Episode 1 here
Getting admission into the University of Lagos is always a celebrated feat for any young person. I was no exception. I danced and jumped for joy when I saw my name on the admission list. I remember my early days of going to school from home everyday; that was before we were given hostels. So I went from Ojodu Berger to Akoka everyday.
As a JJC, (I can bet so many others also made this same mistake) I was always taking Yaba bus from Berger for N250, not knowing that I could take Bariga bus for just N150 and still get to school. Thank God for a senior friend, it was her who put me out of my stupidity.
Nowadays I still laugh at myself when I remember how I used to stay hungry in school just to keep enough money to take me back from Yaba to Berger.
Well, like they say, I’m a grown man now. After spending some years in the University of First Choice,” my eye don sharp die…nothing fit shake me”.
On this fateful day, I had to go to school. I work as a journalist, and so do not always stay on campus. I was already extremely late, as I had a test in about an hour to write. Trust those drivers of Bariga buses, they can wait till eternity just to make sure their buses fill up before leaving the park.
I was already speaking in tongues, interceding seriously, praying that passengers come, as time was seriously becoming my enemy.
Finally, they began to trickle in. The conductor, brash and harsh as usual, started shouting ‘Bariga, Bariga, enta with your one-yifty, I no get change oooo, 500, 1000, no enta oooo, if not I go marry una for bus stop ooo’. His bloodshot eye combined with his marijuana cultured voice was so dreadful that I had to cooperate. I quickly used the N1000 note with me to buy Gala and La Casera (Man’s best food in hold-ups), so as to get the complete change.
Finally, the bus was full. We were packed like rams from Sokoto. The woman by my left hand side had was breast feeding a baby. It was like she was harassing the baby with the breast, I didn’t realize that I was starring at her, until she turned and looked at me. That was an embarrassing moment. Immediately, I knew I was in for it. I knew I would definitely become the playground of that child. I looked to my right hand side and smiled a bit, sitting beside me was a man of God. He was reading his bible and nodding his head intermittently. I regretted smiling later in the journey.
After all the wahala, the bus sha moved. Then this man of God by my right started – ‘Brethren, let us pray’. Oh boy!!!, his prayer was like a deliverance session. The man was blasting in tongues, casting and binding the spirit of accident, pleading the blood of Jesus on the tyres of the vehicle… Mehn, it was war. I knew I was in for it, when I realised he was a member of Pastor Muoka’s Chosen…one church that parades rugged christians. (Have you seen them doing publicity before, you’ll know what I’m talking about..)
This man preached non stop for 30 minutes. He painted images of hell fire. He said if you wear jewelries, you will go to hell. If a female wears trousers, she will land in hell. Above all, this man was really stressing sudden death, especially through accident. He told everyone to pray against the spirit that wants to suck blood. This man preached with tenacity and vivacity, baptising me with saliva in the process.
Poor me, I could not do or say anything, as I had been told that ‘touch not my anointed and do my prophet no harm. So I sat down there cleaning the drops of saliva as they dropped on my face like banana yogurt. Yuck..
Everyone was seriously irritated, as he was shouting at the top of his voice. Telling us that we would all go to hell if…
The journey proceeded to Iyana-Oworo with this man still firing gospel bullets, the driver decided to insult our ears the more. Well, maybe he was tired of hearing the gospel or he was just pissed off…the next thing we heard was “conc” fuji song from the vehicle speakers. So we were assaulted with a cacophony of intelligible sounds.
At last we got to Bariga. I was so relieved, at least I had 5 minutes before my test starts. I was planning on taking bike to Unilag gate to save time. For those that have passed this route before, we all know the very popular Oando filling station, where all Bariga buses stop. Then one will have to trek a little distance before getting campus shuttle to school.
Then the unthinkable happened. The driver passed the filling station and kept on going. I initially didn’t see anything wrong, I was even happy that the driver was helping me cover the distance I was to trek…at least saving me time and money.
While others in bus were complaining, I was smiling. I never knew that my wonderful driver wasn’t helping me at all…he was rather looking for how to stop that bus…as the brakes failed!
Still going, going, going, the driver just swerved into a little market by the side of the road…crashing everything in his front, till a big shop could stop our bus.
There we were hanging, tilted to one side, after having destroyed shops and stalls.
We were still angry, pouring curses on the driver, when some body from outside shouted ‘fire’… Oh boy!!! see race, see as every body jumped out of the vehicle. It was not a beautiful site, we trampled on each other, tore our clothes, injured ourselves… It was terrible.
The supposed fire came about as we hit a woman’s big cooking pot of hot moin-moin sitting on a coal stove. The smoke that filled the air was what prompted the fire alarm.
We were very lucky to escape without any incident. I managed to still get to school seconds before my test started.
It was indeed a memorable journey…My Danfo Experience.
Akan Imoh is a Media Content Provider/Creative Writer. He has a burning passion for talent development among youths in a Nigeria with unique intricacies.
He blogs at Ovasabii.com and on twitter, he is @Ovasabii…
Watch out for Wealth 3 by Taiwo Marayesa on Tuesday and Bus Tales 3 by Arome Ameh