You’ve probably heard a lot about the yellow-and-black danfo buses that run through the heart of the city like blood through veins. You must have been told a lot of stuff that sounded like outright lies if not exaggerations.
Here’s the thing: everything you have heard about Lagos danfos is the truth.
Yes, it is true that one requirement for you to become a danfo driver is to be a little mad. Small were is needed to deal with the police, agberos, LASTMA and some passengers. The kind of madness that hasn’t yet graduated to the stage of being dragged to the nearest Cele church for flogging but is close enough.
It is true that to be a danfo bus conductor, you must brush your teeth every morning by licking Tomtom and fortifying it with Agbara Bitters mouthwash. It is true that if you choose a seat close to the conductor, you’re not wise. It is true that when conductor tells you “Ko si change” and you chill instead of shouting at him and asking “abi won shepe fun e ni? Fun mi change joor, “ na you no get sense.
It is true that during rush hour, especially in the evenings at ikeja, Oshodi, Ojota and some other danfo loving places, you have to stop and ask yourself, “which is more important, my phone or getting home on time?“
As the bus pulls up with the conductor shouting your destination, you ignore the fact that he’s calling an inflated price. You ignore the fact that a crowd is rushing towards the bus. You ignore the fact that you are in Lagos and you join them to push shove, elbow, claw, nudge and curse.
You fight your way into a seat and start to hail yourself as the baddest nigga ever walketh the street.
Meanwhile the original baddest nigga is walking home with your phone or wallet in his pocket! And you won’t know this until the bus has moved and it is time to dig your hand into your pocket or handbag.
Baddest pass baddest!
Before you enter a danfo, it is important to have change, especially as a newbie. Especially if the conductor is shouting, “Hold your change o! Hold your change o! “ Especially if it is early in the morning when they are battle ready. Most especially if you are planning on sitting at the back.
The rule is, if you no get change siddon for front so you will be the first to give him the money. The first two or three people to give the conductor 1000 or 500 naira for a #100 trip usually get away with some mumbled grumble.
By the time he reaches those at the back, he is ready to curse your entire generation. Unless you are carrying small madness and bad mouth yourself, you will just collect the curses meant for every single person who entered without change.
You think the driver and conductor are your only problems in a danfo? Say hello to your fellow passengers…
(To Be Continued)