THE LAGOS TALE FINDS EVERYBODY

THE LAGOS TALE FINDS EVERYBODY

“I got a bus going to Yaba from ICM with the intention of stopping at Iyana-oworo. The bus was
really tight and there was no space for my backpack, so the conductor put
it in the boot. Somehow I passed my bus stop, so I begged the driver to
stop, trust Lagos drivers to make a drama out of it; he was like ‘Here na
express, them nor dey stop for here. Na express be this, why you no stop
for the bus stop?’ After lots of pleading with the driver, he stopped. The
conductor had just given me my change, I was putting it into the sling bag
I carried as I walked towards the boot of the vehicle and the bus sped off.
I was there shouting and screaming, ‘Stop, my bag! Stop, stop! My bag.’
But the bus had already left” – @Spunky_tonia

 

Lagos is undoubtedly the most beautiful city in Nigeria, characterized by
its fast paced lifestyle, unending traffic and dense population amongst
others. It’s a crazy place to be and everybody always seems to be in a
hurry. This poses a problem for newcomers’ a.k.a Johnny Just Come in Lagos.

I was born and bred in Lagos, but I’ve been a JJC for the longest time, as
I was what you’d call an “omo get inside” child. I only knew the route to
my school and church, I’d probably get lost if you sent me as far as two
streets away back then.

Not until I got out of University recently, did I begin to get familiar
with my environment and absorb myself into Lagos. I’ve never been one for
the hustle and bustle, the elements of the universe knows I’ve had my fair
share of JJC moments, but hey, I’m not about to hang my own dirty linen
outside, after all, the Lagos tale finds everybody, that’s why I’ve asked
some people who recently moved to Lagos to share their JJC moments, and
here’s what they had to say.

 

LINCOLN AUGUSTINE A.K.A LAZIM THA BARD, RADIO IMAGING EXPERT AT
CITY FM

Lincoln Augustine

“Prior to coming to Lagos in 2014, I never liked the sound of name ‘Lagos’
because I was never cut out for the fast life and jumping a bus on the
move. I heard all these and never wanted to come here, until the reality of
no salary payment struck me for 5 months, so I called my guys (Wilfred &
Divine – an agency guy) in Lagos for any opening, and that’s how I entered
City FM. The first time I jumped into a bus in the midst of all standing in
a queue, they were surprised at my indiscipline! I thought that they were
there for the fun, and I had the mindset that everybody had to be fast in
all, so I saw an opportunity and utilized it. My friends advised me that
Lagos is no longer that way, that Fashola has rearranged the city, that
there is orderliness now. So I fell in love with the city, Lagos. I
adjusted quickly because I came in an already made adult, with a job
waiting.” – Lincoln Augustine a.k.a Lazim Tha Bard, Radio imaging expert at
City FM

Edokpayi a.k.a Sato EDK OAP at SoundCity FM

Sato Edk

“My crazy Lagos story is in two folds, I had come to Lagos in June for
holiday, I was going to hook up with a friend, I took a couple of buses
from Iyana-ipaja, I was carrying a travelling bag so probably someone was
monitoring me, because I got pushed around a couple times and when I got
myself back I realized my phone had disappeared, it was hard then because I
didn’t have the number of the person I was going to see by heart. So it was
a bad welcome to Lagos. In July I moved to Lagos and was managing my BB Q10
and just living my life, and the forces at work, I don’t know… the phone
got bad. I was saving money to buy a new phone then someone gave me a new
phone, cool. I went to the beach with my guys, showing off my new phone, a
friend used my phone to SnapChat and gave it back to me, thinking I put it
in my back pocket, it fell on the beach floor, the beach water got into it,
my third phone in about a month and a half. I had to get a new phone, my
fourth phone now in Lagos. That’s basically my Lagos story, I didn’t get
robbed or mugged or anything like that, ok maybe I was robbed the first
time, just didn’t know I was robbed.” –  Edokpayi a.k.a Sato EDK OAP at
SoundCity FM

Tonia Okonkwo, Product associate at wakanow.com

Tonia Okonkwo

“I relocated to Lagos in December 2016. I participated in City FM’s CMA
season 3. During internship, I had to be on the breakfast show two days in
a row, I stay at Ajah, so coming from Ajah to Ikeja early enough for the
show was a struggle for me, so I talked to a friend who talked to another
friend that had a house in Magodo. He let me stay in his house for two
nights, so I packed a mini trolley backpack. In it I had put my power bank,
new pair of jeans, denim jackets, underwear, a stick-on silicone bra I had
just got, signature Beyonce cologne, signature Rihanna perfume someone had
gifted to me, I had two gowns, a pair of sandals, a pair of shoes, my wrist
watch, make-up purse, I had a lot of things inside the bag because I was
confused as to what to pack, so I just threw everything in. At the end of
the two days, I packed my stuff and headed for Ajah. I got a bus going to
Yaba from ICM with the intention of stopping at Iyana-oworo. The bus was
really tight and there was no space for my backpack, so the conductor put
it in the boot. Somehow I passed my bus stop, so I begged the driver to
stop, trust Lagos drivers to make a drama out of it; he was like ‘Here na
express, them nor dey stop for here. Na express be this, why you no stop
for the bus stop?’ After lots of pleading with the driver, he stopped. The
conductor had just given me my change, I was putting it into the sling bag
I carried as I walked towards the boot of the vehicle and the bus sped off.

