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Article – Me And My City

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I think I see a look of contrition on the face of the Cock that offered me a rude awakening with its very loud crow. I also think it must have sensed my anger judging by its deft skitter away from my abode.

With the brutal coldness of the ground pressing intently against my skin, I manage to sit up and mumble a string of words to the Supreme being for the gift of yet another day..

I rise to start a war and as I do so, the spiders cursed as I destroyed their work of art, the cock-roaches who managed to escape my wrath lamented as I killed some of their kin. The furniture guffawed as I rid them of the previous day’s dust and the ground couldn’t help but smile as I made it squeaky clean and this feat which has made me a hero amongst some and a villain amongst others, I achieved with my Broom.

Grabbing the paraphernalia which included a bucket, local sponge and black soap for performing  the daily ritual, I hurriedly set off to fetch the agent of cleanliness which is also the last item needed for the ritual and with as much fervor,  I return to the back of my abode to perform the said ritual. It must be performed before the break of dawn. God forbid that the world behold my most prized possession. The possession meant for the eye of one and until the one has been found, it shall remain hidden.

Ritual completed, hair well combed, clothes adorned, sandals buckled and satchel in hand, I take full strides to the point where the yellow and black buses shall ferry me to my first point of call. An all too familiar sight waited. A throng had already gathered waiting for the buses and I in turn braced up for the worst. Securing my satchel which housed my paper notes, I walk into the midst of the people and almost immediately, two buses pulled to a halt in front of the crowd and the scramble started.

The saying “to each his own” comes to play here as everybody wanted to secure a spot. Pushing, pulling, scratching and competing was the order of the moment. Some were lucky with a few bruises to corroborate their tales; others fell by the way-side.

Fate had it that I would be perched beside a lass who had doused himself with as much perfume meant for 10 others and this left me in a state of a asphyxiation.

“This too shall pass” I thought to myself diverting my attention to the scrawny old man whose duty it was to collect the fares.

An argument had ensued between him and a commuter but I wasn’t granted the leeway to witness the end as the bus reached my destination.

A bustle greeted me on arrival. Amidst the milling crowd, shop owners had displayed their wares, hawkers had their means of livelihood mounted on their head, the bus park laden with men and boys alike calling out for commuters with a sing song inflection which for some reason, I found amusing. Cars careened down the road and in the process sunk their tires in mire, splashing dirty content onto nearby passers-by who in turn did not hesitate to rain insults and curses.

The men in black uniforms were also at work. Demanding for their daily dose of ‘Chicken-feed’ from drivers, men and women clothed in all forms of appeared shuffled across. Students clad in different uniforms littered the road as they trod in pairs. Children who were half-naked ran around innocently with their mothers calling frantically after them.

Despite the buzz around me, I couldn’t help but notice the man at the side of the road. Microphone in one hand, Bible in the other, sweating profusely, shouting at the top of his voice with much vigor and cowage.

“Repeat” he enthused “Repent

The siren blaring from the far-east had a rippling effect on all in its path long before it got to where I stood. Peering intently, I sighted the convoy and the message was as clear as a bright sunny day.

“The all and mighty man of power and valor is passing and therefore all have to stand-still. They must pave away for the man as official duties wait. The official duty of carting away money meant to service generations long after his departure. All hail the mighty man of power and valor” Your judgment awaits you.

The honk of a horn near-by jolted me out of my on-looking duties. I asked a passer-by what time it was and his reply wasn’t what I wanted to hear. Blending into the crowd, I joined the activity. Looking to make a change and earn a worthy living.

This article I dedicate to every Nigerian. It is always darkest before dawn.

Tayo Adelekan

@ TEEONAIR on twitter.



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