Lagos For Show: My Sad & Funny Lagos Experience1

By Nuel Adeyemi

This happened in 2016 when I was still a student in Ibadan and I’m sharing this, in order to let people shine their eyes whenever they find themselves in Lagos. You’ll find my experience below.
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The slogan “welcome to lagos” seen at every border of lagos state does not literally mean you’re welcome to lagos city.
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If you’ve ever found yourself in Lagos. Then you’re no stranger to the slogan “welcome to lagos”, below is my welcoming experience.
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I had to go through the torture of struggling out of bed as I had slept late because I arrived in Lagos around 11:30pm from school the other night. It was a beautiful morning of the day I was to pick Aluminium alloy up, at the Nigeria Aluminium extrusion company but it never dawned on me it was not going to be a beautiful day on my end.
Having lived in Lagos virtually all my life, I know the only way to beat the frequent chaotic traffic is by moving out very early. I observed a quick bath then reach for my bag to pick the clothes I had nicely folded in it from school, a white shirt with little touch of blue and a black trouser. The shirt was properly tucked in on the nearly faded black trouser with a bow tie to complement it, trying as much as I could to look official. With a sense of accomplishment, I quickly fell on my knees to commit my days unto God’s hand before I set out. As I was reaching for the door I heard my mother’s voice drifted pass me, “Emmanuel, come and drop anything expensive on you”, she persuaded.
“I don’t have anything expensive on me”, I lied, but I had one of my most expensive stuffs on me at that time. I thought it was the usual protective advice, so I ignored and set out.
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It was around 5am and the street was as busy as the strings of a guitar that are being struck constantly, I noticed they were more people on the street at that ungodly hour than they were in broad daylight where I came from. At the bus park, the blasting of hones, noise and the incessant chanting of people and bus conductor could send patient on life support to early grave. The park was filled with a hive of commuters that one had to be hyper active to get a bus, I stood for unknown minutes since I had no better choice than to wait and hope for a bus to
arrive soon. I was on all expenses paid trip, so I practically paid no attention to the price of bus. My prayer was fast answered as I heard the harsh voice of a typical
Lagos conductor screaming, “Oshod.! Oshod..! Oshod…!”
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I zoomed off towards the direction of the bus and struggled to gain access as I had to contend with more
experienced commuters. I eventually succeeded, not without condoning the few violent
jabs from them. With the euphoria, I lowered my backside towards the seat to live the fruit of my recent struggle. However, the feeling was short-lived; as the seat that was designed for four people was used to commute five people, the discomfort could only be compared to the biblical hell. Every passenger was minding their business with the I don’t care kind of look. The conductor’s personality was not noticed by me but I guess it would be the usual harsh, non happy and loutish.
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I was still enjoying the fruit of my struggle, when I heard “Bros, where is my money”, the bus conductor pointed towards my direction. I reached for my pocket, gave him 500 Naira note and collected 300 Naira change. I made for my pocket the second time, returned the change and brought out my ‘old but gold’ earpiece, connected it to my phone and put my best song “Lord you’re good by Don Meon” on replay in order to avoid the usual Lagos yellow bus mumbo-jumbo. I was still lost in the look of where I knew the young lady that sat on the seat behind me, when the bus halt. “everybody get down” the bus conductor shouted. At that point, some of the passengers were struggling it out with the driver and conductor for dropping them at ‘Bolade’ instead of ‘Oshodi’. I alighted from the bus without saying a word and tucked in my phone with the earpiece still plugged-in. I stopped by a phone booth to buy recharge card, loaded it, returned my phone to the pocket and suspended my plugged-in earpiece with my ears without playing music, as I walked through the busy and crowded street of Oshodi. I was fascinated by how things had changed and cherished the serenity of the environment as I also never seized to marvel at how Lagos state government achieved such a feat in a short period of time. I was still engulfed by things around me when I noticed something had disappeared on me.
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My inner man hoped it was my leg or Wallet! I couldn’t touch my lower part for some minutes, because I could not foretold how I would react. I eventually took the step of faith, only for me to find out my phone had disappeared from my pocket with my earpiece left dangling. The feeling was too bad to be real, so much that I felt like my body was being used to pass electric current of high voltage, my phone gone? “a whole Samsung Galaxy S5…!”, I muttered.
who stole my phone?
Who will I ask?
How will I ask? Were the questions that flowed through my mind. I tried to remain calm as much as I could but my heart pounded too fast like the sound of a thousand chariot going to the battle of Armageddon, one would not need stethoscope to hear the pounding. “How could I be so stupid to have lost a Samsung Galaxy S5 for crying out! The phone that holding it alone gave me some kind of feelings I could not explain.”, I thought.
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I have never envisaged myself being a victim to corporate pick pockets who flaunt themselves as responsible working-class individuals at major bus-stops or streets around the Lagos metropolis. Why did this happen to me? Rather than trying to embarrass myself, I pretended as if nothing happened and called home to tell them what had befallen me to avoid another story, because I’ve heard cases where parents were called and lied to after their child’s phone got missing. After unknown minutes of deliberation, I headed towards NIGALEX for the sole reason I was in Lagos, but they added salt to the injury when they told me to come another day for the pick up.
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As I embarked on my journey home after the unproductive pick up, I was weak and reminisced on the experience; it became obvious that life can sometimes be unpredictable and I learnt that obedience is the key in life. A beautiful morning turned out to be an horrible day for me with my Samsung Galaxy S5 missing and unproductive pick up of Aluminum alloy. When I got home and explained my experience to my mom, she nagged about it for umpteenth time even till date. Lol.
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