Mushin At Crossroads

Another crazy day in Lagos. 

Idi Oro Bus stop, Mushin. 

Broke, hungry, and trekking dejectedly towards Olorunshogo.

I saw people dashing down the street. 

Fear boldly plastered on their faces like they were pursued by pink ghosts.

‘Wetin happen’? My journalistic instinct became activated.

‘OPC just killed a police’ somebody said without waiting.

Waoh! OPC Killed Police!!! 

Two mad sets of people. 

I lingered to dig out more facts.

An aboki ran past and hit me hard.

‘Gafara yaro boy bura ubanka ofisi’ He was gone.

‘What did he say?’ 



But why would anybody run like this just because of OPC and police? 

I kept wondering. 

I looked around and everybody was gone. 

Nobody to rub minds with. 

Then I looked up and understood people’s fears.

Like an Egungun crossing the expressway.

I saw alayes with guns, cutlasses, axes, swords…

Awon elei…

Before I could make up my mind whether to dash off or not, 

A gorilla-looking guy brandishing a shiny cutlass materialized less than 10 feet behind me. Sharply, I whispered to my legs and they carried me faster than I ever imagined. 

This gorilla dude followed me. 

Poi! Na lie. 

Snake no dey enter prison. 

Houseboy no dey get dog. 

E go land e go land nahin butterfly dey take enta bush. 

I continued chanting incantations and running…running…and shouting…


The gorilla dude closed in on me, raised his cutlass, and was about to…

Jesu! Jesu!!! Holy Cubana!!!

Then I woke up. 

Sweating like a goat about to be slaughtered.


Baba landlord had come into my room and tapped me gently. 

Gaskia, he saved me from the OPC attack.

‘Toilet monie’ He demanded coolly.

[Yes, we paid money monthly for using a toilet in a house I rented].

‘Baba, shebi you no say month never end, I never get money’ I replied angrily but still grateful to him for saving me from the claw of OPC. 


Baba left without a word. 

I guessed he needed money to play pool. 

That was how he raided the tenants anytime he needed money to gamble.

See wetin Lagos Lotto dey cause. 

When levels wan change sef?


I looked at myself and was a shitty mess. 

Sweat covered me like kuruna. 

While still ruminating over my dream, a stinking aroma drifted into my nose. 

The shit-evacuators were sucking my neighbor’s poopoo and their suck-away was just near my window. 


Suddenly, I heard six female mosquitoes singing hosanna above my head. 

Boda Kamoru, my next room neighbor rocking the foundation of the house with his apala music. 

Two quarreling women shouting on top of their voices in our face-me-I-slap-you apartment over toilet go-slow. 

Abi who-go-shit-who-no-go-shit. 

The shit-packing truck continued spluttering coarsely beside my window, 

Setting my world in a crazy motion. 


Monsura, the promiscuous groundnut seller shouting beside my window just because I’d promised her another sweet strong thing. 

NEPA had just performed their trademark baptism (can they ever repent). 

I checked my phone and MTN had vanished to only-God-knows-where. 

My transistor radio yelled raucously that Boko Haram had just bombed Maiduguri again. 

The whole room was as hot as the uppermost part of hellfire. 

The wall was closing in on me while the odor got stronger and stinker. 

I could no longer contain it and I screamed. 

Oga Moses on the mount of Sinai, help meeeee. 

Obi Cubana, the new king of cash, show me love. 

Again, for the second time in two seconds, 

I passed out.


Culled [and adapted] from my first book: IF YOU CAN’T BUY IT, STEAL IT.

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