The heat in Lagos is terrifying, I can’t believe I have to do this again tomorrow, this was the thought in my head as I stood at the junction of Eko hotel, waiting for rickshaw popularly known as ‘keke maruwa’ that would transport me to the Tafawa Balewa Square where I will take the BRT bus to my house in palmgrove. I was in Lagos for my three-month long industrial training exercise at that point in time. The sun raged and burned, it was quite fierce that day and kekes were taking the whole time to arrive, I was frustrated, I wanted it all to end, I just wanted to be at home. ‘I hate Lagos’ I thought to myself.
‘Don’t touch my car!’ these words snapped me out of my train of thoughts, I looked up to see who uttered them. It was at this point I realised the traffic light at that junction had turned red and a kid who I hadn’t noticed earlier was using the opportunity to collect alms from the people whose car had being stopped at the traffic light. Apparently, the words were uttered by the driver of a shiny matte black Mercedes suv, the driver a dark skinned man, in his late forties with a gold-framed glasses perched on his nose, greying hair and fat shiny head with a stern look, focused on the poor girl repeated himself ‘don’t touch my car!’ she smiled and moved dejectedly away and moved to next car. The next car wasn’t a success either, I thought to myself ‘bad business.’
While going about her business, she eventually met a car who gave her money. I smiled to myself ‘oh good gracious, thank God’ I was happy for her, business had finally paid off. While she was trying to go back to base, out of nowhere, a siren wails, the sound was so unexpected, I saw the little girl fall and rise and drag frantically to her base, she met with the other kids who are in the same line of business with her, they had a hearty laugh about her fall. I smiled, I felt pity for her, but there was really nothing I could do for her, I prayed for her safety and promised myself I was going to give her a gift if I ever came to that area again.
‘TBS! TBS! Onikan no enter oh’ Keke had eventually arrived, push here, jab there, I eventually secured a seat, with the thought of the girl in my head. I shook my head with pity. Why was she even born? Where are her parents? Is this what she’ll do forever? I had so many questions to ask but no one to answer them. We got to TBS, I joined the never ending queue of people waiting to go home with the BRT bus. I have to do this again tomorrow? I sighed deeply.
Man, I can’t say I like lagos.