Wake. Hustle. Eat. Hustle. Sleep. Repeat. Eating could mean 0-0-1, 0-1-0, 1-0-0 or, on a very good day, 0-1-1.

Welcome to Lagos, the center of excellence. More like the urban jungle. Here, the theory of evolution and survival of the fittest is the state religion, even though most worshippers have never heard  the name Darwin. Everything seems hostile here, black clouds, black smoke from cars and exhaust fumes, black gutters from which black water flows, black, stony, angry, faces made darker by grinding for days in the sun.

Dele was lucky enough to get a ride to his shack in a tricycle, or keke, which cost him #100. The driver looked on, oblivious of his passenger’s frustration. He, too, had problems of his own. No one spoke, for fear of meeting someone in a similar soup. Was he the only one?

After gulping down a bottle of Coke his exact shade of rich black, he rose to continue his hustle, although it was already 4:00pm. He put his hands to the barrow without looking back, but looked up and discovered that he was not fit for the kingdom today. The rain would make a vassal of him if he did not find shelter fast. Looking at the black cloud, he wondered whether it was Sango or the Almighty God he had fallen out of favor with.  He forgot his barrow and ran.

Now, he sat there, counting his losses. He made #250 today, used #100 for the bottle of Coke and had impulsively given the keke man #100 because of the weather. Plus, he may never find his barrow again.

Anyway, he must go home. He who runs away lives to fight another day.

For this Lasgidi? I go make am.

And he will. Because in Lagos, you learn to strive, to seek, to find and not to yield.


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