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Proudly Lagosian

15 August 2012, 10:26

Living in Lagos will do a lot of things to you. It could be negative or positive but fact is, you'll definitely be affected somewhat after coming here from somewhere else and living for a while.

Some of us have become faster than our shadows when we cross the roads for fear that even our own shadows may be hit by the most insane kind of drivers in Nigeria. Yes, Lagos has the craziest drivers there is; if in doubt, try jogging across the express instead of sprinting.

You know, you see so much insanity in almost every area you turn that the town makes you see insanity as normal. Hold up, let me explain. Not insanity as in torn clothes-eating from the dustbin-kind; but downright chaos in the order of certain things. It becomes almost normal to see bike men popularly called Okada carrying you and flying like they are some sort of airplane.

You just find that no matter how much you shout or beat the Okada riders, they cannot change. It’s just a part of majority of them and we somehow settle and accept what we are given. In fact, I bellowed so much when a certain Okada rider was taking me on a flight to probably hell that he simply stopped, asked me to come down and then flew away cursing without even collecting money from me.

Okay, away from Okada riders for a bit, let us talk of their elder brother the Maruwa guys. Oh boy! Those guys behave like ants gathering food in the way they move. They somehow think they can meander their way through even the smallest space on the roads. There are those moments that they seem to think that they are even smaller than the Okada’s that when the spaces disappoint them, they simply come down and carry the Maruwa through the space. Someone once said that the Maruwa drivers were once okada riders who graduated to Keke driving.

When I first arrived in Lagos, I wondered why everyone always seemed to be in a hurry. The bus would stop to pick a passenger and everyone inside would nearly eat the driver raw; but after a few months I got the picture as clear as day.

Lagos is not a town for dulling. In fact, if you are tagged insane in your jostle to meet up with Lagos demands, what the hell! Flow with the tag so long as you get what you want.

Madness? Try calling that LASTMA guy who chases after vehicles that he thinks have breached the law with every power in him mad. Or, that Police man who hides in the corner waiting for Okada men who run the one-way. He is hiding because he knows the Okada person will either turn back or zoom in on him with full speed.

Do not forget even that moment when you snap and almost turn Jet-Li on some Alaye or bus driver or conductor that annoyed you. Or even that person who had the audacity to hit your car.

When you have exhausted all these imaginations adding some more of your own, then you can agree with me without a doubt that living in Lagos does a lot many things to you. Madness, insanity, call it anything, but that is part of what makes you a Lagosian.

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