“Silent Night, Holy Night, all is bright, all is nice…”
"Lagos hates Christmas…and Jesus Christ"
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…
I kept singing yesterday morning as I walked the street, happy to be in existence in this Yuletide, and content to allow my horrible voice serenade the morning and cast a warm texture over those who walk past me.
I was headed to the gate of my residential estate to board a commercial vehicle to take my happy soul to work. I was happy, joyful, smiling, contented, and tush. Very Tush.
But Lagos is not tush. It hates Christmas. Everyone who walked past me, had this scary angry look on their face; one of pure disgust and anger. I ignored them all, thinking it was my voice, and not the content of my song that keeps ruining their moments.
I was blessed with the most horrible of singing voices. If I sing, babies cry, people tremble in discomfort, and all my debtors pay. It is bad, torturous and effective in chasing away girlfriends. I once had one stubborn Yoruba chick who refused to allow me break her heart. I did everything in my power to send her away, but man, she was persistent. All it took to accomplish the mission was to sing at the top of my voice all night, and the next day, she complained of nightmares and demons chasing her in her sleep. Her name was Titilope, and that was the last time I ever saw her. I had become the antichrist.
You can listen to my horrible singing by clicking the audio file, and downloading Joey The Nighting-Gale.mp3
Back to the matter. I kept up my singing while I joined a bus to work. It was pretty full, and I was delighted to finally have an audience to share my joy with. This time switching to White Christmas.
“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know". I sang slowly, my voice rang around their heads like a cry of doom. I was in the zone, happy as Santa himself. ‘Hohoho, Merry Christmas.’
“Oga wetin you dey sing sef? Abeg you dey disturb me jor.” Finally a worthy challenger. Someone had taken offence at my disturbance and happiness, and was about to ruin my moment.
I have spent all my life listening to preachers and marketers sell the bible to me during bus rides, and I have respected my space. Now this man wants to ruin my moment. No, I refuse to be intimidated.
I took a deep a deep breath, cleared my throat, and began my preaching. “Brothers and sisters, this is a Christmas, and it is a holy time to show love, peace and kindness…”
I kept my little Christmas sermon up all through the ride from Ajah to Lekki. The people were angry and frustrated, and did all they could to stop me. I heard grumblings, murmurs, sighs, hisses, and curses. But I was relentless. We got to Lekki, and right at the bus stop, I ran out of steam, and with a flourish, ended my little discussion with a warm satisfied smile, “Merry Christmas to everyone. May joy and laughter find you.” I whispered and spread out my arms in happiness.
I waited for an “Amen”, but none came. I simply shrugged and alighted. It is not my fault that they all hate a good Christmas preaching. In fact, they hate the concept of Christmas and celebration.
As I walked to my office, one man in worn out clothes walked to me, and poured out his heart in one sentence.
“Bros, no try this thing wey you just do again. I don warm you”.
I didn’t respond. Nothing can take away my joy at Christmas, not that man, not a bus full of people who hate Jesus Christ and his birth season. Never!
As I walked to my office, only a slight song kept ringing in my head.
“Silver bells, silver bells, it’s Christmas time, in the Lagos…”
Peace and good hustle my people. See you next week.
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