I write this article sitting at the Murtala Mohammed intetrnational airport, departure lounge. My flight leaves in about 20 minutes, and I can’t wait to leave Lagos, at least for the festive season. I love Lagos, and always will, but the concept of Christmas in Lagos is a huge running scam.
"Christmas in Lagos is a scam"
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 BriMericana 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…
EFCC, please arrest Fashola now!
Christmas in Lagos can be likened to going out at night to pick a lady up. You psych yourself up, conjure up the image of some fine ogbanje (witch), wear your best cologne, get the latest offering from your drycleaners, and proceed to go have a go at it. But when you get to your favourite pickup zone, all you see are shapeless women with scary makeup, and a voice that reminds you of Nollywood herbalists. Your erection becomes pancake, and you experience a niggling feeling of sadness.
That’s what Christmas in Lagos feels like. A huge freaking disappointment.
All year, I have had colleagues sell me the concept of spending Christmas in this mega city. They told me wondrous tales of celebration and happiness. Of joy, and pervading gladness lighting up the air and making everyone a representative of love. Heck, I even began to have faith in the existence of Santa Claus.
December comes and the city decors go up. Everywhere begins to take the shape of some fairy-tale habitation. I once drove through Victoria Island searching for Rapunzel or Cinderella. But all I saw in the dark corners were angry Agberos and hungry beggars. No Rapunzel and her cascading hair, nor Cinderella with her good luck charm. Even Flavour’s ‘Gollibe’ would have been enough for me. But no. Nothing!
I have had this feeling of anger all through the month, thinking of Lagos as a city where the joys of Christmas and the decorations are wasted on the inhabitants, but a certain part of me kept pushing through with love. It said I have to give Lagos one more chance at redemption, and trust me I did.
Yesterday, I woke with an overwhelming sense of love welling deep within my heart. I decided that I was ripe for ‘giving Lagos a second chance’. So I get ready, and went out to Ikeja.
Ikeja was a war zone. No amount of ‘Jingle Bells’ will put love in the heart of all those hustlers on the street. A couple of them walked past me, brushing me with their smelly shoulders, and not stopping to say sorry. Even when I yelled in despair, ‘common dude, it’s Christmas!’, one of them turned, stared at me with burning hatred, and screamed ‘Christmas ko, Christmas ni’.
I took a tricycle from Allen to Ikeja, and halfway through, my driver got into a fight with an Agbero wearing a Santa Claus hat. He got wounded while I escaped for my dear life!
‘Jesus! He fought with a Christmas hat on his head!
I came back to my quiet home n Ajah depressed and tired, and proceeded to book the first flight out of this city. Love comes down at Christmas, but in Lagos, fight goes up at Christmas. I just saw a man with a Santa hat, attack people. There goes my second chance at love.
I love Lagos, and I will always love Lagos. But Christmas in this city is a scam. Fashola’s decorations fooled us all.
Peace and good hustle. See you next week.
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