How has your day been? Real good I hope?
Are you a Nigerian or a non-Nigerian?
Have you ever been to Nigeria? And have you ever visited the only Lagos State?
If your answer to my last question is No, then where the H#*L have you been? This article is definitely for you. And if you indeed have been to/in Lagos, then let me enlighten you some more about the city with the smartest people in the world, the city officially called The Centre of Excellence.
For a first timer flying in to Lagos, you’ll be welcomed into the uniquely designed Muritala Muhammed International Airport, drive into Ikeja, the capital of the city and then on to wherever your destination may be. But, if you are driving into Lagos, from where ever, just after the boundary between Lagos and Ogun State, you get to an area called Ojodu Berger. As you drive past Ojodu Berger bus stop, at the median of the Express Way, you see a beautiful work of art, an impressive sculpture of three elderly, wise men, with robes tied around their shoulders, this readily brings to your mind statues from the Roman Empire. The three statues are sculpted with their hands making signs that depict different advisory messages. Let me break them down for you…
Mind you, it isn’t like I always used to know the story of these wise men myself, I got enlightened by popular Fuji musician “Abass Akande Obesere”, the guy plays good crazy music, make sure you get yourself one of his tapes/CDs when you come by it.
Back to the messages from the White Cap Chiefs as you welcomed into Lagos State via road.
1. O gbo do ya mugu l’Eko (Don’t be foolish/stupid in Lagos)
Remember I mentioned somewhere up there that Lagos is the city with the smartest people in the world, so what the H#*L are you looking for in Lagos if you are not smart? Lagos is afterall the Centre of Excellence, dammit. We are all out here working our arses off and cranking the brain engines in order to take our rightful place in the committee of nations in the world. Here is a quick gist on someone who took the ‘mugu’ route.
Reuben came into Lagos from Benin, with a friend whose brother was getting married. They had come to pick some items to be used for the wedding which would be taken place in Benin city, Reuben had been asking his sister who was based in Italy for some money for a while and fortunately she had sent it through a family friend who just arrived back into the country and Reuben had gone to collect the five thousand Euros early on a Tuesday morning after which him and his friend headed up for Lagos Island.
Unfortunately for Reuben, after having some guys hassle him up if he wanted to change foreign currency, he told them yes and they rushed him into a corner where the swift deal was transacted. Before Reuben could say Jack Robinson, the five thousand Euros was returned to him by the guys claiming it was fake currency he brought to them. They gave him back the money and of course collected the naira they gave him back. Reuben ran after them, confused and screaming that they had swapped his money for the fake one.
Next thing “ Tosaiiii”, a dirty slap landed on Reuben’s face and he fell flat on the floor.
Lesson: Don’t go patronising the black market if you don’t have an aid that knows a reliable dealer.
2. O gbo do suegbe l’Eko (Don’t be slow in Lagos).
It is totally prohibited for anybody to be slow in thinking/action on the streets of Lagos. In Lagos, everybody is on the move and in a hurry to get to whatever thing they are going to do. Lagos cannot afford to have any individual pulling back the hands of time. We are good to go, all the time. And here was Adamu, just entering Lagos for the first time. He was posted to the city for the compulsory one-year paramilitary life all the nations graduates are meant to go through, The Nigerian Youth Service Corp. Adamu alighted from the intercity luxurious bus and got directions to take a bus to the Agege area of the city. He walked to the bus stop and there were quite a number of people waiting there for buses.
Adamu was at the bus stop for about forty-five minutes before a woman selling roasted plantain not too far from him called out saying “Oga, you be JJC, you no know say you go rush before you go fit enter the bus? You go tey for that place wey you stand if you no wake up o!”. He had been missing the buses that came because he was trying in to get in like a gentle man, he kept being shoved out of the way everytime a bus parked for pick up. He thought about this advise for a minute, remembering his friends had already told him that Lagos is a crazy place, so he had better brace up. The next bus slowed down a bit without really stopping, Adamu made a rush for it.
Next thing “Gbosaaa”, na so Adamu land for ground yakata.
Lesson: No when to take a leap.
3. O gbo do be be stout l’Eko (Don’t be over zealous in Lagos)
So because you heard that Lagos is a sharp sharp town and you happen to have been getting by, you now believe you are the smartest cat around. Things happen around you and you think you can always take control to your advantage; I am very honoured to tell you to “forgerrriiiiitt! Someone soji pass you”.
And there was Solomon taking a walk down his street just a little after 10am, thinking of how he’ll be pitching his next side hustle to his older brother for some possible loan. This guy (real name, Okafor), walked up to him and introduced himself has Charles Dimbamba from Sierra Leone. He excused Solomon for a brief discussion and he immediately went into a tale of how he got stranded in Nigeria and him having twenty containers of textile material waiting to be cleared at he ports. The people he had negotiated the deal with in Nigeria had duped him and he could not trace them, he had been able to raise some more cash from home but still needed one point two million Naira to clear the goods with customs. Anyone that partnered with him to raise the cash will get a cut of five million Naira on the deal. Solomon looked at him for a minute, and then asked that they enter the eatery just across the road and have a sit down to discuss more. Charles agreed with a smile on his face. They got in, went to the counter and Solomon ordered all kinds, rice with chicken, burger, salad, ice cream and he took two of each, Charles also made his order. After the items had been packaged into bags, Solomon collected it, dipped his ands in his pockets and was like “Oh sh-t, I forgot my wallet in the car, hold on Charles, let me drop this and get my purse, I’ll be right back.”
Charles looked on and Solomon walked out.
Walking down the road back towards his house, Solomon grinned, “Me that I was still thinking of what Bukola and I will eat this morning…and… God just gave me my daily bread. Chineke, you are too much”.
So next time you are in Lagos, bear these messages from the 3 wisest men of Lagos in mind. Don’t Dull!!! Have a great weekend.
Nobodi Dey Here