Hello and Happy New Year! I have been MIA for a while now as you might have noticed but I’m back and I’m grateful to God for his goodness. I was out of the country for about 2 weeks. I went to motherland and as expected, motherland is same ol’ motherland. I got suaved $500 while changing currencies and for a while I was ashamed of myself but I remembered the Benin adage; “if you don’t want people to laugh at you, people will cry for you”, and in the spirit of good laughs I have shared my story of been mumu*ed* in Lagos. The story ends here.
Besides my sad ordeal, I actually had fun. Not because I went out to the baddest parties in town and hung out with the coolest crowd but more so because I met wonderful people, had meaningful conversations and was reminded again of how lovely it is to be home despite all socio and economic issues. Take for instance Linda Ikeji’s conviction and sincerity when she talked about pursuing a dream and Femi Adekola’s optimism and resolution that anything is possible, no buts. These conversations and others continue to stay with me.
For those who care to know Lagos state has actually moved in some positive directions since my last visit. The first is the BRT line. I’m not sure what it stands for but its pretty much a refined transit system that runs to and fro Ikorodu road to the Island. Although I can’t speak to the details of this bus line I can always share my experience on it. I took the BRT from Maryland to CMS and it was actually quite pleasant. The ticket cost my #100 and most times everyone is seated comfortably with decent air blowing from the wide windows. The cool thing about the BRT is that it has its own lane on Ikorodu road so if there is any traffic at all on that road, those on the BRT are able to avoid the hold up. Cool right?
The second is the rule that was passed mandating all okada riders and passengers to wear helmets. I know it’s a bit hilarious at first but it was amazing to see that okada riders actually complied with this rule; although some used construction helmets as opposed to the real bike helmets, the fact is that they made an attempt and I commend them for that. Trust Lagosians to grumble…I heard some people say, “laye laye, I’m not wearing that helmet o…what if the other person had something on their head…” Truth is, there is nothing wrong in taking precautions to safety. Case in point, I witnessed an accident on Awolowo road where the okada driver was knocked down from his bike. Only God knows the injury he might have sustained on his head if he didn’t have a helmet on. Haven said, there were ridiculous cases of some people wearing firemen helmets and little buckets over there heads…I’m not sure what to say to that.
As usual I was yapped and teased for not representing as a NY chic because I did “rago” things like taking a bike and using the BRT. The truth; I enjoyed every bit of it and would do it again. I dream of a Lagos where someday “old money”, “new money” and “no money” can enjoy the comfort of a superb transit system. Then it won’t matter if you leave on the Island, Mainland or *Aja-land* as the daily commute will be less of an issue.