2 Danfo Drivers, My N400 & My Singlet


And so it happened that I found myself heading
back to the office after a trip to a friend’s place. I
was sitted by the window seat (behind the driver)
of the popular Lagos public transport bus: Danfo.
The driver stopped by a bus stop to take in more
passengers as his bus wasn’t full yet. Suddenly
realizing that another Danfo bus in front of him
was taking in more passengers than him, he
swerved his bus swiftly to overtake him in an
attempt to gain the advantage of getting his bus
filled with passengers first. The bus he overtook
returned the favour by parking in front of him
again.
My proud Danfo driver was suddenly angry that
the other driver parked in front of him. “Doesn’t
he know who I am”, he shouted in his native
Yoruba “areaboy” dialect. He got down hastily
from the bus (leaving all of us alone) and went
straight to the other bus driver seat to deal a
swift but powerful blow to his new competitor’s
head. I wished my camera was with me to record
the action.
Without hesitating, the driver that my Danfo
driver punched got down from his bus and I
suddenly found myself in the front row of a 15-
second fighting bout between Mike Tyson &
Evander Holyfield. All this was happening on the
famous ikorodu road. My Danfo driver seemed to
have been trained by Tyson’s trainer, Kevin
Rooney. While attempting to dodge the other
driver’s 30-miles-an-hour punch, he moved
backwards into the road and was hit by a red
car. The car sped away.
It seemed like a Steven-Spielberg-directed
movie. Suddenly my Danfo driver’s left Tibia bone
gave way like a broomstick broken in 2. Though
he missed the retaliatory punch, he was down.
With the 2 broken ends of his Tibia sticking out
of his leg skin, he lay down surprised &
motionless. People screamed in terror. A mini-
traffic began pilling. The fight had lasted for
approximately 40 seconds.
Suddenly local area boys that knew who the
fallen soldier was suddenly pounced on the other
driver and seized his bus. I was the only person
that was subtly attempting to tell them that it
was my Danfo driver that struck the first blow
and that the other guy was barely trying to
“defend” himself. No one would listen to me. The
supposed winner of this bout was in Shark
waters now.
Suddenly I realized that the fallen driver was still
on the road with a broken leg and blood spilling
on the road. At least a pint of blood must have
oozed out of him by then. I shouted at one of the
area boys to help me carry the fallen comrade
from the middle of the federal-government road.
We carried him to the side of the road and traffic
dissipated. Meanwhile, the beating of the other
driver by area boys continued.
In an attempt to reduce the outpouring of blood
from the guy’s leg, I removed the “singlet” I was
wearing under my shirt and used it as a bandage
to wrap the 2 disjointed bones together.
Suddenly, I became a photographer-turned-
RedCross-caregiver. I was bloodied up. I was
lost in thought. Eventually he was rushed to the
Igbobi hospital that specializes in attempting to
“repair” such bone maladies. The irony of it was
that the hospital was just 4 minutes drive from
“fight”.
And then the wisdom in the words of Jesus hit
me like the driver’s punch: If anyone slaps you
on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek
also (Matthew 5:39). If only the other guy had
not retaliated, all that wouldn’t have happened.
The worst part of it was that my Danfo driver was
yet to give me my N400 change. I was
momentarily stranded. If only both parties had
exercised patience, I would not have had to
sacrifice my Marks & Spencers singlet to bind a
broken leg.
And so I prayed, “God give me the grace to be
patient enough to turn the other cheek when a
madman slaps me & give me the wisdom to know
when to run away from such people…… because
I would not want my retaliation to end someone
in hospital”.

written by Oluwaseun Akisanmi.

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