Monday, 6 January 2014

Giloba village

Good evening fellow sufferers
Or bad, should I say?
I see it all
Rumpled undies
Wet armpits
Forced to tears
By heat, exhaustion
And frustration
Auntie’s stretch-marks are stretched to a gory length
Giving out a scare-crow smile
Amused, no doubt they are
Why should one get a TV?
When Lagos streets are full of so much action?
I greet you too
My brothers and sisters
Towering above us in the BRTs
Looking down on the rest of us in all your ‘upright standing’
Thank you
For keeping Great Fela, prophetic since 1970
Su kere, fa kere, this is the song traffic sings
Yoruba seems to be the lingua
Everyone in this village speaks it
And then you hear ‘ko ni ye e!’
As a bumper kisses another
There’s too much to watch
One can hardly focus
Gala hawkers are making hay
Or to be more succinct, making money
There’s no place for hay in this village
A conductor’s still-born sputum finds home near a beggar’s niche
Hurriedly dying a slow death seconds into existence
Which should one pity?
The armless, harmless beggar
Or the sputum freed into death?
Cries of ‘wo le wa, wo le wa’ swims into my reverie
And several drivers re-enact ‘fast and furious’ in beautiful confusion
Alomo is somewhere in the system
And I suspect, doing most of the driving
None amongst us can complain of being hungry
Not with the heavy serving of stench and exhaust smoke
I see it in all eyes
We’re being fed
Till we’re fed up
All these stories I tell with my eyes to my fellow sufferers
But none seem to take hint
I do not blame any
Their eyes spin yarns of the same story
In this village, we all are beggars
Some are the “Jagaban’s” children
With blood-red eyes and a raggedy voice
Croaking “oun da?” at every stop
Other kinds will show you Heaven’s doors
If you’re kind enough to leave offering
You will meet also,
Those whose pills cure all ills
If you would but help yourself.


BRTs are big commercial buses  which provide cheap transportation
Su kere, fa kere is the Yoruba way of describing heavy traffic.
ko ni ye e translates to “It won’t be well with you”
wo le wa, wo le wa means “enter here, enter here”
Alomo is a strong rum/gin like alcohol drink
Jagaban is a very influential politician (LOL)
oun da is the “where is it?” touts ask when they request their daily devotion from commuters