There are gentlemen in Lagos. Who ever said “gentle man no dey Lagos” lied. I am a Gentleman and I am in Lagos, dohh! But, then, what are the trappings of a gentleman? I know what they are though. But you tell me..

I do stuff like saying please, and saying thank you. I do lots of playing doorman to the ladies; I don’t walk behind her especially when climbing up a staircase, donning those mind-blowing skimpy-shorty-thingys; I don’t fart in the elevator; anytime I wandered into the ladies, I always say “pardone moi, madmoselles, moi est dyslexique ni”. After peeing, I always flush the toilet even if the shit isn’t mine, I don’t ogle too openly at those tantalizing cleavages; I give up my seat to ladies and elderly folks; I assist children and women and the bothersome elderly in crossing the road even if they were Zebras.

If these character traits don’t make me a Lagosian I understand, but they make me a Gentleman as gentlemen comes. Since I got born again, I’ve begun to reconsider my Emotional Intelligence Quotient. That is my attitude to people, places and things. GET REAL, THIS IS LAGOS, SHINE YOUR EYES, DON’T DULL.

Some folks are naturally endowed with high Emotional Intelligence Quotient, while some have to learn it- sometimes through hard knocks. Having acquired such virtues, we must, by any means necessary adapt to Lagos’ street-life. The life on the street is a crazy fast lane where a snail has no business at all. Everybody is in a rush to get somewhere and fast- elbowing, kicking, scratching, bitting, and pushing everything and everyone out of the way. There is no looking uche face.

Unless you are the paid doorman, there is no rhyme or reason in opening doors for others to get in before you, even if she is a lady. It makes sense to elbow her out of the way to get in first, and apologize for your crudeness later, only if she is your girlfriend, your wife, your sister, or your grandmother. A lady owes you no apologies if she head-butt you to get in before you. You just understand and roll with the punch. That’s getting real LAGOS STYLE.

Lagos teaches you to be pro-active. You are pressed and the elevator is so god-awfully slow to reach the floor, just let-go in the corner where noboby may step on the poop, it would’ve been more convenient to have done it in the gutter on the street before you got to the elevator though. The elevator is nobody’s papa’s living room. If you are ridding in an elevator with a lady and someone just let off a bad stinker, pinch your nostrils and keep spitting into the corner till you reach the floor and get off. You are late for the job interview, or for work, or an appointment, it is understandable if you beat the Red Light or drive on the wrong lane, it is alright, everybody does it here, even lawyers and policemen, and prison wardens. The traffic rules are made to be broken for a price; you can always tip those traffic wardens and pay less. Sometimes you get lucky to get discounts- you pay for one and break one for free. THIS IS LAGOS and anything goes most of the time.

You are forgiven if you don’t use the pedestrian crossing, or if you ignore the stupid kindergarten, or the senile old lady waiting to cross the busy expressway. You don’t have 24 hours of daylight here. Get real, no dulling, THIS IS LAGOS, and every gentleman and Lady is heading somewhere fast. There is no dulling in this Lagos.


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