Last Updated On October 18, 2020.
Lagos state is a thriving megacity and one-time capital of my home country, the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Today, Eko (as it is often called by locals) is the money bigwig of the Federation, making more significant GDP than the other thirty-six states including the FCT!
And while population explosion, business environments and proximity to the Atlantic ocean may have a major impact on the state’s income, there’s no denying of the fact that Lagos is a special place.
Three entities – traffic congestion, overpopulation and today’s center of discussion, Lagos danfo are some of the first few things that incoming travellers can see over this stretch of metropolis.
Lagos state is really incomplete without the danfo buses.
Related: 5 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT DANFO
Commonly Volkswagen vans, the drivers of this public transport landmark are popularly known for being reckless and counterintuitive.
For the danfo equation to work, all hands including the drivers, conductors, commuters, agbero (street thugs), traffic operatives and law enforcement officers must be on deck.
Now, let’s get started on these commute stories from ten different Lagosians.
#1. COLLECTIVE EFFORT
I’m actually sick and tired of conductors doing this thing where they “join” or “marry” passengers together because of change!
What’s annoying is I always speak up when I don’t have the exact fare and I do respect their mantra, “enter with your 50 Naira change, mi o ni change oo.”
After a day journey, one conductor said, “madam, collect your change from this man.” Argh, just imagine! And I had to follow this man around the market in search for 50 Naira!!!
The thing is, sometimes you get people or traders who’re kind enough to exchange notes but on days when it becomes unbearable, I often let the money go.
#2. LAW ENFORCEMENT
Erm… I can’t count the number of times I see LASTMA going hand to hand with the drivers all for bribery and whatnot.
They should be ashamed of themselves for behaving like lowlifes. At least, have some dignity and respect for your uniform jeez!
#3. SARS LIVING
Not the producer o, I’m talking of the guys who were disbanded in October of 2020.
These SARS people were a big dangerous bunch!
One time, I was in a danfo and while on patrol, they alighted from their vehicle with guns, I mean live ammunition! The SARS officers hit the drivers on the road and claimed that they were driving nonsense. And at some point, they started breaking mirrors.
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#4. SECURE THE BAG
The first time I visited Lagos I was paranoid. I boarded a danfo in the fiery city at Ojota transiting to my destination – Yaba and I clutched my bags tightly to my chest.
I heard stories of people who were robbed in transit and they made me really scared but after some trips in the buses, I adapted to the whole process.
As my first danfo experience slowly came to an end, I silently wished for other passengers alighting at my stop, I knew drivers can be abusive and not that I was scared of insults or anything, I just didn’t want any confrontation on that day.
A couple minutes after wrestling with my inner thoughts, I signaled to the driver that I would be “dropping” at Yaba market and no, I didn’t say “owa.”
Sincerely, danfos’ are not that dangerous and I didn’t have to be fearful afterall.
#5. PETTY ARGUMENTS
Countless times I’ve come across people that insult themselves on buses. It’s vexing to see old men, women and young lads insulting themselves.
And I’m like, grow up already!
#6. DON’T KEEP THE CHANGE
All these conductors will just hold someone’s change thinking you will forget.
Though, I prompt them all the time, what gets me worked up is scurrilous conductors or drivers who verbally abuse passengers when they’re in a bad mood.
Segun has future plans to be rich! He enjoyed most of his service year (NYSC) in Osogbo.
I’m sweating in the danfo and this man comes along with an old photo.
He starts talking, “brother, my son is in the hospital right now and I need money for surgery.” He’s barely done when another fella with a placard comes along.
This “placard man” doesn’t utter a word, he points to the placard hanging over his neck because he’s dumb! It reads, “deaf and dumb, pls help”
I don’t want to sound mean but this has to stop. In my opinion, the beggars deface my beautiful Lagos city.
Where is the Government?! They should be in the best position to take care of these folks, the truthful ones and liars alike.
#8. DRIVERS SHOULD BE LEFT ALONE
There was one time close to Ketu when other commuters and myself had an altercation with our driver.
We exchanged harsh words at eachother and the funny driver instead of keeping his eyes on the road, was looking at us in the back!
What happened was he took a farther route to our destination and we’d have to do a little trekking in the end. Everyone was pissed.
Then, without warning. The driver just hit the brakes (he match am!) and every single thing in the bus shifted. The seats pulled off and for a very brief moment we were flung in the air.
I can’t even lie, I was one of the passengers shouting at him. But after that experience, we all muted. It was better to trek than have an accident, so we thought.
Ha! Since that day, I stopped disturbing drivers.
Learn from me.
#9. SLEEPLESS NIGHTS
This one seriously upsets me.
It is quite understandable that most people barely get enough sleep in Lagos since they have to be up early to beat traffic. But bros, we are all in this hustle together so why would you think it’s okay to put your head on my shoulder while sleeping?!
culled from The “Danfo” Tales by SugaRush.
Mercy “SugaRush” Emmanuel (@KingSuga_Rush) is a content creator, she shares her travel discourse on Medium and occasionally blogs at cars45.com.
Mercy also runs a blog, Irish Sugar, Check that out!
#10. YOU OWE ME!
The first thing drivers or conductors ask for is their fare, and they always expect passengers to pay up with change cos they never have.
On a Sunday morning, I got up early to observe the sabbath and walked to the nearest bus stop to “enter” a sturdy danfo and little into our journey, the conductor asked for his fare.
Everyone in the bus paid up except one elderly man.
We arrived at Church shortly and the old man alighted the bus without dropping a dime.
That’s when all hell broke loose!
over to you!
I hope you enjoyed reading this, tell me what you think of these stories, leave your comments and have an amazing week!
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