The true Lagosian: A perfect blend of brains and brawn. Of hustle and swag. An ajebutter, but can bring out the rugged side when it’s needed. An ajepako, but still has swag in abundance. Yep, that’s the true Omo Las Gidi, and that’s what I am.
When I left home on Friday July 15 2011, I had no idea I would be in for one of my most rugged days in recent times. I was going to Unilag to pay for the Post UME form, which @DrewBaba (I should kill him for what he made me go through) said was going to close that day. Around 9am, I left my house, hoping that I would be through with the purchase by 11am and would be able to see a movie at Ozone cinemas when I was done. But as the wise ones have said, “Man proposes, God disposes”.
When I got to Yaba around 9:45am, the amount of people queuing for the shuttle to campus was amazing. The first that came to mind was “Hell no… No way I’m joining the end of this line”. I looked around, looking for anybody I could “shunt” with. All I saw was hard faces all saying the same thing, “Bros go queue o… Even Orunmila no go allow you enter this line”. Then I noticed the buses were passing right beside me to go pick up those in the front. I quickly ran onto one, drawing suprised looks from those on the queue. The driver asked what I was trying to do, and I just shoved N50 into his palm. I don’t know what he told the guy at the front controlling the queue, but the man just looked at me and shook his head. Like I cared.
On getting to the school, my first stop was Wema Bank. I saw the crowd at the bank, and I felt like my killing myself. I don’t think an adjective exists in the English vocabulary to describe the multitude of people there. I was still feeling fresh, so I didn’t want to hustle yet, still hoping the crowd would reduce soon. After about an hour of exchanging pins with some pretty young things, I looked about and saw that the crowd had actually INCREASED. I swore to myself and decided to check out the other banks, hoping the crowd would be lesser. After another hour of shuttling between DLI, the main campus, and the gate, I decided to go back to Wema Bank and turn on full-hustle mode.
On a good day, I hate bank staff. And given how cranky the enormous crowd had made them, I knew getting into the bank was going to be World War III. Ignoring screams of “That boy is shunting!”, “Go back!”, “Don’t allow him pass!”, I made my to the gate. The security man there was vexed almost to a homicidal level and was pouring water on the crowd to get them to shift back. I looked at the shirt I was wearing, a Thomas Pink, and mouthed “I’m sorry”, before squeezing myself into the crowd and attempting to get into the bank. I can still remember I identified about 9 different offensive odours. But I had to do what had to be done.
The guard, obviously tired of working himself to the core for the meager salary he earned, stood back and allowed some people to enter the bank. I still don’t know how it happened, but 7 seconds later, I was inside the bank. Sad thing was, my left palm sandal had falling behind in the warfare. Going to back to get it, also sadly, was not an option. Seeing an open room inside the bank with chairs and Ghana-must-go bags inside it, I went in and sat down to ease my throbbing ankle. My worst mistake of the day.
Next thing I knew, the door was closed from the outside, and I heard “Call the Mopol! We have a thief in the store room!”. About 5 minutes later, the door opened and I look into the face of an extremely ugly man wearing a bulletproof vest. I actually thought this was a small issue until I saw Mr. Ugly bring out hand-cuffs. Luckily for me the branch manager was a woman, which made pleading a lot easier. I showed her my Uniyonu ID card, and she just smiled and asked Mr. Ugly not to bother. She was a Unilorin graduate herself and aided me in the payment for the form. Finally, at about 2:30pm (I felt very bad that I missed Jumat) I left the bank.
On getting outside, my missing palm slipper was nowhere to be found. And to complicate issues, rain started to fall. After 30 minutes of fruitlessly searching for my missing slipper under the rain. I walked out out of Unilag, wet and on one leg. At the gate, I walked past a group of 3 girls, who laughed as I squeezed past them. What I heard next though, removed any murder notions I had towards them. One of them had said, “He still looks fresh though”. I don’t think my cranium had ever been larger in my life than at that moment. I walked on, and paused in front of a shop with glass walls. I looked at my reflection and I just had to smile. I actually was looking fresh. I bought a pair of white bathroom slippers, and dumped the other palm slipper in a dustbin.
On my way home, I thought about all what I had gone through today, and was still able to draw that compliment. Most ajebutter boys like myself would have lost their heads after all that happened, but I guess I’m a perfect Lagosian. Truly Made In Gidi.
P.S. All of you that have been wanting to yimu, you are now free to do your noses like Baba Yusuf’s pigs.