Gbogbo ohun tó ńdán kọ́ ni wúrà.
Not all that glitters is gold.
August 29 2010
I thought I was a Lagosian. Today ,I realised I am still a native of Ogbomoso. I left my shirtmaker in Tinubu Square on my way home. I watched Muslims pray in unison with the spirit of Ramadan hovering in the air. I wanted to take a bike but after haggling with motorcycle operator , I decided to take a walk. As I left the central mosque down the Idumota street to ascend the bridge, I saw a bus in front of me open at both ends. It was labelled J. IWEKA ELECTRONICS GOVERNMENT APPROVED.
“Oga you can win fridge, iron ,electronics” he spoke to me I refused to answer him.
The well dressed guy wearing an ID card waved a ticket at me.
“Look at my bus, It is government approved, Fashola”
“Just choose seven numbers and u can win this omo aye”
While I hesitated, a guy chose seven numbers quickly.
He was immediately given an electric iron.
“He won OMG”
“So easy,I saw standing fan, electric kettle and other prizes in the van”
I began to imagine.
“Maybe a fan, an electric iron”
I decided to choose seven numbers.
I knew I wasn’t lucky with lottery but this is free.
“Oga the lucky number is 9, you have won, standing fan”
Standing fan where would I place it in my cluttered room , a million thoughts raced in my heart.
“You will need 500 naira to collect the prize or we buy it from you for 2000 naira” he spoke.
I searched my pocket. I only had 310 naira on me. No ATM card.
“Oga I have only 310 on me” I handed over the money forgetting I needed transport fare back home.
“This is all you have abi”
“Where are you going”
He gave me back 110 naira and he turned away his face. He looked for another victim.
“Hello my 200 naira “ I shouted mildly.
He whistled and before I knew it three heavy men gathered around me.
They showed me the way home. The route I had forgotten. My mouth was open . Saliva dripped from my mouth. It was solemn and easy. I had just been duped.
“Palmgrove Onipan ” a conductor screamed.
I hopped in as the boys burst into laughter.
“This is Lagos” I screamed within me
Earlier published in 2010 on Naija Stories.