Bloodshot eyes, facial creases, hasty strides; every man like they are chasing after one ultimate prize. Men, women, young, old of different shapes and sizes with disquiet demeanours. Without doubt, this street hardens you! Better yet, it redefines us with an aura of hardness that’s both socially enlightening and subconsciously rigid. It’s no wonder someone once said, “everyday for Lagos na gym“. Put it simply, life in urban Lagos affects our outward disposition even if in a rather subliminal manner than some may admit; well, not until they find themselves in some other places with a decent sense of sanity.
Show me a man who claims not to know this experience. Oh, the JJC (jolly jus come)! Perhaps he was asleep during his trip to ‘gidi’ all the way to the comforts of his mansion somewhere in Ikoyi, VI or Ikeja. Soon, he’ll awake from his slumber to behold the characteristics that rub off on the rest of us. Okay! You think the man with the luxury of a four wheel is an exception? [Laughs] perhaps, you’re quick to forget the traffic congestion: the same ones that catch up with everyone of us; those very ones that know no distinction among motorists, motorcyclists or pedestrians. While at it, the mad rush of impatient drivers, wailing motorists, antics of street hawkers, our own ‘Valentino Rossis’ (okada riders) to name a few. And the dramas don’t stop: the run of verbal exchange between passengers and bus conductors, bus conductors versus agberos alias omo-ijobas, commercial bus drivers versus law enforcement agents, agberos versus agberos. And more: rickety buses trying to outrun their aged states, public commentators crowded around newspaper stands, police officers almost begging for alms for want of a better word…and on and on.
Ironically, through it all, I find it all so amusing with the dramas somehow arousing a sense of humour. Maybe it’s just me. Or perhaps, something to do with my optimism. But hear this. A guy just made a joke out of these dramas; another set up a show with that guy as a standup comedian; yet another packaged it into a movie. And guess what? While some pay to go see the show, others buy the tapes, CDs or DVDs and in the end, we are all spectacles to the charade.