Atypical Discourse With Bimbola: Things One Hear in Danfo


Lagos may never be this kind of city without Danfos, I do not recall seeing these buses elsewhere, the danfo itself has become one of the peculiarities of the city. An average Lagosian spends at least 3 hours in a Danfo bus daily, the commute to work is mostly via this medium with its awful ventilation, hyper active conductors and drunk drivers.

A Danfo driver could be reeking of alcohol as early as 6:00am, I have assumed some Danfo drivers brush the teeth with Chelsea hot drink or the famous ‘alomo’ every morning. They mostly drive under the influence, and the passengers act like they don’t really care, everyone enters into the bus and says ‘bisimilahi’ and the Christians plead the blood of Jesus and all is well already, drunk driver or not.

But that is not my business today, it’s the Danfo ramblings. Except I get into the Danfo with company, I keep my mouth shut. Danfo passengers argue and discuss in manners that make you want to scream ‘SHUT UP!’, everyone showing off their ignorance like there’s a prize to be won after all. Last week, I was at Eko market, and my trip back home was filled with conversations meant for the beer parlour.

The assumed-most-knowledgeable would kick-start the conversation without any preamble ” You know Mama Patience is a member of the ‘super eagles’, abi? She’s the reason why Jona has come this far, she has strong powers. She’s the one ruling this country o. Jona should’ kukuma’ hand over to her ‘sef’, since he will just be doing slow slow”

“Ah, Jonathan is suffering o, I was watching him on TV last week, he sounded so weak and frustrated. You know the man doesn’t want to be president, but his tribesmen say if he comes home without doing a 2nd term, they will kill him. If na me, I go just carry my children and run to America, to be President is not by force na”

Then another, “But some people don’t want him to be president. That’s why there is ‘Gboko Haram’. They just want him to be unhappy.”

“Shey Fashola can’t be President? I like the man, he has tried for Lagos, they should put him there, Nigeria will be fine like Lagos”.

The conductor retorted “what is fine about Lagos?”

“Shut up, conductor. I know you won’t like him, because he stopped agbero like you from snatching bags here in idumota and your brothers from dying on top of Okada, you will not like him”

The conductor swore,  “APC will not win o, wait for next year, you will see”.

Then the Fashola-lover “Why, because of okada abi? Everybody that wants to bring okada back into this Lagos, my God will not allow them to enter”

“You think Tinubu will allow anyone take this Lagos from them? As long as he lives, APC will win. They are bringing Buhari. Why are they bringing Buhari? Is it not Buhari,  Babangida and co that are sponsoring ‘Gboko Haram’? “

“Conductor, bring my 350 change na”

Then from nowhere, the subject of discussion changes. “Obasanjo is a stingy man o. His cousins went to greet him, the whole Obasanjo gave them crates of eggs, doesn’t he have money to give?”

Another laughed out and clapped,  “Me, I know his bosom friend, they used to go everywhere together, when OBJ became President and came home for holiday, he didn’t give that man one naira, he gave him chicken, rice and eggs from his poultry”

“Don’t mind him, he’s just a mad man. That’s how they did 77th birthday for him that he told the press nobody should lie about his age that he doesn’t know when he was born. “

” The girls stolen by ‘Gboko Haram’ have started giving birth”

Another one who knows better exclaimed “No o, they are still pregnant. They will soon be giving birth. Those ‘Gboko Haram’ people don’t even fear God.”

Chai! These convos turn my stomach, you don’t do anything meaningful in a Danfo bus, forget your e-reader or ear piece. The conversations are louder than your music, the energy and fervency that comes with it drifts your mind away from whatever you want to read on that phone or tablet.

I should be more serious about driving.



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