“I was there shouting and screaming, ‘Stop, my bag! Stop, stop! My bag.’
But the bus had already left. I was confused for the next 3 minutes, I
didn’t know what to do, the bus was going to Yaba, I hadn’t been to Yaba
before, and I didn’t know the driver or conductor. Just then a bike guy
stopped and asked what the matter was, I explained what had happened to
him, he asked where the bus was going, which I told him, then he said he
couldn’t take me to Yaba, but he could take me to Palmgroove, and I could
wait for the bus there and if I didn’t see the bus there, I could take a
bus to Yaba and check for the bus there so I agreed. I thought I’d be able
to identify the conductor because he had a huge scar on his face. I got to
Palmgroove, no conductor. After waiting for a while, I went to Yaba. I
waited and waited, but nothing. I actually cried because I had my life in
that bag. So I went back home, my friends told me I would see the bag. The
next day, Friday, I was free, so I went from Ajah to Ikeja, ICM to wait for
the bus. I still believed I’d see the conductor, I was there from 12pm till
4pm, looking at all the drivers and conductors, watching them come and go.
I stood there looking out for a conductor with a scar on his face. I
believed I’d see him, unfortunately, I didn’t. I cried oooh. I haven’t
forgotten that bag because I had a lot of stuff in it. Now I’ve learnt my
lesson and I’m adjusting well to the Lagos life. I’ve learnt that not every
time ajebo or tush girl, sometimes form street and shine your eyes,
especially with all these conductors. I love Lagos. I love the craze.” –
Tonia Okonkwo, Product associate at wakanow.com

 

Izuchukwu Okafor, Website admin at Patricia Tech NG

Izuchukwu Okafor

“Before I came to Lagos in 2016, a lot of people in Uni assumed I grew up
or lived in Lagos, I was kind of *woke*, I believe or think… I was amazed
only when I first saw Broad Street. That’s the most yankee-like place in
Lagos in my opinion and it fascinated me more than the more Nigerian look
of Lekki but Lagos had a busy and bustly vibe. I loved that. There are just
so many people. I had a lot of Lagos friends and in reality, I knew quite a
lot about Lagos, maybe that took away the wow factor. I just wanted to… you
know, ‘make it here being a Lagosian’ at this point. Let me make it known
that I am Igbo but grew up in the Midwest, Benin and attended a boarding
school that had people from all over Nigeria, so I had met a lot of
different characteristics of people, so I wasn’t really shocked. When I
thought I could outsmart Oshodi boys, thinking my phone straddled to my
waist is safe, turned out they were faster than what I imagined. The pace
of the city is breakneck. You can’t move on its own speed, you’ll lose
control and crash. Lagos has taught me that money surpasseth all reasoning.
Still trying to move at a slower pace than as fast as the city. It is not
called Eko for show for nothing; a person can charge you for standing under
a broken shed when it rains. It’s nothing personal here, only business. No
joy. No love.

“I remember when I was trapped under the bridge at Iyana ipaja, shops were
charging N100 to hang in there, even though I had the money to pay, I
wasn’t fast enough, everywhere was full. It was rush hour and I got
drenched as the bus fares were not just exorbitant but outrageous, I
thought the rain would just last minutes, I got drenched for more than one
hour. Oh and when people say Lagos drivers are crazy, it’s no
understatement, even the most rickety buses want to run like Ferraris on
the highway. Sometimes it seems like the drivers have extra lives hidden in
a box somewhere. A particular incident when a bus I boarded drove in
reverse for almost 10 minutes to beat traffic at Obalende on a one way
road, it was both insane and ingenious at the same time, a BRT bus almost
hit us, everyone turned to a conductor in the bus, directing on when to
stop and move, only one person in the bus discouraged him from the stupid
endeavour. Lagosians and rules do not mix, they needed to be early to work,
and the rules couldn’t apply here. In a Lagos bus, any bus driver slower
than yours doesn’t know how to drive, and any faster than yours is a
madman. When your bus overtakes another bus, it’s all silence in the bus,
but when another bus overtakes yours in the same rough manner, everyone
insults the *werey*. So far I’ve enjoyed Lagos, I don’t see myself leaving
anytime soon, it’s a city I see my future in. It’s the next step in my
journey.” –  Izuchukwu Okafor, Website admin at Patricia Tech NG

Nancy Olele, Nigerian Corper

Nancy Olele

“For me, the stress is too much, having to wake up early, struggle to get a
bus to get to work, work till 5, get home by 7 and I’m so tired, too tired
to even cook. I just sleep like that and the routine continues like that
from Monday to Friday and it’s really crazy. Then I see people having fun
in Lagos and I’m like, am I in the wrong Lagos? My life has been so boring
and stressed up, but gradually I’m beginning to unwind, I’ve become
rebellious though. I don’t go to work every day. I’ll probably go back to
Benin after NYSC, because I’m not having fun, I don’t even have time to
have fun, maybe I’ll change my mind later.” – Nancy Olele, Nigerian Corper.

Alas not everybody can withstand the hard knocks of Lagos, but if you must
adjust quickly, my advice to you as a newcomer is to never behave or act
like a novice, the JJC hunters will find you and you’d get ripped off
easily, blend in and shine your eyes for all them conductors and have fun,
you’ll have the time of your life in Lagos with the right people.

-Words by @ardahtalker

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