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‘Lara Ajani: My ultimate ‘danfo’ experience (30 Days, 30 Voices)

by ‘Lara Ajayi


”I wasn’t only listening to cool music in a danfo, I was being driven by the coolest danfo driver ever.”

The holidays are always the best part of the school year for me. I always forget about books, class and the best part is, I don’t have be worried even if I’m broke, breakfast, lunch and supper is always assured.  It’s also one of those times that you get bored effortlessly, or become very exhausted without essentially doing anything.

On this particular day, I was well fed, bored and very tired. My parents had gone to work, siblings were nowhere to be found and to top it all up, we hadn’t had electricity for about three days. My father is a very generous man, he gives us his blessings to use the generator when he’s not home, as long as we fuel it from our pocket money; we dare not touch the diesel he bought with his money.

I picked up my phone and dialed a friend’s number.

“Babe!” she answered on the first ring “what’s up now?”

“Kemi, I’m bored stiff here oo and there’s no light. I’m thinking of coming over to your place” I said.

“Please come oo, maybe we can go watch a movie at the Ikeja mall jare, come to my house first then we’ll go from here” she replied.

okidoki, I’ll be on my way”

As much as I looked forward to the time out with my friend, it’s the journey to her place I dreaded most. I’ve lived in Lagos all my life, but I’m still not used to the yellow buses a.k.a danfo; I use them when I have to, especially those times when my bank account decides to go on a weight loss journey; but during the period it indulges itself, I use the taxi.

In this my short life, I’ve come across different people but none as insane as these danfo drivers and their conductors, not even the mad men wandering the streets; add the agberos and you have the perfect ‘craze combo’.

Lagos is the only place I know (I haven’t travelled much) where commuters pay somebody whose sanity is uncertain, to drive them safely to their destinations, and on this day I was going to be one of such travelers; as my bank account had lost a lot of kilos in the past week.

As I made to leave the house, I prayed Psalm 91, a prayer of protection. With that I locked up and started to walk down to the bus stop. The bus stop was a 10 minutes’ walk from my house (depends on how fast you’re walking sha). After waiting at the bus stop for about five minutes, I got a bus and the journey began.

I took a seat behind the driver and the bus took off. Few minutes into the trip, music began to play in my ears and no, this wasn’t the usual loud and high rhythm fuji music that most drivers assault my ears with. I’m talking soft R&B, I mean Babyface, AZ-yet, Boyz II men, Bobby Valentino, Deborah Cox, TLC, and all others. I wasn’t only listening to cool music in a danfo, I was being driven by the coolest danfo driver ever.

He wasn’t just playing the music, my guy was singing along. He wasn’t humming, he was singing! His driving was also fantastic that I forgot that I was in a bus and I began to drift with the music until I heard the rasping voice of the conductor behind me, “Heys! You! Give me ma moni joor. Abi which kain nonsense be dis? U no wan pay? yeye”. This was going to be the best bus ride of my life, but the conductor had to ruin it with his nasty attitude.

I looked up to hand the conductor his money, then I realized that we had passed Kemi’s house – I was miles away from my bus-stop.

Such is life yea?


‘Lara Ajani is a fun-loving resident of Lagos with an interesting personality.

30 Days 30 Voices series is an opportunity for young Nigerians from across the world to share their stories and experiences – creating a meeting point where our common humanity is explored.

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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