The Molue school of thought

I hold on strongly to the belief that Lagos is a miniature representation of the reality of existence.

No, this is not a philosophy lesson but there is a lot that can be learned.

The people of Lagos walk to the rhythm of the city’s heartbeat. The energy and the drive can bring out the worst in people and sometimes the best, other times; it brings out the thoughtful.

Ji! Ma sun’ Awaken! Is painted in white on the inside walls of the modernised Molue I got in on its way from Oshodi to Iyana Ipaja. It’s surrounded by stickers of adverts for herbal remedies, Canadian visa lotteries, libido enhancers and posters of Pasuma and his competitors in various poses, each seeming to say; “Pick me over them

On a journey as long as this and with a flat battery, I couldn’t help but “ma sun” – doze. However, the command continued to resonate in my subconscious.

ji!

Ji, ma sun!

Awaken to the realities of being human. The harsh and the welcoming, we must bear it all and survive. There are different variations to this particular nomenclature, one of which is ‘Shine your eye’.

shine your eye

I struggled to be comfortable in the crush of people and the bump of the road. I had given up on snoozing just as another bus zoomed past. ‘Shope tie’ be thankful for what you have, was cast across its back.

If you look, these short phrases are all over the transport systems in Lagos and even on some interstate buses. On the surface, it is instruction, admonishment and praise for God, others and oneself. However we see them or choose to disregard them, they are introspective.

The language is short, straightforward and often-times in poorly worded English or Yoruba. They present a raw, unclouded perspective to a life that is multi-faceted in its simplicity.

I saw these phrases from the mindset of the bus owners and Molue drivers.

Their motivations:

no food for lazy man

Young shall grow

god's time

j4.jpg

 

 

 

Their struggles:

no pain

after god, fear woman

suru lere

let them say

aiye mojuba

 

 

Their benefactors:

ola mummy

 

Their wishes for a destination:

Kásò Láyò

welcome is the best journey

 

 

Their prayers:

eleda masun

 

 

Their pride:

gallant

layon

ONE MAN MOPOL

ijoba

36

 

 

and sometimes, security simply put as:

keep your load

 

 

The Molue school of thought invites us to consider the future, to be thoughtful and careful on the road but the advice is effortlessly applicable to other life instances.

remember six feet

Many

no one knows tomorrow

 

Eventually, I arrived at my destination and as the conductor called out for the last bus stop; I looked out on the bus park to an ocean of faces, wares and yellow and black and I thought to myself.

Ji, ma sun

 

Footnote: Many thanks to all who gave insight, feedback and corrections to this piece.

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