A Photographer’s Sojourn

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Friday, 12th August was the day I’d decided to travel down to Abuja. Exactly a year ago, I was in the country’s capital.This time, its to teach photography to a group of young Christian teenagers.

The day before
My everyday transport company choice isn’t operating in Ibadan and that made matters worse, I couldn’t book online. I had to go to ring road the previous day to make a booking with another transport company. “N5,500” the booking officer said, this was just N300 below the amount I would pay with my regular transport company from Lagos, do you mean Lagos to Ibadan is now N300? Nawa o. I paid and went back to the University of Ibadan.

The D-day
5:10″ – Said the clock when I woke up, I took my bath and waited for the motorcycle operator I had pre-arranged with to come pick me up. We got to the park a few minutes after 7am. The ticket officer had told me the first bus leaves by 7:30am – that was just a lie. 9am we hadn’t set out and then something happened.

Thank you for banking with us!
8:40am – And one better shit dey worry your nigga.
The transport company I was to travel with is unlike the 5 star company I would have traveled with in Lagos, their toilet could make you contract  disease by just the odor. So I stood outside and I was wondering, how do I do this? 9 hours journey and I’m feeling this already? I stood and looked forward, Access Bank stood right in front of me. I crossed the road, and made my way down to the bank. Upon entry, the private security man said, “Welcome to Access Bank”, “Thank you” I murmured. As I got in, a call from a potential client came in, while on the phone, my stomach was already staging the War of Waterloo, as I paced softly whilst on the phone, I saw a signpost, “Restroom” – That was a reliever.

10 Minutes Later
I came out, well relieved and went towards the exit, then the security guard at the door said, “Thank you for banking with us” I looked at him and said to myself “Thank you for your clean toilet”
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The Journey
When we had set out, the movie began. You would expect 13 passengers to have different views, “Oga the air conditioner isn’t on, wetin dey worry you people” I was seated at the back seat, the last, even if the air conditioner was on, I wouldn’t feel it so I kept my window quite open. The journey was smooth except for the road bumps and gallops that meant I was almost an Olympic gymnast by just sitting at the back. When we got Lokoja around 6:00pm, we had a stop over, had a nice meal with the guy I sat with in the bus, and we set out again. Three minutes later, the bus began to give this annoying sound, it seemed to slow down and forced itself to work, this was on the Murtala Muhammad Bridge – Where soldiers are on 24/7 patrol, chai! As we parked to check the reason just after the bridge, the driver discovered something shocking.
Three minutes ago he had bought a full tank for the bus, as he drew out a few fuel from the engine, we saw the greatest thing in Nigeria – Adulterated fuel. The driver went back, argued and came back but no positive result from the fuel attendants. He did a few tweaks and we set out by 7:30pm.

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Abuja
By 9:00pm I got into Abuja metropolis, I was headed to lokogoma whilst my friend in the bus was headed to sun-city. We both dropped at Lugbe and took a cab down to sun-city first before I and the cab driver headed to lokogoma. The driver and I had a lengthy chat until he got me home around 10:06pm!. As I knocked the door, my mum opened up and I heard this heavy sigh from her – she must have been very scared when I called her to inform her of the adulterated premium motor spirit we had bought – stranded on the highway at night isn’t a nice situation in Nigeria. Grandma was seated opposite the door and she give me a big smile after recognizing it was me. The TV was set on Zee World – No one switches the channel when the combination of mum and grandma is in the squad. A hot late of rice and chicken was all that was needed to launch my night. I slept in the engineer’s room, Tekome loves gadgets and he just keeps his room scattered with wires, batteries, gadgets he wants to repair and alot I cant mention here.

I

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‘ll be in the capital city for a week, Till I write again, Obrigado.

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