Diary Of an Ibadan Girl: Entry 7

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Have you ever found yourself standing in a moving vehicle?

Oluwa o. What an experience.

I was coming back jejely from Ringroad today when all of a sudden, I found myself trying to keep a cool head in the popular Ibadan long vehicle known as ‘Ajumose‘.



I was actually coming back from the hub along 110 road when suddenly, I realized that I had only 50 naira remaining in my purse and I was headed to my aunty’s hair shop at Iwo-road.

You would know how far this distance is from one end to the other if you are very familiar with the city of Ibadan. It is not something that you can close your eyes and say, ‘I’ll trek’. I had a near fainting spell as I contemplated my situation and weighed my options. Before you start doubting the possibility of this story, I need you to understand that it’s not everybody that you see on the road that has money. Honestly, some of us are extremely broke!

The first picture that came into my head was that I saw myself walking up to strangers to ask them for money. Of course, I knew there was no other way out for me because even my bank account balance at the time was an embarrassment. I had just received an alert from my access bank of my remaining ledger balance abi whatever it is they call it. I had 93 naira remaining in my account. Therefore, there was no, ‘let me vex and go and withdraw to save my ass’ moment. I was in a tight corner.

But then I thought to myself, what was the worst thing that could possibly happen if I decided to walk up to someone and said,  ‘e joor, e epp mi’,  ‘please, help me’?  Nothing, maybe.

However, the ‘kolewerk’ part was that, on this particular day, I felt too overdressed to not have any money. Most people would not have believed me with the way my outfit was even looking banging. I was looking richer than some of my prospective helpers on the road sef. With my fake MK bag and original Gucci sandals, my Zaron powder was standing on my face like there was no tomorrow.

But that wasn’t even the hard part. The hard part was I was really shy to beg for money from these Ibadan boys that’ll use style to insult your life before they help you. I could already hear them asking me questions like, ‘But bo shey mura fine to yii, O wa ni o lowo Kankan dani?’But as you’re dressed fine like this, you mean to say you don’t have any money?

Kia kia, I humbled myself and decided not to embarrass my family before the person that I would go and meet suggests something ridiculous for me. Asides, I’ve never really had luck getting monetary help from people. People always think that I have money. O ti su mi. Maybe I would have seen someone who would have offered help though. But now, I’ll never find out because I didn’t even try to ask.

That was how I sha summoned courage and started trekking o. I made sure to stay close to the road with the hope that someone that knew me would see me on the road and dash me money. Slowly and steadily, that’s how I trekked to Mokola roundabout. I was so tired from all of that walk that immediately I saw a pure water hawker, I bought 3 from the 50 bucks I had left with me. I drank one, used one to rinse my already dusty feet and kept the last one in my bag for the remaining walk ahead of me.

I was still buckling my sandals back to my feet when this long commercial ‘Ajumose’ bus came around. Immediately I saw people running to join the queue to board the bus like this, I just started running to join queue too o. Trust me, I would never have done this under normal circumstances. Not even if I was dropping dead. But today itself didn’t even seem normal so baby girl had to do what baby girl had to do. Luckily for me, I got on the queue in time even though I found myself sandwiched between one woman that was using her jagbajantis load to push me to the front and another one that was carrying two of her small children that were kicking me to the back. There was kuku no way out for a person that has swallowed a mortar. I had to deal noni.

So, when it finally got to my turn to enter the bus, that was how they said all the seats were filled o and that the rest of us were going to stand in the bus. At first, I didn’t understand how that was possible. I was still wondering at the point where I stood as the woman conductor was yelling at me that I should pay before I enter. By this time, the jagbajantis woman had already pushed me to the side so that she could enter. It was at that point I realized I was going to have to follow suit else I go back to my trekking.

I figured I hadn’t come that far to give up at that point. Plus, I felt it would be nice to be in a vehicle like that even if it was just the once. Ashey, my brain that was kidding me into thinking that I was going on an adventure by entering the bus actually wanted me to suffer.

From the moment I entered that bus, an ordeal began for me. You can’t imagine the amount of people that were already in the bus before I got in and the amount that came in after me. It was like a bus overstuffed with carriage except we were humans and everybody was talking all at once. It was terrible and highly inconvenient. I swore to God that I’m never putting myself through all of that again even if I found myself in a worse situation.

I’m home now but my body is still paining me from all of the bumping into each another that happened as we all stood in that rubbish moving Ajumose vehicle.

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