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Bus Stories >>> Thrift Collector


You see that Obalende motor garàge? It is full of different kinds of people on a different mission.
You gotta stay woke when taking that route in Lagos.
I remember how my phone was gently removed from my pocket back then and how I wept for days. I hated that place since then.
Anyways, I want to tell you about a particular set of people in Obalende.
I’m sure you don’t want to be a victim of scam, so please read along…

Have you ever tried boarding a bus and have someone walk up to you and whisper “Please sir/ma, help me with #100 for transportation”?
This may sound new to you if you’re not a Lagosian who uses commercial vehicles to transit.
The one that pisses me off the most are those who are already comfortably sitted in the bus before you joined. They sit strategically at the back so they can pick on their targeted passenger.

You suddenly get a pat on your back, followed by a very humble whisper such as “Please sir/ma, help me with XYZ naira to complete my transport fare.
In my mind I’m like; You no get money but you don siddon gallantly inside bus? Issorai.
Sometimes you are led to pay for them, but some other times, you vex and para for them not to disturb you.
Afterall, every mallam with him kettle.

So, right at the centre of Obalende, a colleague of mine and I boarded a bus going to Oshodi and it was taking till eternity to fill up passengers.
A guy walked up to the bus and asked us for #200 for transport.
My colleague (Let’s call him Don) told him to get into the bus that he’ll pay for him.
The guy said he’s not going our way, that he’s going to Yabà, so Don gave him #200.
We moved on and started gisting.

Shortly, I heard Oshodi Oshodi from a different bus behind the one we boarded.
We quickly jumped out to join that one.
Good enough, there was another bus loading in front and the conductor was shouting; Yabà Yabà! So we assumed that guy must have boarded the bus.
To our greatest surprise, same guy stood by the window of the Yabà bus and was asking a lady to give him money for transport.

As a smart Lagosian, the lady told him to get into the bus that she’ll pay for him, but the guy played same card and told her he’s not going to Yabà but Oshodi.
The lady got out of the Yabà bus and told him to follow her to the Oshodi bus so she can pay for him, but the guy angrily walked away.
Five minutes later, he showed up again with same trick. He came to the bus we later joined since the initial Oshodi bus and Yabà bus already left.

Don and I watched him as he repeated same tale to a guy by the window seat. Smh!
The gentleman gave him #200.
As he turned to walk to the next bus, Don called him back and he ran towards us thinking someone else wanted to give him money.
Don warned him to stop going about lying and extorting people, else he gets arrested.
The guy got provoked and asked what’s Dons business? He warned Don not to interrupt him with his nonsense threats.😳

He said shebi Don would get his salary at the end of the month, that this is his own hustle and we shouldn’t spoil his business for him.
Guy told us that this is how he gets his own daily bread since he doesn’t have a paying job.
Then, the bus driver told us to leave the guy alone. Driver said; Na today una dey see am abi una new for Obalende? He added, Álájó yín má níyén (That’s your thrift collector). The moment we heard that, we looked at each other and gave up.

BUS STORIES is a Weekly piece by Temileyi an author at hg2onlinemagazine.com

Temileyi Adeniji

A creative Content Writer and Social Media/PR personnel.
Even though Temileyi is a certified Banking & Finance graduate from University of Benin, She discovered her passion for creative Arts and TV/Radio Presentation in 2013 and ever since then, she has been pursuing her passion with focus which has made her a sought after Creative.

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