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Danfo Tales; Wildest stories from Lagos public transport

Unless you’re one of the privileged few with a car or belong to team “#UBER everywhere”, living in Lagos, Nigeria means having to move around with one or all of its legendary transportation systems; the commercial motorcycles aka “Okada”, the commercial tricycles aka “Keke” and the legendary commercial yellow buses aka “Danfo”.

Naija Life Danfo Tales Living In Lagos Lagos Public Transport
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Lagos public transport is the real deal. Everyone knows that if a person wants to experience the real Lagos, all they need to do is take a couple of trips in a Danfo! We spoke to a bunch of young Lagosians about their wildest experiences using Lagos public transportation. Here’s what they had to say

When I was an intern, I was going to work in Yaba in the morning. You know how not all buses can stop at all bus stops because of territory, my bus could not stop at Jibowu. So before we entered, the conductor had been screaming already “Mi o lo Jibowu”. So there was this babe, she heard oh entered and sat in front next to the driver. When we passed Jibowu, she said she wanted to get down. The driver was like “Are you deaf, I said I don’t stop at Jibowu”. She kept threatening the driver that “You will see!” When we got to bridge that leads to Yaba that is how the babe grabbed the steering wheel and started to swerve the bus from side to side”. The guy seating next to her was begging, the passengers started praying, the driver was struggling to control the bus. It was like a scene from an African Magic movie. Next thing she started trying to kick the door open with her leg. When we parked at a bus stop, she grabs the driver’s money and runs away. Many are mad, few are roaming.

Chioma, Writer, 23

Next thing they’re throwing hands over the woman seating between them! Now the woman is shouting, I’m shouting, the conductor is shouting, the whole bus is screaming! This Lagos is a mad place!

I have had so many insane Lagos public transport experiences. There was the time a bike man stabbed me with his key and we almost started throwing hands on the road because of 100 naira. Or when another bike man threatened to stab my brother with a knife because of 50 naira. I think the strangest has to be the day some guys entered a bus with me and asked for 100 naira from me to help pay for their fare. I told them that no wahala I would pay for them when the time came. They told me “No, we want cash!” So I told them I didn’t have cash. Next thing they started to beg an old man in front for 100 and got it, then they asked another man in the back for another 100 naira and like that they begged everyone on the bus! Do you get? I don’t think they had any money at all! Their plan was to enter bus and start begging all the passengers in it for money!

Covenant, Student, 24

So there was this time we were stuck in traffic and I saw a cab man leave his cab to go and direct traffic, so when the traffic began to move his car was blocking the road. So my bus driver gets down, enters the cab and drives it to the side of the road. Then Mr Cab Man returns and vexes, so he takes a stone and smashes the bus side mirrors and windshield! The bus driver gets down and begins to beat the hell out of old cab driver, so he picks up another stone and tries to hit the bus driver on the head so the police, who had been watching and laughing up to that point intervene. The bus driver comes back and we continue our journey. Just like that as if nothing happened! I was just sitting down in the front staring like “Omo. There’s street and there’s street!”

Louis, Student, 16

There was the time a bike man stabbed me with his key and we almost started throwing hands on the road because of 100 naira.

I’m guessing most Lagos public transport stories will involve bus conductors but mine is about two passengers. So I and some people got into a bus and when it was time to pay one of the passengers didn’t have the complete fare. Mind you this wasn’t a mistake, he got on the bus knowing he couldn’t pay! Then to make it even wilder instead of pleading with the conductor, He started changing it for him and everyone in the bus. So one old man started to “counsel” him about his approach. Then he started to insult the old man. Next thing they’re throwing hands over the woman seating between them! Now the woman is shouting, I’m shouting, the conductor is shouting, the whole bus is screaming! This Lagos is a mad place!

Dennis, NYSC Corper, 22

Unrelated Note :  Shout out to Dami Akinbode for this image. It is the exact bus stop leading to the area a member of our team, AdeLeke, whose job it is to put this on the website, lives in. What are the odds right? The write, Barth, living all the way in Agungi, using this image in his article to Leke all the way in Alapere.

Do you have any crazier stories from public transport? Here’s your chance to tell it.

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