Last Updated On May 27, 2020.
Yellow commercial buses dubbed “danfo” are visible on every inch of Lagos’ volatile landscape.
In the Mega-city, these are usually Volkswagen – Transporter (van) fitted with steel frame, plank or studded foam for seats.
Journeys in the buses could be memorable but still, it’s sometimes a bumpy ride.
Here are five things you should know about the danfo bus.
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Let’s get to it.
1. The conductors and drivers are not good listeners
You probably told the conductor your bus stop before boarding but few minutes into the journey instead of Oshodi, you’re suddenly at Ketu! And it seems like you never said a single word.
This happens a lot to first timers or commuters who aren’t too sure about their destination. To avoid it, remind the conductor every few minutes.
Better still, learn to say “owa” when you arrive at your stop so the driver doesn’t miss it, be attentive. This is Lagos.
2. There can be fights
If you’re on the go and notice some persons harassing the driver from time to time, remain calm.
If the men aren’t security or traffic operatives such as LASTMA, then they’re most likely agberos (street touts) looking to wet their beaks and in few occasions when the danfo driver refuses their kickback requests, the touts would take possession of the bus wipers, side mirrors or just whatever they can lay their hands on.
This can sometimes transcend to small or big quarrels.
3. The drivers know multiple routes
So perhaps you find yourself in an unfamiliar location, relax because nine out of ten times, it’s the driver taking a much shorter route. Don’t panic, no one’s about to kidnap you.
Just know that you’re on the fastest route to your destination because each driver knows at least three ways to get anywhere in Lagos.
As always, you don’t have to take my word so ask the commuter next to you if you’re still in doubt.
4. You must be vigilant
It’s not always safe to fall asleep so be alert for as much as you can.
Items and personal effects are stolen regularly on danfo buses, night especially. And in case you notice any funny movements in your pockets, double check and exercise caution and also ensure that your bags are within eye view.
Note: You could be vigilant but don’t be snobby with anyone trying to ignite a convo because for starters, not every Lagosian is trying to steal from you. Heck! I haven’t even had such experience for years now. So if you’re uninterested in talking, maturely dismiss the topic.
5. Enjoy the journey
Come rain, come shine, quarrels or no quarrels. I need you to sit back, relax and enjoy your danfo trip.
Try avoiding things that could easily upset you whether irresponsible passengers or careless behaviour. Just avoid them all.
If anyone tries to intimidate you, show your “street” side. Other than that, keep it moving and under control.
Also, you don’t want to fight with the conductor, argue about change or bus stop, yes but fight? A definite no! Man could ruin your day with a few words or moves.
Again, you’re no peace advocate so if you see people hauling insults at each other, don’t interfere. Entertain yourself because it could be the day’s work talking.
Remember, this is Lagos.
For me, the danfo is one of the most exciting means of travel in this metropolis but commuting in them can really make a gentleman forget his manners at home.
And if you ever get the hang of it, smile because now you’ve started your journey to becoming a true Lagosian. Afterall, this is the comedic yellow of Lagos.
Did you know that danfo drivers behave differently when they cross from the mainland to the island? They suddenly obey traffic rules, stop at designated bus stops and become very polite.
Is there anything I forgot to mention in this list?
Feel free to add them below in the comment section.
Also, tell me a little about your most memorable danfo trip, c’mon I’d like to know.
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Thanks and see ya on the next one.