THE ISLAND AND LOWLANDS OF LAGOS

It figures that I think to look up at the sky only when I am on The Island (Lagos). It is different sun (moon and stars too) that shines on the island. There is this ethereal feeling that makes one stop to look and listen to the beauty of our people, the muse of nature and the ambience of Our Land, only at Victoria Island and Lekki .

Of course the go-slows are there, there’s even this toll-gate at Lekki, but life is more progressive in the measured pace of the island folks. Traffic rules are obeyed, and everyone keep to their lanes. Okadas know their place and stick to it. There are no smoky rickety molues- no molues at all. If there is sane traffic system in Lagos, you will find it here. Even NEPA Is responsible on Lagos Island.

No, there is no constant din that is the hallmark of the mainland. No bus Conductor is spilling his lungs, chanting the bus destinations at the top of his stinking breath. There are cabs at your becks and calls. Of course there are mega-phone churches and mosques, but the loud-speakers are turned inward, to edify only penitents within. There is little or no loud bible-thumping to disturb your peace, there is never to be heard, a muezzing raising hell to get you out of bed and come to prayer at 0500hrs. Religion is a private affair.

No, they don’t hawk their gala, richarge cards, bread, mouse traps, hardwares and softwares, hospital equipment, furnitures or building materials in the go-slow. Every item has it’s proper place in shops and malls: gala and everything else are sold and bought off the shelves of nicely decorated, well-lit, air-freshened outlets, with cool background music, where the smiling doormen bid you welcome, or have a nice day. Their ATM machine will not suddenly lose network when your requested cash is only half dispensed.

No, you can’t find poor-wota; their water, in Lagos Island is sold in bottles; no, no rat-poison, no paraga, no baba-ijebu, no agberus, no area boys and omoghetto-girls, and omo-alata babes. The police don’t collect shandy’s, LASTMA officials are seen in their duty posts, there are no KAI and nobody throw thrash on the streets and nobody shit or piss in the gutters. Maybe them no dey mess sef.

Their dogs don’t forage in refuse dumps for chow. The dogs are well fed with homemade meals served in special china-ware engraved with the pet’s name, such names as “SNOOPY”, such names as MISSYE. The dogs bark with confidence, the cats stay off alleys, the parrots speak Queen’s English.

Ajegunle dogs help themselves to rare crumbs from their masters’ tables, and supplement their meagre diet with shit from the open sewers. When they grow big and fat enough, or get lean and sickly they are slaughtered for meat. For food. For the family that is better described as a clan in their own right, if their sizes are anything to go by.

I like the sun that shines on the Island, it invigorate it tans. I hate the sun of the mainland, it makes you hot and sweaty, the air makes you sticky, the crowd and noise that make you grumpy, especially at Mushin and Oshodi. At Oshodi (oke and Isale) exhaust fumes from rickety molues and danfos, combined with the acrid assaults from the second hand smoke of cheap cigarettes, and marijuana makes you high in a low way. I prefer the clean air of VI, Lekki and sometimes Ikoyi (minus Obalende) it could cure asthma.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

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