What comes to your mind when you hear about individualism and communal? Probably something related to an individual or a community.
You are not far away from the truth. You are in fact sitting on the truth. But spare me a few minutes, I will take you somewhere. I don't bite, so you won't be harmed. I am taking you to Lagos.
In this sphere, the moment you board a commercial bus. You share everything, your phone and privacy (there is always a nosy co-passenger snooping to see why you are giving your phone attention), seating space in case you have a 'big co-passenger (on days, like that I low-key wish I was bigger) - Getting squeezed by another human is intimidating honestly.
But like you may have heard. This is Lagos. Once the bus conductor yells, "Yes, your money?" The guy next to you stretches his neck and strains his eyes to peep if you have 'change' in your wallet. On those days, even the meanest looking guy next to you will turn with a smile not because he thinks you are worthy of morning pleasantries but because he needs to ask you, "Abeg, you get change."
Today, the bus is not so calm. Passengers are quite chatty. As for me, I am staring in the blank space as the cool breeze smothers my face. I love this hour of the day. I call it my formative hour.
The bus jolts and it drives over a pothole. The driver swerves off it and we continue at an increased acceleration.
"Driver, park! I say park!" A man most likely in his sixties screams as he jumps down from the bus. The vehicle makes an abrupt stop and the man yells.
"Una no go kill me o. Na una sef una go kill. Since these people wey dey for here dey mess."
The passengers roar in laughter.
"I been think say the man forget something o, na him make am dey shout." A young lady by the door says carelessly.
"I am no longer going, give me my change make I enter another motor. I no wan get cancer of the lungs"
There was another roar of laughter.
"Papa, come siddon for here. We no dey mess for this seat." The young lady taunted him.
"No! I need my change. I will enter another vehicle."The elderly man gave his verdict. The conductor handed him his balance and I watched him walk away to board another bus.
I cast a stray glance at the seat. There were three guys wearing suit on the same seat. Do guys on suit fart?
The passenger's joke about what had just occurred then eventually keep calm till a bored baby of about two or three years entertained us to her nursery rhymes and gospel songs. She ensured to touch every one seated around her mother while singing with her loud babyish voice.
The embarrassed mother tried to hush her but ... no way! The baby had made the bus her stage.
Within less than three kilometres. A man with a bag boarded the bus.
He hung on the bus with the conductor then suddenly broke his silence and interrupted our singing baby too.
"Good morning, brothers and sisters. My name is Doctor On point. If you dey waka this road steady, you suppose to know me. I sell quality drugs. This one I have here today is called Pana Quick Action. E dey cure Malaria, Backache, Gonorrhea and nyama nyama infection. "
If there were any set of people who would not sell if I was the only buyer in the world. It has to be drug peddlers.
Fake drugs and wrong prescription has done more harm to teach people to buy 'Medicine' in appropriate pharmacies and not 'Mericine.'
Today, I have an ally. Our bus baby will have no one sharing her stage with her either. She sang even louder as the drug peddler didi his marketing.
"Madam, make that pikin quiet na." The drug peddler urged her mother. That was the limit and heell was let loose.
"Which quiet? That pikin don pay for bus. You don pay your own?" another lady shot back at him.
"That guy face resemble person wey sell one mericine wey no later work as him talk"
A communion of voices dishing out support and opposing the motion about the drug peddler not having the right to shut our Bus Baby up seems to be rising.
Truth be told, no one owns the bus. We are all passengers. Then the verdict dropped like ice on burnt skin.
"Oga, I no want wahala. Go, down!" The driver commanded.
The proponents relished in joy as our 'Bus Baby' clapped like she understood what had happened.
'Uncle drug peddler' alighted and our bus sped off with the chatty passengers still trying to judge the case even after a verdict.
Paapa 1 Vs Farting men 0
Bus Baby 1 Vs Uncle drug peddler 0