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Typically, I do not miss Sunday church services. However, I decided to visit my baby niece on this particular Sunday because I hadn’t seen her in a week.

I got to Costain busstop where I’d decided to board a bus going to CMS, then proceed to Ajah. By some stroke of fate, there was a danfo going directly to Ajah from Costain; this was quite an unusual but welcome event. Anyway, I got onto the bus as the conductor kept calling out for passengers. As expected, one agbero (Yoruba word for a person who helps bus drivers call out bus routes; typically male) joined the conductor to load the bus.
Slowly, different people started getting unto the bus and all was well until a light skinned lady boarded the bus.

When the agbero saw her, he started saying different unsavory things in Yoruba. ‘Look at this one, you’re just ripe like pawpaw. Nonsense!’
The lady in question didn’t acknowledge him, but he wasn’t about to stop, this time he switched to broken English. ‘Make una dey fear woman. If dem call me say my wife born pikin, and I ask wetin he born; if them say na girl she born, eh!! For one year she no go see me for house. But if na boy, eh! eh! eh!, faaji repete!’

At this point, he had the attention of the passengers, especially the women. One woman looked at him with disdain and asked, ‘No be woman born you?’ To which the agbero replied ‘See as you dey look me like say you be my God… wetin consain you? I shook your mouth for the talk?’
No one on the bus found the agbero’s talk amusing. The driver apologized to the light-skinned lady on behalf of the agbero and asked everyone to ignore him.

It was at that point that I decided to take a look at him. He looked scruffy and, quite frankly, scary.
He must have seen me looking at him, because he turned to face me and says ‘Ehen, why you dey look me? You never see fine boy before? If no be say I like children, and I wan born boys, wetin I go use woman do? Woman wey go look you like say no be God create you! Dem go judge you finish. Dem go come finish you! Kai!! Fear woman!’

I kept looking at him as he spoke, his eyes looked glassy. I honestly couldn’t tell if that was from substance abuse or hurt from a lover or a combination of both. I was relieved when the driver decided that we’d spent too long at that bus stop and the bus eventually ascended the bridge as we made our way to Ajah.

Featured image source: Explore Parts Unknown

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This article was first published on 9th September 2019


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