The Nigerian Dream

So I went to make a delivery that sunny afternoon at UBA Marina and I thought a drink was in order. But no sooner had the rim of Fanta bottle touched my lips than my tummy started doing ”skiborobi”.
“Haaaa village people tun ti de” one of the voices in my head wailed.
“Calm down nah, let us find one bank toilet enter. Not every day is village people. Somebody that is drinking palm wine under abe igi fruit.”
“Is truth sha,” the voice acquiesced.
I asked aunty “adoyo” where I can find a bank and she pouted in the direction of GTBank. #3:53 pm laidis, my bowel had begun to step to “e jade e wa wo wa o” with my eyes darting in every direction like a caged bird; come and see sweating. But in this world of pains, none rivals the human traffic at Eko Idumota. And the hawkers is the chukuchuku in the fish that threatens the oesophagus. Akin to the mess during “Breaking Time”, the crazed glint in their voices jabbing at you from all direction is quintessentially Lagos.
Aunty Shokomilo “Iya kabo omo kule” will never tell you is eruku Oshodi she is selling. Me that I don’t use to learn a lesson twice. The one they do for my friend Yetunde Onilenla is okay. Whining over the speaker on NEPA pole was Herbal-made Balm. And just when you think you’ve heard it all “Inside is inching you. Body is paining you. Inside bone is pinching you. Ara nro daddy. Ara nro mummy, romantism, aromolegun, IPP (High BP), Bone dislocation.” And on top all the infirmities, Tajomavwo Fejiro village people now come and say “N100 pere ni.” Meawhy stomach is “turning and turning like the widening gyre.” Hayy God!!! When is this world ending again?
I got into the banking hall breathless, pretending to search for a non-existent deposit slip. I located the rest room in the most unlikely of places. It was squeezed into the wall beside the bulk room. Tearing past the queue, I made a breathless chase for the room-I-will-later-discover-promised-no-rest. Some ladies dusted their hands audibly: “orishirishi”; you know the way Yoruba people use to do when they’re mocking you. The room-that-promised-anything-but-rest was so tiny; you cannot use your leg to do “At ease!!! Alert!!!”
Ferstofors, I thought maybe boya if I open the window my claustrophobia would lift. Also I needed fresh air because the project at hand was unladylike. But the window hadn’t been oiled in years and it budged with all the grace of a corpse in its rigor mortis. No fresh air, no air freshner, just thick exhausted air hanging around. I shrugged my indifference, maybe “bawon malaika shey fe leni niyen,” their punishment for mocking me. So I got down to business.
I scanned the entrapment and read the sexual angst scribbled on the walls with accompanying digits for those who require their services. And for the briefest of moments, I recalled Sigmund Freud’s psycho-sexual theory, wondering if they are fixated at the anal stage.
Brethren, I had barely squeezed out enough when I heard a rap on the door evoking peals of laughter and the attendant “orishirishi”. That hurt me but I know how to treat people-like-that’s-fuck-up. I owe them something they won’t forget in a hurry. I flushed and relinquished the room-that-promised-no-rest. Stepping out, I didn’t forgetting to hold the door a little longer. Brethren, not one soul stirred. But the worst was yet to come.
Mbaje mo mo, I would have listened to my spirit-woman but because BRT queue is collecting brief from Tower of Babel I opted for Danfo. Conductor is Armageddon literally carrying me to enter “Oshodi Antokoshodi” where ‘eshin bururku” is dancing over the radio. I wrung myself from his grip and shortly after I found the right bus. I should have just left my ears at home that day.
As if he was waiting for me to sit, Ayinde Wasiu’s voice crackled asking me to epp him and greet Arabambi and Dudu “ton je Yemi o.” And as I was about to fix my ear piece, I glimpsed a shadow from the corner of my eye. It is Aunty Shenanigan and her skin-cum-dental remedy, her eyes totally eclipsed under the weight of false lashes raving, “Wash your teeth!!! White your teeth!!!” but I found no alibi on her dentition. “Eleyi o nwe lapalapa, crawcraw, ezzima, ewo, ela…” I urged my mind on a more logical process like mathematics, music, politics anything. But by the time she got to “komo bustop” laidis, I was itching, all over. Brethren, is spirit car not worrying my enemy laidis?

Post Author: Arinola Ogunniyi

I tell simple everyday stories we take for granted in ways you wouldn't have imagined them. From dated stories, myths, reviews, "street-lores" to topical issues, these mind bending series will leave you begging for more. And if you trip over my sentence structures, it's part of the experience. You can call me the Last Story Bender. I mastered the rules of language to break them.

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