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IFEATU'S BUS CHRONICLE: THE FEAR OF THE WORD 'ASHEWO' IS THE BEGINNING OF WISDOM


Aluta Continua is one chant that resonates with everyone who has passed through a Public University in Nigeria and allowed school to equally pass through them. 

Aluta Continua is a Portuguese saying, meaning "The struggle continues". It is highly believed that it was discovered as an inscription on Kunta Kinte's commemorate. The correct wording of the phrase is actually "A luta continua, vitória é certa" meaning, "The struggle continues, victory is certain".

It is the motto of the all-Nigerian Students Union across all academic institutions of higher education.

Coincidentally, anytime I am opportune to leave Lagos for a couple of days, weeks or months. On return, it's impossible not to observe the yellow striped buses and what comes to my mind is, "Aluta Continua, Drama é certa. It is impossible for me to guarantee you that there will not be drama on a yellow bus. 

This morning, our bus is riding at a slow pace with some passengers grumbling about the pace at which the driver is driving. I am focused on binge-watching a TV Series and  finishing the few leaves of a poetry anthology. 

A plump man in front is preaching on the front seat. I pause to give him audience. Few minutes later, I am not certain if I really want to listen. I cast my glance on the wet road and observe the terrible state of the road. 

I smile at the thought of our government and their celebration of 100 days in power. Amazing creatures who only repair roads and provide amenities on the face of newspapers. Like a deceased Uncle of mine would say, "same people with different faces."   We are runnning a recycled government. To cast your hopes on the Nigerian Government will be a deliberate plan to die broken-hearted. 

My attention roves to a muslim man seated in front of me. He was counting each bead on his Misbaha, looking as calm as a mouse while he intermittently batted his eyelids. 

We approach Costain. "Ehen! Your money." The conductor demands from a lanky man on the second seat. 

He uses same approch to collect his fare from all the passengers till he gets to the third seat. I hand him my fare then he stretches his hand towards a tall dark lady  close to the window on the right. Her powder appears lightly applied but her drawn eyebrow appears to be elevated with a stroke of an usually higher arc.

She motions to him to be patient. 

"You say wetin? Abeg gimme money" he yells. 

"Here, dey tight. I go give you. You no see say your motor no get space. I go give you when I come down" she says.

"My motor no get space? Na you fine pass this motor? Ogbeni, give me money" he spurts.

Now, I remembered how my colleague once said Lagosians have zero chills with a swift ability to go from 'Sir' to 'Oga' then 'Ogbeni' in split seconds. 

"You no see as your face be? You take me dey compare this your useless carton!" she flared back. 

An altercation had been raised. Lashes of angry words were tossed in the air. With each of them trying to spite the other even more. Then it happened........

"Ashewo! Ashewo! Wooooooooo!" he tapped his index and middle fingers furiously on his lips. 

The average illiterate Nigerian man and sometimes women believe when you call a woman, an Ashewo (prostitute), you shame her. So, it calms her down. However, I remember a cousin telling me that at the peak of one man's madness, another man's own starts. He was not wrong. 

"Me, Ashewo?" She smiles and says nothing. 

We drive for few minutes and approach the Carter bridge. There are policemen in front. It was unusual to see them there in the morning. 

"Kidnapper ooooo....This man kidnap me o. Help me o. Oga Police" she yelled at the top of her voice and wailed. The policemen in front put up a barricade in front and pulled us over. Confusion was the emotion written all over the conductor and passengers too.

They search everyone and find nothing incriminating. She says in between sobs that the conductor is a kidnapper who intends to lure her into prostitution with a charm. 

After fifteen minutes of pleading with the police, they discharge everyone but the driver, conductor and the lady. 

All that drama for calling a crazy woman an Ashewo was the height of madness. The conductor will have a tale that will transcend his generation. 

Crazy Lady 1 Vs Wide Mouthed Conductor 0





Comments

  1. Replies
    1. 😂😂 The drama is tense. She is a city always ready to display herself.

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  2. Lolz, I love this Ifeatu, keep writing. Lagos buses has unique versions of madness.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly. That is why it's important to document the memories. Thank you so much for reading too.

      Delete

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