I was on my way to Ojota from Oshodi in a yellow bus a.k.a Danfo bus. There were so many things so different about this bus. While the conductor was beckoning on me to join their bus, I noticed he didn’t look like the other conductors hanging at their doors croaking Ooo…joooo…ta aaa (Ojota). He wore a pair of canvass, his t-shirt had a drawing of Obama with a bold inscription across it “yes we can.” When I boarded the bus, I noticed the interior was so clean. The seats were also clean and padded unlike most Danfo buses I have boarded in Lagos.
I sat directly behind the driver. The front seats were already occupied. At Oshodi Bridge the two occupants of the front seats alighted; I quickly alighted and jumped into the front seat.
I was shocked, though pleasantly, when I heard what the driver was playing. He was playing one of my favourite motivational speakers, Earl Nightingale. I couldn’t believe I was listening to Earl Nightingale’s Direct line in a Danfo bus. “This is going to be a good day” I told myself.
I glanced at the driver, he looked like he was lost in thoughts as Earl continued to marshal out some vital life’s points.
I got the driver’s attention and the following conversation ensued…
Me: Oga, you are listening to Earl Nightingale
Driver: Yes please
Yes please from a Danfo driver? I must be in a deep slumber.
Me: you like Earl?
Driver: Yes. He is one of my favourites. I listen to Earl up till 10am every day before I change the cd.
I was so impressed. I was so happy to listen to this young man talk.
I decided to push more.
Me: So why Danfo bus?
The young man laughed so heartily, cleared his voice and began his story.
Driver: There is nothing much to say. It is the state of the nation.
Me: Are you enjoying it.
Driver: Yes. I am having fun.
Driver: You look shocked. Why?
Me: I am just wondering what is there to be enjoyed
Driver: Well, it is not easy on the roads; however, I am enjoying this experience.
Driver: Anyway, it is a long story. But to cut the long story short, this is not what I originally set out to do. However, when the job was not forth coming, I decided to take the bull by the horn. So this is the bull and I will say I am comfortably manning the horns.
Me: What course did you read?
Driver: I read Education.
Me: You didn’t want to teach?
Driver: I did. I taught for two years in a private primary school.
Me: So why did you quit?
Driver: The take home pay wasn’t really taking me home.
I chuckled at the way he said “the take home pay wasn’t really taking me home.”
Me: So why did you say you are enjoying this job? The mad traffic, crazy drivers, annoying passengers and all?
Driver: Every business has it downside. Those are ours. The challenge is in finding satisfaction and profitability in whatever you set out to do.
Meanwhile our conversation was constantly disrupted by the conductor who kept reminding him of the bus stops passengers intended to alight and the request for ‘change’. The driver also told me he has two more buses and a football viewing centre in his area. The conductor that was working with him that day is his brother. He joins him whenever he is free. “When he is not around, I go with other boys, but I insist my conductors dress neatly and on no occasion abuse my passengers. Although most of the boys that work with me stay in my neighbourhood.”
I was stunned!
Thats lasgidi for you…