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June 10, 2014

#MAMA SYKIK



Did I ever tell you the story of how mama Sykik ensured I was “untoastable” in my neighbourhood?

Mama Sykik has been on my case ehn, it haff  tayed.....there was this day when I was in my mid teens,  fresh out of  secondary school and I still never carry breast,  I was a late bloomer.  I had two tiny sprouts on my chest that I had to push forward well-well so they can be noticed.

Papa Sykik asked that I go to the local store down the road to buy bread. I dressed up, packed my tiny sprouts inside bra top and sashayed out of the house. I got to the store and met a male classmate (Tosin) who resides in that area. We got talking about  JAMB, our preferred tertiary institutions and our secondary school days....we must have chatted for about 20mins before I realised that my devoted parents will be wondering why I was gone for so long. I paid for the bread and said good bye to Tosin, jokingly he pulled me towards himself demanding for a good bye hug...I tried to use my corner eye to look around for any hint of Papa or Mama Sykik, before my corner eye could do a full 360°...I felt a heavy slap behind my back (the type the yorubas call abara).........who else it fit be nau...yours truly, Mama Sykik...only God knows where she came out from...I swear she has super powers.....I felt like the ground should open and swallow me....which kain embarrassment be this?

Mama Sykik (pulling my ears):  I said it, this girl you won’t kill me....no wonder you went to wear bra top, so you want to be “shooking” men with those tiny stumps you call breast abi

Sykik: yyyyyeeeeee, you gave me a fright, what have I done wrong nau...shebi its bread I came to buy (this is what the abara slap does to you, you begin to answer questions you where not asked)

Mama Sykik (ala-yoruba-woman-clapping-her-hands-in-wonderment-pose): Is it me that you are replying like that because of this small boy ....issokay....oya...alele.....forward march......... let us go home

Mama Sykik then faced Tosin, swinging her flip-flops across his face, she warned him never to come within 100 yards of me if he doesn’t want what happened in 1967 to happen to him ( *tongue-in-cheek* ) I couldn’t resist adding that line for effect. We got home and Mama Sykik started reeling off my sins to Papa Sykik ,.......... of how his daughter was just “sharing” hugs to all the guys on the streets, I was too angry to even defend myself......lol...Mama Sykik is a drama queen.... I just had my mouth wide open, I couldn’t even defend myself as she tried to describe the “compromising” position she caught me in.......

That incident made the guys stay away from me.

June 05, 2014

JAKANDE BUS-STOP, LEKKI-AJAH EXPRESSWAY


Jakande bus-stop along the Lekki-Ajah expressway, Lagos is a very busy bus-stop. The vicinity is densely populated with a Lagos State housing estate, several private estates and shacks. This bus-stop serves Argungi, Osopa- London, Femi Okunnu Estate and the famous Jakande Estate residents of the Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State. The residents of this area include the wealthy, rich and lowly placed persons. The rate and number of people crossing at this bus-stop is alarming. It has taken an extreme turn as pedestrians believe they have the right of way and dash across the road regardless of speed of any on-coming vehicle. Did I mention there’s a pedestrian bridge at this bus-stop? Quite shocking is that the presence of LASTMA officials (Lagos State Traffic Management Authority) at this bus stop hasn’t done anything to curb this menace. It’s quite obvious no one enforces the use of the pedestrian bridge as I have witnessed several times where LASTMA officials flag vehicles to a halt to permit people cross the road. It’s almost as though no one remembers there’s a pedestrian bridge at the bus-stop.

Aside the apparent risk involved with people crossing a supposed “highway” and getting knocked down by cars, the reckless abandon of crossing the expressway as though it’s a village street has guaranteed that there’s is a consistent traffic snarl during rush hours. It is quite a hideous task commuting within the hours of 6.20am to 9am and 6.00pm and 9.30pm during work days on this road.

Besides the pedestrians crossing the busy expressway at all hours of the day, we have to contend with the “men in green”, the NURTW officials (touts) who skip between traffic lanes aiming to collect the daily dues from the commercial buses in the mornings. In the evenings, there’s a full blown night market at this bus stop through the indiscriminate display of wares along the pedestrian side-walk by traders and the street hawkers who manoeuvre between cars trying to make a sale.

To state clearly here, I have made a conscious effort of calling the LASTMA customer care numbers and made a complaint. I was told the issue will be addressed, however, its 5 months into the year 2014 and the hold-up at Jakande bus-stop is getting worse by the day. The traffic snarl commuters have to deal with every workday at the Jakande axis is man-made and preventable. 

I will appreciate if anyone can bring to the attention of the relevant department or ministry that can take a cursory look at my observation and hopefully address this menace.

Is there anyone who stays around this axis and has a different opinion?  Please share your experience......... I recall the evening of February 14, 2014 around this same Jakande bus-stop, the road was barricaded by angry youths because a person was knocked down while attempting to cross the expressway. We spent the hours between 7.00pm and 10pm in a gridlock that could have been averted.