It is no coincidence that Lagos is home to Nigeria’s Nollywood.
Every day after work, I look out for drama, something to spice up my evening, keep me amused through traffic; and I always get one or two shows.
I was walking along Oshodi to my bus stop a few days ago, when I saw a small crowd gathered. Someone was on the ground and people were gathering, like ants drawn to sugar.
My mind went aha! My show came early this evening. I brought out my phone; I might make a video or take pictures; something to write about.
When I got there it was a man, well dressed, in an orange-yellowish Ankara up and down attire. He was carrying a bag – was because he was dead. A cold chill ran through me. I put my phone back in my pocket.
What happened? I asked the people who had gathered. Nobody knew. I went into the crowd; what happened? a woman in front shook her head, and said the man just fell down and died. I looked at the man, he had a moustache, eyes slightly open, hands hanging in an awkward angle. Get up I thought, people are gathering around you, get up and laugh, tell us this is a joke. Let us all laugh and go home. He stayed still.
I got out of the crowd, and a few feet away from death, I could here people screaming: “La casera”, “pure water”, “buy your apple”, “Sango, Sango one to go.”
Life was living itself.
I remembered the scene in Hercules, where the evil witch just takes a pair of scissors and cuts someone’s life thread. Did she cut his and he just dropped dead?
I turned back , people were leaving the scene, shaking their heads as they left, going home with their lives.
A police truck was parked not too far from the scene. Eventually they’d take his body to the morgue, and then they’d call his family: your brother/son/father/uncle/husband is dead.
Shock escorted me home.