Thursday, 8 December 2011


Every 9ja born and raised child know ''okada'' and the okada riders with their James Bond riding styles.Four years ago, I was staying in Lagos with my uncle,Uncle T, he was single then,living the good Lasgidi life and I was living the life with him,late nights,going out non stop,eating out,meeting women,talking loudly,speaking Yoruba(ok pretending to),partying.I was slowly becoming wild like the but this isnt the story of the day....So while living in Lagos, taking a ride in my uncle's car with the windows rolled up,air conditioning working perfectly,air fresher preventing the stench from the overpopulated city attempting to find its way into the car,sitting down ever so proudly,staring at the poorer masses standing under the scotching sun waiting on the various means of Lagos road transportation,their sweat drenched clothes plastered on their body like leech,I could not be happier,I ALWAYS had the proud look on my face like I was among the lucky few in Lagos and the queen of England(i hail her!!!),had nothing on my pride,I was IMMORTAL!!!.As if the poorer masses could not be any frustrated,it became compulsory for the commercial motorcycle rider passenger,to put on a helmet and trusting Nigerians,we always have a way of breaking the law,always wanting to get the cheaper way out.So while taking a ride in MY UNCLES CAR, I would laugh at the different helmets IGBO BOYS had created cheaply in Aba and transported to Lagos.They were the small ones that would not save any human being,not even a dog's head from having a fracture,some were not even padded with foam,some were made of wood and if you think about it,can KILL!!!! so I would laugh out loud with my uncle and heave a sigh of relief that MY UNCLE HAD A CAR and I did not have to go through the torment of those dirty irritating helmets!!!!!!!! (little did I know)....On this glorious day,I was to receive a package from Port Harcourt through someone at the airport and I had to be there on time because I was warned that the person delivering the package would not wait for me,the meeting time was set for 3pm and I informed my uncle, he assured me that by 12noon he would pick me up at his apartment.At noon,he did not show up but I felt it was ok, I trusted my uncle, he would not fail me...NEVER!!!! He not only failed me,he came blaring his horn at 2:15pm acting like it was my fault,telling me I told him 2pm, and as most of us know, Nigerian elders are NEVER wrong so he put the blame on me and I understood finally what Akon was blabbing in that song. We started our journey and trust our ever faithful Lagos with traffic,I almost died from hypertension, I looked at the left side of my chest and I could swear,I saw my top moving outward in a rhythmic pattern synchronous with my heart beat,my heart was pushing its way outta the rib cage!!!!!!!! I thought I was going to loose that package,I looked at my wrist watch,it was 2:35pm ,as I looked out of the car window,I saw an okada rider pass by,one with its passenger using a ''was white handkerchief'' as a layer before putting on the helmet probably to prevent infection or it probably had been sprinkled with holy water to prevent him from turning into goat,yam or chicken as we had heard money ritual stories,then the other passenger was a well rounded obviously Yoruba looking woman with her gifted package of wide full butt to put kim kardashian to shame and heavy gele(local scarf used by Nigerians) holding the helmet with her hand resting it lightly on her gele, I pointed this out to my uncle and I was still telling him how stupid it looked laughing,only for him to interrupt me saying,''dee I dont know what you are doing laughing like someone with no sense,you have to enter okada now to take you to the airport) with his thick Nigerian Yoruba accent....I almost died,I was like,''what!!!!!!! uncle no now,I cant'', then he goes ''shut up your dirty mouth'' at the same time beckoning on an okada rider to stop.I have no idea how I got outta that vehicle and got on the bike,but my day dreaming came to an end when I felt the okada mans elbow nudging my left b**b saying,''madam abeg try wear this thing untop head'' I looked at his left hand and saw a PLASTIC SMALL BUCKET!!!!!!!!!! it had been cut in the shape of a helmet with its handle still intact,then I asked him what it was for,then he replied, ''na for ya head so incase you fall,you no go kpai (die)'', I looked at the bucket-helmet and then I looked at myself,looking all so FRESH!!!! because in Lagos you just have to dress fresh when you go out, this was my turning point,I knew I could do it,I took the wanna be helmet and put it on my head and as soon as I put it on my head,I felt something new,something I had not felt in Lagos before,IT WAS SHAME,PURE HOT SHAME and I felt something on my cheek it was hot and I knew what it was,my tear drop,I realized I was finally human just like the other Lagosians I had been laughing at.While I was still feeling sad,trying to hide my face so no one would recognise me,I suddenly realised the okada rider had stopped and it was a little far from the airport and I wanted to know why and he said,''fine gyel i no fit go dat way,na here we dey stop,make u waka straight tru dat way and you go see airport for yonder''.I got off paid him and started my small walk to the airport,this was 3:15pm, I finally got to the arrival terminal only to be informed that THE FLIGHT HAD BEEN DELAYED!!!!!!!!!!

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