, high waist skirt and flat heel Akube footy definitely knows how to dress. Her resplendent beauty speaks a lot of the treasure she has spent on herself for her somewhat two and a half decade. The way she coils and turns on the metal seat covered with a little bit of comfy foam would inform the onlooker she isn’t easy sitting on such for so long. The Aura of her perfume was sure enough the reason flies couldn’t get to her despite the stench of spoilt banana peel that have rented the whole space. Although she is a snob, her fair complexion couldn’t make you want nothing more than talk to her. Then, there is this sweet mother of two. The older of the pair being nothing less than three years old. Her long hairs might have been enough a speculation that she is Fulani, but her tongue betrayed such- she speaks Yoruba like ‘’mad’’. Her brother however has been a whiner for more than an hour. He enjoys nothing more than fondling her mother’s milk factory. Any attempt to rob him of his fundamental ‘’baby’’ right has always ended in what can be called ‘’civil right action’’- a drastic revolution that involves all civilians present. The mother has been graciously patient to bear the ‘’protests’’ but the deep bass voice of the man sitting at the front corner brings his disturbing shrill voice to a halt. This man has been the Google and the CNN of the bulk. It is as if all information passes through him before they get to the news papers. Had Uncle Kola had known, he would have remained mute when he entered into the bus. For in Nigeria today, if you want to get everybody involved in your discussion, just start with……’’ we no know wetin this buhari government de do sef ?’’ The next outpourings be sure isn’t going to be yours. This was exactly what Uncle kola did that became more than he can chew.
Eddie sat quietly for most part of the seven hour journey. He has never left his town for a city as big as Lagos. The only tale he heard was from John, their area brother who went wretched and came back influential. He was told that Lagos is the home of the wise and the smart. Home of the brave, wealthy and home of the paid. It’s also home of the homeless, the hurt, the deceived. Home of disasters that leave families in need. Some say it is even the home of hatred and the home of greed. So cursed a city that whatever you earn never leave its shore. Ironically, whatever you do therein remains blessed.
His only hope of survival was a childhood friend; Zachara, whom John had met. Zachara had been a funny creature right from childhood. In everything he did, there is always a grotesque touch of his ingenuity. He is the only one that can take Garri with Carrot, Eba and moi moi. He alone had made a combination of Yam flour (elubo) and Semolina flour. His intention that day was to make Amala, but he later found out the yam flour would not suffice his dabbling. His decision was apt and quick- ‘’no be flour dem both be? Abeg make I add semo jare’’. Indeed, the result was so amphoteric; a mixture of black and white.
Worthy of note was when he and Eddie gate crashed on a birthday party. Luckily for them, food, snacks and drinks were in abundance that they ate more than their satisfaction. No doubt, Zachara was a glutton, but he was also known for his intelligence and brilliance. On seeing the free flow of food, he begged Eddie to assist in packing some of the left over, uneaten doughnuts home; a proposal to which Eddie obliged with the thought of giving out some of the loot. On getting home, Zachara decided otherwise, and kept the more than a dozen doughnuts in his possession. Without much ado, the doughs were not finished that fateful day, but because of his greediness, he decided to warm the doughnut the following day. This, his mum couldn’t believe until she saw him warm it on the third day herself.
Eddie couldn’t believe his ears when he was told this awkward friend of his now occupy a two bedroom flat and owns a big variety store in one of the busiest streets of Lagos. ‘’Surely’’, Eddie thought, ‘’God is in Lagos’’.
On getting to the outskirts, few minutes to Lagos, it had already gone dark. With the nightmare of his encounter with the thieves still left in him, Eddie became uneasy and persistently asked the driver how long it was for them to get to their destination. This was rather to the amusement of the 18 legal occupant of the Toyota Hiace bus and the small kids therein- the Fulani girl inclusive who had been fond of Eddie all along. He couldn’t help but narrate his experience to them to which they all advised he never should try such a thing in Lagos, except he wishes to die soon. The man with the Bass voice had told him categorically: ‘’my son, to survive in Lagos means proving not too smart and not too dull’’.
Ido motor park was the drop off point which was different from the Oshodi motor park on Eddie’s address. He had slept off when they got there. He had no option other than to sleep at the park. He was however welcomed by the ever supportive ‘’Agbero’’ boys (Street urchins) and the melodious voices of the ‘’Anopheles family’’ band (mosquito).