You know how you hear things happening in different countries and you swear they will never happen in Lagos?
For example, in Trump’s America and other western countries we hear of people, men and women alike complaining about mothers’ breastfeeding their babies in public.
I dismissed it as First world problems; I mean you have food to eat, security, electricity, water, and sensible government (minus America sha) and other things needed for a stable life that is absent in most 3rd world countries so the next thing to worry about is women who are feeding their babies in public?
I had a rude awakening this week. In a danfo early in the week, a woman with a small baby sat beside me and on the other side of her, there was a young man. As usual with Lagos we soon got stuck in traffic, everywhere was still and no single grass was shaking. The weather was so hot in addition to the fumes from cars and trucks. As an adult I can only sigh and endure? But what do you expect a tiny baby to do in that situation apart from cry? So our (yes, the baby became our bus baby) began to cry as loud as his lungs would let him.
His mum, a young mother whom we later found out is a first time mother, removed his coveralls and woolen cap, the baby was sweating so much someone bought cold water to pour on him but we decided against it. Then another man brought out a plastic hand fan from his back and the mother began to fan the baby but he was still cranky and crying before someone else suggested she breast feed him. She first looked startled, breast feed in a bus? But with more encouragement from other women and men in the bus she started breastfeeding her baby and our young prince was finally quiet, happily enjoying his meal while I blew cold air him with the plastic fan. We were still stuck in traffic, but at least our baby was no longer crying. Next thing I heard, the young man sitting on the other side of the woman began to murmur something about breast feeding in public.
Now, I am not one to talk in situations like this but I couldn’t ignore or unhear him.
‘What are you saying?’ I asked him, he should have ignored me or continued frowning his ugly face but he had to reply in a loud voice, for everyone in the bus to hear, saying she should not be breastfeeding her baby in public. I then asked him what she should have done since the baby was obviously hungry and we were stuck in traffic. He said she should have gotten off the bus, go to a private spot and breastfeed her baby there.
I didn’t know when I told him he was mad and I was in the bus just to tell him that. The man continued shouting that the woman’s breast that her own baby was sucking should not be in public, because he counted on his stubby fingers.
1) It is another man’s property,
2) It made him uncomfortable looking at the breast.
WHY ARE YOU LOOKING AT HER BREASTS? AND DID THE ‘OWNER’ OF THE BREAST COMPLAIN TO YOU?
Before I could respond the rest of the passengers turned on him. He received insults in English, Yoruba, and Igbo. He was cowed, so he kept quiet.
Our young prince was still enjoying his meal unperturbed, the mother didn’t say anything either. The traffic cleared off. I thought we could now have a quiet trip, but I was so wrong. At the next bus stop the driver, an elderly man, stopped the bus. Because he didn’t have a conductor, he came down, walked around the bus and opened the door.
“Where that man wey say make woman no feed im pikin?”
I pointed at the guy, “oya come down here, no vex” he told the breast complainer.
The young man couldn’t say any word, he got down from the bus. No one in the bus even spoke up to defend him. The driver went back to his seat still cursing him under his breath, “onye ara, make pikin no chop because you dey uncomfortable.”
I laughed till I got home. Just another day in Ambode’s Lagos.