Wednesday, January 31, 2007

No Trains stations in Lagos

If you reside in Lagos,or have ever visited Lagos, you know that there are no train stations like you have in most parts of the world. { NO! Our railways don't count has the trains,should we call them trains? pass these rails once a week! and the rail ways are used as marketing rails,visit Tejuosho to get a better understanding!]

So we are left to commute with Okada{ Motorcycles}, Molue{ The big yellow buses aka 99 standing 33 sitting}, Danfo {small yellow buses},the taxis{our own no get meter o} and keke Napep/Maruwa{the tricycle}.
He who commute via any of the above named modes of transport will understand that life is not easy for the Lagos commuter.

From the inexperienced "Aboki"{ Hausa man} Okada rider dangerously maneuvering his way on the expressway without an helmet,to the ogogoro{ Local gin} drunk molue& danfo driver,the Lagos commuter is sadly on his own o!

I fortunately,or unfortunately, am a regular commuter with the danfo buses.
You see,before you can commute with the danfo bus,you must acquire some skills and understand some things.
1 Recite has a mantra always, All drivers in Lagos are MAD!

2. You will require running& walking abilities,either to run after the bus,chase a conductor or run away from an oncoming bus or just walk in the traffic.
{If you know you are not strong enough, I suggest you see your chemist,doctor,pharmacist,"alagbo" or herbalist to recommend some sort of blood capsule or whatever alternative works for you.}

3. You must possess Lagos sense and must not speak too much English.

4. You must have a good voice and great haggling skill. { This required when you will need to demand your change from the conductor or when you may need to politely insult him}

You see once you grasp the above,Life as a Lagos comuter becomes less diffcult.
Aaah,one more thing,you must be spiritual too,ability to say short and fast prayers is required.

But there are times that the commuters have fun in whatever mode of transport they choose.

The Molue 911

This is the largest means of transport,sometimes the fastest means of transport.
The Molue is Nigerian version of the double decker bus in London for all yea,that know the original name please fill in the gap.......... but with different types on graffti and stickers on it.
The Molue bus was even recognised by the late legend "Abami eda" Fela Anikulapokuti, "suffering and smiling,99 standing 33 sitting" It can contain has much has 100 people at a time.
It normally has its own pharmacy, church,supermarket and news.
Most of the people that use the Molue are traders. It is cheap.

The Danfo
Smaller version of the molue,but without the pharmacy and supermarket.
The driver of the Danfo is often times,drunk,young,High on Marijuna, fuji fan,Yoruba and drunk. They have no regard whatsoever for their lives,passengers or traffic rules.
They have some regard though for traffic officials,agberos and the police.
Their fares are higher than the molues and the drivers are regarded as pilots.

The Taxi
This are mainly for tush people who have not bought their cars and have a lil extra cash, or for those whose cars have a problem. Taxi's are driven my middle aged or old man,mostly Yoruba too,who have different philospies on all issues in country and about life in general.
There are no meters or A/Cs in these taxis,so prices are determined by the negoitating skill of the passenger.

The Okada
You take this at your own risk!
This mode of transport is used usually in case of an emergency, or when commuter has never visited a certain area or buses donot reach commuter's destination. Most of these riders are inexperienced,sturrborn.

I shall share my personal experience on each mode of transport soon.

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Threathening Silence

I don't know how exactly how to start this post,but I am grateful to overwhelmed and confused for their inspiring posts.

The culture of silence,I remember as a little child.....

I remember seeing my crude Ijebu neighbour chasing his beautiful light in complexion wife to the elevator in his briefs. (She left him)

I remember on a Saturday morning,when my cool looking neighbour, a pastor,was pounding,YES! Pounding his wife;We all heard but no-one could knock on their door. I remember her running to our flat,her eyes bloodshot,her upper lip swollen,her body quivering.
I fling the door open quickly and run to her,and ask the stupid question"Aunty xxx what happened?" She tries to feign a smile,"Oh! Omo, I'm fine I just tripped from the staircase!"

Miracleworker sushed me before I could utter another word, she sent me and my silblings upstairs;I cried and asked why but I got silence. Deafening silence,the silence that tells you subtly,it is her lot,it is her choice, she must bear it.
( She is still with him,believing that Lord will change him)

I remember the Officer's wife,pretty,smart and soft spoken who was consistently disciplined by her husband,the discipline often lead her to the hospital for 2 weeks or more.

Whenever she is discharged from the hospital,there was a grand reception for her,loads of gifts and an exotic hoilday trip. The neighbours couldn't (shouldn't,wouldn't) speak at least, She survived it and She is happy(or so it seems) with her naval king.

I remember the silent night,he carried her in his arms,blood dripping from the side of her head,word went round that he smashed her skull on their ceramic bath tub;
"She makes me lose my temper!" he sobbed as he put her in the hospital's ambulance.

(She died shortly after her return from the hospital, her husband remarried)

Now,In my new neigbourhood, I refuse to keep silent as my neigbour constantly beats her 12 year old daughter for the most foolish reasons. My parents have spoken with her but she persists.

I don't know what I'll do next but I am definitely not keeping quiet.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

What makes a Woman?

I was reading through one of my old journals and saw an entry, I wrote 2 years ago.
I wrote
Viney (name of that diary), I was just thinking what makes a girl a woman?! Is it the wicked ritual called circumcision, or menstruation?
Is it the thrusting upon of her hymen or the birth of a child
? Is it the strength of her mind?

Really what makes a woman? I am not talking about good or bad, for we all have our different perceptions of what is right or wrong.
What is happiness for a woman?
Does a woman need a man to define who she is?
Why do most women misunderstand each other?

I don’t have any answers, that is why I ask

Excerpt from an emotional book, I just finished reading GOOD WOMEN OF CHINA BY XINRAN.

