Monday, 31 March 2008

As it used to be then….what it is now (Ajala in Lagos)

Shey you all already know that your Ajala is in Lagos? No shaking. After being away from home for almost two years, you start to yearn for home. You have this very splendid picture you paint in your brain of how much you miss home and your family and everything else. You know that situation was not perfect when you left home but to heck with it. The fact that it is home overrides everything else. This was the mentality your babe had before landing in Lasgidi a.k.a eko a.k.a Lagos. I had missed home die. I had lost touch with friends I made in school. I had even forgotten how to ride okada without having cold feet. Before I finished SSCE and left Naija, I was one of those babes who could not walk 100yrads speak less of 100meters. I would flag down okada and ride it like I was a cowgirl. These days.. I find myself saying.. “its not safe at all o” “what if something happens?” “Ko si Helmet” I totally hate this mentality I have developed even though I know they are all rational thoughts. I am such a chicken now. I see myself feeling almost like an outsider. Is it because I have grown and I now know better or because I have just been away too long. Ajala! You need to update o!

For my Lagos runs, I got home to find that my area had been emptied of faces from my growing up days. All my friends were still in school or just moved out of the area. I start to see all these tiny tiny teenagers fronting and flexing. I can’t even remember seeing them in diapers. Where did these mushrooms sprout from? This was when I realized that there is a possibility of my vacation being a bit dry. I really don’t consider sitting at home with no NEPA and numerous heat as fun. Neither do I recognize driving around and visiting eateries by yourself as a fun activity. Baby had to come up with master plan which my folks aren’t exactly thrilled with. I have started to waka around Lagos. I even drove out of my area/Estate. My only prayer is that LASMA does not catch me cos I no get Naija licence. I have a British Drivers License along with the international copy to go. But knowing Naija, they will tell you that this is not valid. Egunje Sha! I want to go to Ghana for almost a week. I want to do this.. I want to do that.. I can see my mother doing numerous prayers for my safety.

So the other day, I convinced my mother that I wanted to follow my very good friend back to school, stay there for two nights before returning to Lagos. My mother was not very keen on the idea. She was telling me about the numerous people that had been “one chanced” and kidnapped. I assured momsie I was gonna be okay. I would take a cab a.k.a drop to Shagamu (Olabisi Onabanjo Univeristy Teaching Hospital) where my friend, “Twin” was studying. I sha talked her into thinking it was a good idea.. ok.. I threatened her sort of. I promised her that if she didn’t let me go.. I would not come back to Naija for future vacations..lol! Momsie tripped quick quick and signed the release forms!

For the koko of the gist.. Twin’s popsie had given us a driver to take us to Ojota motor park where we would get the “drop” As we approached Ojota, there was a bit of a hold up a.k.a “go slow” I was still wondering where the hell we were when I just heard the ra-ta-ta-ta of something which I hoped was not a gun. I paused, asked Twin if she heard what I heard. She didn’t need to reply me because the answer came back as more ra-ta-ta-tas… Gaddamnit.. Na who send me message for Lagos o! Which kin wahala be this sef? What in God’s holy name is going on? The driver was still trying to proceed in the direction of the gunshots. Next thing I know, there was like a sea of people running in our direction. Before I could say Jack Robinson.. the driver was no longer in the car. He had taken the car keys and fled! It happened so fast we didn’t even see him make the move. I was like “Twin.. lets get the hell out of this car now” This was how we made our exit from the car o and started walking/jogging in the opposite direction.

After the whole melee had died down, we returned to the car to find that the car was no longer there. Wetin happen o! Abi Awon Boys have carried the car away?. We sha kept walking ahead and this was when we saw the runaway driver with the car.. Anuofia! What happened you may ask? Well, apparently, some yahoo yahoo boy was trying to smuggle in a car with suspected contrabands and the men from the Nigerian Customs were trying to block him. The guy did not want to stop and this was how they started firing gun shots on the guy. From what we heard and please do not quote me on this, the gunshots did not enter the guy’s body. The yahoo yahoo guy was packing some serious voodoo including ajesara and the likes. He sha made away with the car and the suspected contrabands. Only in Lagos my people! Thank God no one got hit from stray bullets.

I made it to Sagamu in one piece. I had loads of fun there. I met other girls I went to school with. I even got the chance of sitting in on one of Twin’s pharmacy lectures. Of course I didn’t have a clue what was going on but I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I even came back from Shagamu with a nice hairdo. I was well impressed. I’ve been here two weeks and I’m already rocking my second hair do! Boy do I really miss naija and all the numerous people who are available for hair making. God bless Nigeria even with all the good the bad and the uglies of our society. I am still very much happy to be home.

Morale of the story for me is that the Lagos of today is not the Lagos which I grew up in. The pretty picture in my brain just almost an illusion. I remember that even during the time of babangida and abacha..electricty was even still better. With the advent of democracy, things have gotten worse in the power sector. But something deep within me tells me that Nigeria will return to its glory days during our generation and I fervently pray that this is the case.

I shall be posting some pictures in the next couple of days

UPDATE:

I am surprised to find that I still got it in me. I carried okada today no shaking and it didnt even flinch. Well.. if you think almost hugging the poor okada guy from behind is weird.. na you get palaver. The guy did not complain sha! I guess you can always take a babe out of the ghetto but you can never take the ghetto out of a babe. Full stop!

4 comments:

yankeenaijachick said...

Girl , my own is that you are safe. At least ya having fun. I miss home so bad. Be safe, careful of what you eat. Happy for ya. Put pictures ok. Miss ya.

pink gloves said...

lol warey. I cant ride okada oh. Absolutely no way on earth. You have to be kidding. Abeg take it easy in Lagos, and may GOD be your guide.

NaijaBabe said...

As in...Im feeling your trips mehn...gosh u still went to sagamu after all that! u try o!
Okada....carry goo!!!!!
Rather mad, I swear

OluwaDee said...

U av just bin in a country more civilizd & advanced than 9ja, dts why d whole okada tn seems unsafe. lol.

Keep having fun.