They say there are spirits everywhere, and that these spirits influence the general aura of a place. In Abuja they say it’s the spirit of runs girl, sugar daddy and mummy; and in Warri, it’s the spirit of gra gra, kick me, I blow you; and in Calabar, err, I no sabi o.
Anyway, the spirit in this Lagos aka Eko, is the all powerful spirit of impatience. You’ll see a calm level headed aje butter relocate to Lagos and in less than six months the person will be lucky to still have aje attached to their identity.
Lagos will make you crazy and irrational. You will be wearing a frown before 7am; you’ll want to split your hair. Then the spirit will take over and before you know it you are going mad because, if you cannot beat them. . .
Take me for example, I used to be calm and quiet, I grew up in a quiet housing estate behind Warri. I am your typical aje (well, without butter) kid. I had a rule of not talking back at bus drivers and conductors when they start their madness, I don’t argue with them because if you quarrel with a mad person. . .
Then I moved to Lagos. I started talking back to conductors, quarreling with them over N10 change. Is it insult? I will give you and your generation back. Then the steps on the pedestrian bridges became too much to climb, or they seemed too far away. I zoomed across the six-lane expressways.
I didn’t even realise the spirit of Lagos had entered my head, until one day I jumped onto a moving bus because I heard Ojota N50, N50 e wole. The old me would have waited for the bus to stop, or simply enter another one but I jumped in. It was then I asked myself why? I opened my purse, I had enough money, I did not have anything I was rushing home to do. I was just in a hurry, always in a hurry. Realisation hit me; this is the spirit of Eko at work.
Very recently, I stood by a man and his two daughters who were about to cross the expressway at Anthony. Before they crossed, one of the girls said, “daddy, mummy said we should not cross the express let’s walk to the bridge.” Dad replies, “mummy is not here, we are late, promise you’ll not tell your mum”, the kids smiled and crossed their hands, “we promise!” Off they went. I checked the time, 7:10. Those kids were not late for school; it was just the spirit of Eko. I imagine the spirit (of course, in a white cloth), laughing behind us all and gliding along to prod his next victim to hurry up!
P.S Listen to Brymo’s Eko as you read this. Thank you