Episode 10 here
My parents will always tell me not to board molue from school. I was given transport fare for danfo (small) buses. Being a student, my friends will always say ‘Akin you are wasting your money, you can use this money to buy something else without paying your transportation fare from CMS to iyana
-ipaja’ . They called me all sorts of names: “you be mumu (idiot), odeoshi, omo mummy (mummy’s pet)” etc.
When these insults and abuses were getting too much, I gave it another thought: why don’t I try this molue with Dayo, Dapo and co?
One fateful day I decided to join the “molue package” with my friends. At 2pm, the school closed for the day and we all left for the bus stop and on getting there I noticed that lots of commuters were standing very close to both entrances of the molue. We stood also, the conductors were shouting “ iyana-ipaja sitting #100”. Few people were boarding. After some minutes, one of the conductors went inside the bus to do ‘God-knows-what’. He came out and said “iyapa- ipaja #50 standing”. It was as if hell was let loose. Jesus, see rushing! I was shocked; people rushed in with an unbelievable force best described as “madness incorporated”. The conductor kept shouting ‘’e sun mora’’ (we should all adjust/ shift while standing ) molue no dey full.”
After lots of shouting, screaming and complaints, the conductors and driver decided it was time to move. To God be the glory, we are ‘’facing’’ iyana –ipaja . Directly behind the molue driver stood this woman who greeted everybody in the bus as if she once knew everyone of us. Some responded, some did not. She brought out orisirisi (different) drugs claiming each can cure countless illnesses, disease– ailment etc One drug! The drugs were so cheap compared to what she said they could cure, some were buying while others didn’t. I was shocked but was impressed by her style and manner of advertising.
Along the line, the conductors were collecting their transportation fare. Myself, Dayo and Dapo had two options:
(1) tell the conductors that one of them asked us to hop in (students).
(2) or since they were two, if the one at the front should ask us for money we will say the one at the back had collected money from us.
As the conductors were collecting their fare, one young man screamed “ ha! ‘’Owo mi’’( my money). He was shouting and crying. He said his pocket has being picked. When one of the conductors got to him he said ‘’san owo jo’’ (pay your money). One old igbo woman said; “you no hear say them don pick him pocket? The conductor said; “ naso most of them dey talk and at the end of the day nobody pick their pocket, instead make you just ’’ lahun’’ talk to the conductor sey ‘’alaye mio ni owo ‘’ (my guy I no get money) if you no get money” .
All of a sudden there was traffic gridlock, people were sweating, lots of body odour mixed with cheap perfume filled the air. Before we knew it someone farted in the bus. The overbearing odour from the “mess” was so strong especially in the gridlock without proper ventilation that everybody was suspecting one another. One of the conductors said, ‘’awon oloshi oloriburuku, awon we re won tun ti so nigba ti won ni ye je epa, ewa, moimoi ati kulikuli to ba ya ,wa ni enikan nfa igbo se eni ton fa igbo le ya iso buruku bayi’’ (useless and mad set of people, they have polluted the air when they won’t stop eating beans, groundnut and they keep complaining that someone smokes weed. The person smoking weed can never pollute the air in such a manner ). We all laughed forgetting someone just polluted the air some minutes ago.
All of a sudden, while we were still at the gridlock the next thing we heard was ‘’tah’’. A very beautiful girl that was endowed both front and backward slapped the young man I earlier mentioned who claimed his pocket was picked. While standing, I was still wondering ‘’kilotun sele bayi’’( what has happened again)? Nobody asked the beautiful girl any question, she said ‘’oloshi , oloriburuku , agbaya o n de nfi oko gun mi ni idi’’(old fool he is using his hard thing on me from behind). Lo and behold, the guy’s trousers were wet. He shamefully alighted from the bus before reaching the next bus stop. I asked myself why did I joined this bus for God’s sake not knowing this was just the beginning of the drama.
While the bus was still in motion, I noticed a man and woman discussing animatedly. When the conductor got to their seat he said “yes”? The guy paid up. The lady said: “you were supposed to pay for the two of us”. The smart guy responded immediately: “ because I dey follow you talk inside molue come mean say I go pay your money”. The lady said “but you collected my money saying you will pay for two”. He answered: “liar, if you no get money, tell me I go pay for you”. We didn’t know who was telling the truth between the pair, but one man offered to pay the extra #100.
From nowhere came this small boy who said himself, Awo, Zik and Tafawa Balewa were age mates and school mates. Most people in the bus stood up to the see the tiny thing saying all sorts of things. We were so engrossed . After all his sayings, he brought out a brand of sweet saying this sweet can cure cold, catarrh, cough etc. Some bought while others laughed. As the so called Awo’s mate was alighting from the bus, another one boarded the bus again. This one was telling us about Nigeria- in short, history of Nigeria. After speaking for like 5minutes he said: “ I wan ask una this question. Anybody wey get am, go collect this my book for free”. His question went thus; “which two cities were the capital of Nigeria before them bring am come Lagos?” I raised my hands. He said “oya, student”. I said Calabar and Lokoja. He gave me the book (8pages) which he was selling for #20. He was also using me as a marketing tool. He said : “if this boy mama and papa no buy things like this for this student he no go sabi am, so parent buy for your children make them too win like this student.”
As the bus was moving, I also noticed one strange and funny occurrence. For every passenger who alighted at a bus stop, they were three or four others standing trying to out-muscle themselves in the process of sitting . I said to myself “modaran” (am finished).Before I could recover from the shock right at the centre of the bus was this Calabar guy with a very funny accent. He said: “ una good afternoon o, make una thank God and count una self luck sey una see me today, you guys are very fortunate to have me around you presently. The rest of the world especially those in England, Canada, USA etc are missing me.
He claimed to have a drug that can cure hunger for a whole day; “ just take at least three at once with water. You will see how effective this drug is”. He said we will be very happy and satisfied after taking this drug of his. People in the bus were like “ which kind drug them they miss for oyinbo country?” He asked: “make I comot am?” We all responded: “ comot am” .
Hoin!, lo and behold he brought out this big travelling bag filled with hot “fufu”, “akpu”, “santana” at a very reduced price. People were buying as if their life will end if they don’t buy. The fufu guy had a nylon for persons who bought a certain amount. My people, the fufu finish inside the bus within 3minutes.
When we finally arrived at Iyana-Ipaja the conductors said all passengers should come down… “ those wey pay and those wey no pay”.
From that day I decided nothing will make me board a molue again. NEVER! the bus is slow and full of drama.
Follow the writer on twitter @Alexakin30.
Watch out for Bus Tales 12 by @IAm_Tomi on wednesday 14th August. Wealth series continue tomorrow tuesday 13th August.