Do you live in Lagos?
Do you DRIVE in Lagos?
Do you commute in Lagos?
Do you go to the open air market in Lagos?
Do you live on a street that has people in Lagos?
Do you have a business in Lagos?
Have you ever passed by Lagos on the way to some place else?
Do you have friends/family who live in Lagos?
Again, do you LIVE in Lagos?
If you have answered YES to any or all of the above, then please read this. I have written it for the true and false Lagosians.
Incidentally, my answer to the above posed is ALL YES!!! So that means I have written it for me too.
Lagos na wah… Being that I have been away from Lagos for a while, visiting occasionally, fitting back into the craze that is Lagos is actually amusing to me. Why is EVERYONE in Lagos on freaking EDGE biko nu? And NO, I do not mean the EDGE on your blackberry device *side eye*. I mean why is their blodd so freaking HOT (in local parlance)? Every body is in a hurry. EVERY BODY is angry. Every body dey vex. You step on someone’s toes literarily and you almost get stoned. You ‘price market’ and the person insults you for daring to place such a low value on his/her ‘market’. You ask conductor for your N1000 change for a N100 fare and he opens eye for you and says that you HAVE NOT given him any money at all, and even almost slaps you while throwing a few choice words at you. You drive, everybody is in a hurry. To where? I dunno. Nobody is letting anyone get ahead of them, as if the road wants to finish. Every bus driver and even private cars (both driven by Nigerians and non-Nigerians) is taking one way, and then now blocks both lanes, aaaaaarrrrrrrrggggghhhh hhhh. The person seated beside you in a bus will just NOT agree to move and God help you if you as little as step on the person’s toes, HAAAAAAAAAA…. The way and manner the person would look at you and even insult you, you would wonder if you knew them before. And this bus, before you entered it you had to run ooo and enter it while in motion and that is how you would come down. God forbid the driver and his conductor wait for you. And if you are slow, they will insult you upon that. Chai. How about trying to price a hawker in traffic. Aargh, those ones can be mighty rude ooo. They would even hit your car as they insult you before going to the next car. Meanwhile, there are many Olympians on the high way ooo. These disgraceful outings Niaja has been having at the Olympics. You only need to come and recruit from the streets. The way these people chase after a car, even the cheetah may have to start taking lessons soon. Kai!!! Putting your life at risk on a road where the drivers are on edge and you stand the high risk of being hit and maybe killed for nothing. Gidi!!! Or you enter a shop and ask for a certain good and when both parties cannot agree on a price that favors them, the sales person insults you to your face and tells you to carry your bad luck and go. And can you blame them? You prolly are the 15th person coming to price and not buy. And maybe the 10TH person even stole something. The open air market is not left out. And this is not even gender specific. The market woman has a mouth as sharp and caustic as the market man. No gender is exempt.
Lagos, aka GIDI…
I have NOT over stressed my point. I am sure you must have found yourself in one or more of the above scenarios painted. Living in Lagos is definitely not for the fainthearted. In fact, you cannot even be average here. You just gotta be real strong if not Lagos will swallow you. No space for Oles. In fact, even the foreigners in our midst have adjusted gidi-style. Some of them have even beat us to it. A few days to the end of the year, my big sis and I were on oshodi-Apapa express way. Light traffic, but you know Lagosians na, they wanna squeeze into just any space to get ahead. I wanted a drink and so sis hollered at a hawker… In fact long story short, an expatriate hit us and he was CLEARLY at fault. It was a really bad hit. He too did not argue. He agreed to fix it. Trust Lagosians na, a small crowd had gathered especially of Agberos all suggesting one thing or the ridiculous other, and of course looking for what to steal. Trust me na, I sharp gan. I made sure nothing was stolen. While sis and I were spewing phonetics saying na only Honda place we fix our cars, the dude was like he knows this place in Apapa. Traffic was building up. So we had to get off the road quick especially as LASTMA was now threatening to tow both cars. So I followed him. When we were even going I was scared, hoping I was NOT following this dude to where they do rituals (Lagos na!!!). The guy took me inside inside Apapa. See the many navigations. To this place where they fix cars. The kind of cars we found there and the kinda work we saw going on there was ALARMING. And the mechanics were from Togo and Cotonou. We were like na how this Oyibo man locate this kain place abeg. And they did a really great job, in two express days. The dude knew Honda place but he also knew a place where he could get the same work done for less and without all the paparazzi that accompanies Honda place.
Meanwhile may I add that one agbero INSISTED on making us his sisters and followed us all the way to Apapa, claiming say as we were both ladies the man may want to gba us. I mean that guy was a chinch (Pest) involving himself in every business that did not concern him even remotely. At the end sha the Oyibo had to settle him. The agbero had hustled for the day. No last carrying mehn… Eko o ni baje and her people too no go baje…
Move over , Warri, today, na Lagos wey no dey carry last…
By now I am sure you are wondering why I have this topic and I am talking all about Lagos. Please open with me your bible to the fifth chapter of the gospel according to St Matthew, the ‘a’ part of the 13th and 14th verse… Ok for those of you that do not have an orthodox background, I mean Matthew 5 vs 13a and 14a
You are the SALT of the earth…
You are the LIGHT of the world…
I have been studying the book of matthew for a while now and these verses jumped at me recently and the Holy Spirit used Lagos to explain it to me.
Honey, you are the light of the world and the salt of the earth. I AM THE SALT AND LIGHT OF THE EARTH.
What does light do? It brightens a dark place. It somehow points the way for us to follow when it is comes on.
What does salt do? It preserves. It restores too. It gives taste to an otherwise or previously bland meal.
For me, this salt and light boils down to LOVE.
That is how we are expected to live as Christians, whether in Lagos or London. You really cannot and should not be a part of the darkness, Shine your own light. Point out a better way for the rest of the people to follow. Do not insult the conductor back. Make room for drivers who are struggling with you when you clearly have the right of way. Do not insult that sales person back. When we meet sad, gloomy, unhappy, edgy people, please sprinkle some of your salt on these tasteless lives. It is the energy and flavor of the world today.
I love how Joyce MEYER puts it… She says we should see ourselves as God’s secret agents waiting in the shadows to sprinkle some of our salt and shine some of our light for the tasteless and dark world to follow. People are really going through ooo. That is what makes them so on edge. Yes I do know that you too have your own issues but as a Christian, you are to be and remain CHRIST-LIKE.
Please give them a bit of a smile. A kind word. A compliment. Something. Anything good. But by all means, be a secret agent of God today. Always leave people better than you met them…
Share the happiness
Again, too many people in the world, especially Lagos are angry. And on edge. Please do not add to it. BE THE SALT. BE THE LIGHT. BE THE DIFFERENCE.
Still saltin’ and shinin’
n’ Lurvin’ U,
It beats me when I see people rushing to Lagos ooo, just because of the City appeal it has. Abeg all na wash!!! Mostly sha. But Lagos rocks especially for those who know how to handle Lagos.
I am gidi, men… GIDI 2 da BONE. Or like a friend would say GIDIFIED!!!