I am an Ajebutter. Not by birth, or by formings, or by swag – I am simply an unapologetic Ajebutter by default. I didn’t choose to be born one. God, without seeking my opinion (because He’s God, I guess), gave me the genes of an Ajebutter and a funny Bri-Merican accent . By luck or some twisted work of fate, fortune, Karma (I might have killed ten defenseless puppies in my past life) or destiny, I have found myself in Lagos, crazy Lasgidi, and this is my story…
“Joey, would you please come join the staff bus let’s go home?”
My Pulse.ng colleagues are the sweetest souls ever. So nice to me, even when I keep them from hitting their beds early.
I am a habitual late-finisher of work. I love to take my time with all these writing and creative stuff. Why? Because my muse, which is the miniature figurine of Walt Disney’s Shrek, positioned at one corner of my desk, growling and ugly, but inspiring to me, hates to be left alone at the office. Every day, I spend some minutes more to pacify it.
Finally I grow up, kiss the little abomination goodbye, and hop into the bus. Returning home from work in Lekki can be so much fun. I get to sit with my amazing colleagues, only after one or two sly comments have been passed about my lateness to the bus. Then we settle in for the drive back to horror.
Horror? Yes. The Night life on the Lagos mainland is horrible. Evil walks the day in Lagos, but with the cloak of darkness, their wings come out, and they fly. Ever seen an Agbero chasing you at night to rid you of your phone and cash? He moves at the speed of sound. In short, he flies. I could bet top dollar that he’ll always catch up with you if you run.
We get to Iyanoworo, after navigating the 3 Mainland bridge traffic, and I’m all fidgety and angry. I’m on the Lagos mainland again.
The bus moves quietly to my bus stop, at Ojuelegba, and I alight, with a prayer in my heart. At the road corner, a hungry policeman looks about interestingly. His face, a mask of pain, his eyes, blood-red from poverty and want…and smoking endless wraps of weed. His gaze gets to me, and I quickly look away while walking to my street.
‘No be me be your night food, Olopa’.
I stroll into the streets of Surulere, and immediately some ladies, all made up and skimpy, approach me.
‘Fine boy’. They call out to me. Their voices have a slightly sexual timbre. They have been smoking a joint. Maybe 5 joints. I keep walking.
‘Fine boy, you wan fuck?’
Off course I want to…but you are commercial, and might have AIDS, and I don’t want my sex to be transactional.
I finally escape being raped by the sex workers, and access my street, where some Agberos were gathered trying their hands on a new sort of gambling. I walked past them, like some shadow, without a word.
Later that night, when working on some dumb Ajebutter stuff in my small room, I hear scary screams in the distance. Some raucous voices accompanied it, and then there was silence again. Lagos nightlife.
This happens on most nights. On other days, the noises would draw ever so close, then drift off into the distance again. I am curious, and I want to rush out and go beat up the noise makers. But then…I might just be beat up myself.
No sense in rushing out. Unless I have a death wish. I don’t.
This is how I spend most nights. Avoiding marijuana-fuelled law enforcers, dodging seductive sex workers, and speeding past Agberos, who might fall in love with my wallet.
Sometimes it gets better than this. Most times, it doesn’t. Lagos night life can be experienced in different ways by different people, and this is how I go through mine. Maybe you can suggest more stuff for me to do in the comment section. I’ll happily oblige.
See you next Tuesday. Peace & good hustle!