GUEST POST: By Deborah Glover
Photo Credit: Joe Black
I was born in Lagos and it has been my home for as long as forever. Lagos held no much interest for me until I left Lagos to othe part of Nigeria.
I have been to Ondo, Anambra, Oyo, Ogun state. These places had a different lifestyle.
Lagos is composed of about one tenth of Nigeria’s population. It has so many people and if you have been used to seeing a few people then the population would overwhelm you.
There are buses called molue. Molue is the local version of those normal buses you know. Molue has a three seater to the right and a two seater to the left. It has a mid-row and the driver has his own compartment. When the passengers fill the bus seated, some other people choose to stand for half the price of those seated. We have the buses called Danfo. Danfo is the fourteen passenger bus painted in yellow, with two black lines drawn horizontally across it. Those passengers that use the Danfo pays a bit higher than those in the molue. The last kind of public transport is fondly called BRT (Bus Rapid Transport), they arrived in Lagos 2008 under the administration of Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN). BRT was a breath of fresh air for Lagosians. It brought discipline. What am I saying here? People get to catch the 6AM bus, they stay on queue to enter the bus, the buy tickets, they don’t shout inside the bus, they use the side button to alert the Pilot(a.k.a driver), trust me that’s a lot. BRT forced down the exhorbitant prices of drivers. Danfo and Molue drivers increase prices during the rush hour. Instead of the normal price, they increase bus rate by 200 per cent. BRT came to give them a worthy competition. The tickets remain the same price both morning s and evenings so they stopped increasing transport fare rashly.
Lagosians are composed of people from different tribes in the country. The place is originally owned by a tribe known as the Yoruba people. When Lagos was the capital of Nigera in 1990s, so many people migrated from their states to Lagos. Lagos has people from different walks of Life. We have not only about 250 tribes, we also have some Americans, Portugese, French, Chinese, Indians, Lebanese, Ghanians, Togolese, Ugandans, living in Lagos.
This brings a mix of different cultures and way of reasoning. I grew up attending school with people from other tribes.
A great population of Lagosians today are on the average, in the middle class. Some people came to Lagos to make money, some came to Lagos to stay. I originally come from Ondo state but migration has made me a Lagosian. My father was born and bred in Lagos and myself too. Ondo state is more foreign to me and I can onlty boast of a few visit to the place, beacuse I have some aunts and uncles who live there.
- Lagosians are hardworking people. A large percent of the populace, wake as early as four AM and get to work six AM. They work day and night shifts. When they hear the phrase nine to five jobs, they shake their heads and laugh. Does anyone use such small hours for work these days? Among them are people of every kind of occupation. They create jobs. There are some who hawk water on the streets and some who repair shoes. They carry about a wooden tool box and hit so as to create awareness of their presence in the environment, some rent stalls to sell foodstuffs, some even go as far as selling on the road. The government have tried to curb them but they always find a way to work and make a living.
- Lagosians are compassionate people, including the motorists, drivers, conductors and agbero. Well, not all of them. The Lagos drivers are a basket of case altogether. In Lagos, you can get directions to a place you are going even when you are not so familiar with the environment. Please note, ask for direction from motorists or traders. In that way you are sure of being directed right. There are some people who are plain delighted to lead you in the wrong direction. You need their directions especially when your Google map is not exactly the way it really is. Lagosians give alms. A lot! I’ve even heard of beggars building houses in their villages but in three hard times, I doubt if that is the case. They fight for the less priviledge and minors. I have witnessed cases in which a bus conductor was trying to oppress a young child by not giving her the correct balance. They put him straight. After a few hollering, he paid her correctly.
- Lagosians are people who take the Mind Your Business slogan seriously. They might joke and talk about the situation of the country but they will never ask you about your frown, your depressing talk to yourself, your personal issues. After all, they all have their own issues to deal with.
- Lagosians are security conscious. They shut their doors firmly and pay the local security men as at when due. They love their lives and would keep it.
Living in the metropolis of Lagos, means endless traffic of people and motors. It means waking up early and getting home late. It means seeing touts fight and watching long queue of cars waiting to buy fuel. It means watching the police hook area boys by the trousers and haul them to the police station.
When I leave Lagos to anywhere, I feel nostalgic. Homecoming is always sweet. There is definitely no place like home. Lagos is my home and I am still loving it.
P.S – There’s a part of Lagos I have chosen not to talk about. The beautiful parts. No much action there. I will talk about those places in another post, maybe.
Name : Deborah Glover
Blog link: https://bookyglover.wordpress.com/#
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