Thursday, January 30, 2014

Danfo Chronicles: When masquerades go to church and gays become criminals

It was a few years ago, at the time citizen news reportage was gaining traction across the nation, that news of masquerades meting out corporal punishment on miniskirt and trouser wearing young ladies somewhere in the Nsukka  axis reached social media.

As usual, the Nigerian social media reacted true to type with that outpouring of anger that occurs whenever vestiges of the ‘devilish’ past of our ancestors appear to be in conflict with the sacred untouchable manifestations of the new religion.

Caught up in outrage, most of us missed the big story, which was not that masquerades enforced a dress code, but that this dress code stemmed originally from the Christian church.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Old Van in a New Bus

Most people who use the danfo or any other yellow bus for commute through the mad dash that is the average Lagos route are not unaware of the fact that the cars served as a goods conveyance van in Europe, this hardly registers. However, even if they don’t know what for sure, they know the tokunbo cars must have served another purpose in its previous incarnation, especially when they contemplate the dress ripping makeshift seats and rough hewn windows that just about serve the purpose they were meant for. They know that the iron-rimmed seats are not standard issue, at least from whence they car came, and that the chance of bodily injury if an accident occurs was amplified by their addition. They know the drivers are largely reckless—early morning shot of paraga and Igbo reckless—and the buses disasters waiting to happen. They know this, but throw their lives into the arms of in-time-of-trouble-and-need-gods as they clamper aboard the buses every morning, afternoon and night. The need to transit overshadowing fear, caution, and whatever sense of impropriety they might feel.