How Chinese men describe the different women in their lives, using fishes.

Lovers – Swordfish – Tasty but with sharp bones.
Personal secretaries: Carp – The longer you “stew” them, the more flavor they have.
Other men’s wives: ‘Japanese puffer fish” trying a mouthful could be end of you, but risking death is a source of pride.

Their own wives: Salt cod –Because it keeps for a long time, when there is no other food, salt cod is cheap and convenient and makes a meal with rice.

Monday, January 22, 2007


Orisirisi means different things.

The stories I tell today,are different stories of young people,I read about in the papers and listened to their stories in the news.

Story 1
Over the weekend,the Saturday punch carries the story of a young gir,Blessing aged 12,who was bound arms and feet and starved for 2 days by her own father! Reason: She had a quarrel with a young boy whose mother came to report to the little girls dad.

Blessing's father is now on the run,as the Nigeria police are looking for him. Blessing's hands are so bad bow she needs a plastic sugery to fix them.
Her mother does not live with her father,but efforts are being made to find her.
Blessings says she will stil return to her father and apologise because she believes he intended no harm.

Story 2
A 7 year boy lost he two eyes to ritualists in Nasarwa,because one bloody idiot wanted to be invisible?! The culprits were caught and charged to court. If you ask me I'll say an eye for an eye, babau wahala!

Story 3
A young lady,who is mental ill runs away from home and is found by good samaritans and is taken to a National TV station,who puts her on TV and ask for her relatives to come forward.
While they wanted for her relatives,they hanede the young lady to the police.

Well, her mom and brother show up the followiing week to claim their sister and the police say she no where to be found!!!

Hmm... Orisirisi!

Friday, January 19, 2007

My Valentine order

Say what you wish,but know this I MUST GET A GIFT THIS VALENTINE!
Christmas no cards, no gift, New year nko? Some chessy text messages. I no go gree, this valentine must be superb for me but first I must find a valentine boyfriend to keep me company for the day.

He must possess the following qualities, in no particular order.

1)He must be drop dead gorgeous with the ability to wake me up with a kiss. Pictures I have in mind: Will smith,Pharell Williams,T.I and Tyler perry.

2) Great sense of humour.

3) He must be Biceptual,possessing great abs,6 pack and strong comforting arms.(NOT BISEXUAL PLEASE!)

4)Very rich and generous;He must possess an innate ability to understand all my unspoken needs.

5)Great voice that can sing to me at any time.

6) Fanstatic cook with outstanding laundry abilites.

7)Definitly must be in intelligent,possessing bedroom PHD.

If you fit or know anyone that fit or surpass the above qualites please contact me with your name and number ASAP and I shall take it from there.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Weather

The weather is cold, breezy and dry but different from the usual harmattan.
I love the weather though it is harder for me to prepare for work in the morning, I still love it.
I love it believing that it will bring forth good tidings in the 007 year, good tidings not just for me but my country.
Maybe the only reason I see hope in the weather is because there is hope in no other. The fuel queues have become longer, the prices of goods soar higher and no fire engine in Nigeria has water; maybe that is why I look to the weather.

Unlike its rainy brother, this weather makes the potholes appear smaller and probably a lot easier to move by. This weather makes the commuters in the danfo bus, move closer not afraid of sweat or a threatening body odour. The weather makes a bloody workaholic like me long for home.

Maybe I love the weather, because it protects my oily skin or unlike the hot season, I can protect myself from it and keep warm and clean (all washings dry quickly). Maybe I love the weather because I believe it will make all Nigerians happy though it reminds me that I am young single woman with no one to share the weather

Friday, January 5, 2007

Do young women like this still exist?

That the much celebrated American idol is now in West Africa and kick starting in Nigeria, is no longer news, if you have not heard please log onto
I have informed all my friends that can sing to join in on the idol train and have fun.
Even if you are not selected, you can make friends and gain experience.
I have a beautiful friend who I have known since our days at the university. She has an absolutely immaculate voice; her voice can wake James Brown from the dead. Believe it!
I call her up and inform her, she has agreed and sounds excited (or so I thought ) so I asked her to choose a song, I call her up after 2 weeks and my friend says she can’t go because she claims her parents say it is “too much exposure”! I don’t get it too much exposure, my dear friend is 24 years old.
This reminds me of the story of another my friend and former neighbour, who left her former boy friend, because her parents did not like him, reason: he is from Delta state and she is Ondo state. (Please note her parents never seen her delta boyfriend before)
Now she is going out with her mother friend’s son, who is Ondo like her, she doesn’t love him but since her parents prefer him, what does it matter!
I don’t get it that young women like this still exist it marvels me. I am not saying that young women should be disobedient and rebellious, but I mean young women should not lie against their parents for goodness sake!
If you are a young person whether male or female, when you are well above the age of consent (18, in some countries16) you are responsible for everything that happens to you, to say their parent don’t allow them, do whatever it is that affects their future, it is either they have pretty nerdy parents, or are they,themselves are just plain cowards or liars and will never find a voice for themselves or a direction in their lives and if they ever do, it may be too late.

You don’t have to be rude, but in being obedient and reverent, make your point clear and make them understand; prove to them that it is worth it, but most importantly you too must believe in the worthy cause and in yourself!

Monday, January 1, 2007

Happy New Year.

2007 is here! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!
What next? What are the plans?
I started my year with my family,praying together and believing God and ourselves for the best!
I usher you into the new year with this poem.
Happy New Year.
Another year unfolds,New paths we have to tread.
We wonder what life holdsIn the brand new year ahead.
My special wish just for youIs a blessing from God above,
To make this your happiest year,Filled with joy and peace and love.
Marion Jones.