I recently took a trek down memory lane, remembering those days of my past as a gay Nigerian, fresh out of my teenage years. Wait, I was eighteen or nineteen. So, scratch that ‘fresh out’ bit. And these memories awakened different reactions from me as I pondered them. A reminiscent smile. A ‘what was I thinking’ cringe. A ‘did that really happen’ incredulity.
I decided to share one particular memory because it stayed with me the longest, especially since I’d just recently read Queer Mike’s A LOT LIKE LOVE, which smacked of ‘Johnny Just Come Lagos.’
I live in Lagos, and I’d like to think that I’ve been hewn appropriately by the city’s unpredictability, unreliability and topsy-turvy way of life. But I wasn’t always Lagos-savvy. I was brought up in the East, and my earliest visits to the city were under the care and supervision of my parents. My mother would accompany me to Lagos during my holiday, drop me off at my uncle’s place and then return home to the East. And then, I’d spend the vacation either being a homebody or being shepherded through sightseeing outings by older cousins. And when my holiday was over, a cousin would put me in a bus and my parent would be at the park back home, waiting to receive me.
As is typical of this kind of sheltered upbringing, I silently rebelled. I wanted to visit Lagos, see Lagos on my own terms, and not under the stranglehold of family. But such a venture required financial means and a place to stay in the city, all of them options which I didn’t have.
Then came when I got into the university, can’t remember what year I was in at the time. I was staying off-campus, with a roommate who had – has – a like mind. We were young and hot and filled with teenage exuberance and hunger for the things of the flesh. We had an objective from the moment we started rooming together in our second year, and that was to storm Lagos some day before we graduate and simply have fun. Weave-ons scattered. Bras unhooked. Skirts let down.
That period came soon enough. I didn’t know about my roommate (who I’ll refer to as Chibuzo), but I’d been saving up for the trip. To be clear, I knew absolutely no one in Lagos besides relatives, and I wouldn’t have considered going on the trip had Chibuzo not assured me he had ample options for accommodation. Yes, we had a number of contacts in our phones – older guys who’d promised us a good time – but I was wise enough to know I didn’t need too much dependability on anyone for my welfare in what was essentially a strange city. That was why I made sure I had my fare back home, and some, stashed away in my bank account. I did not want to be strapped for cash. Any nonsense, and my plan was to get on the next available bus back to school. No long stories to be entertained.
So the day was upon us and we set out for Lagos. It was one of those East-to-West journeys that saw us trundling into Lagos at twilight. Chibuzo made the call to his friend, who gave him the directions on how to get to his address in Iyana Ipaja. By the time we got there, it was dark, but the badly lit environment did little to disguise the squalor around. Now, my family isn’t rich, but I was brought up pampered, and the sight of the mud of the bad roads sucking at the soles of my shoes, and the heap of filth dotting the uneven landscape and the state of disrepair that hung over most of the houses we walked past – they all made my skin crawl. This wasn’t the Lagos I was used to.
Eventually, we met Chibuzo’s friend. He was glad to see us, but he had a teensy weensy problem. His mother suddenly didn’t feel very comfortable with the accommodation of strangers, friend sof his or not. But hey, there was no need to panic, he hurried to assure us. He had friends around where we could put up for the duration of our trip.
So, that’s good now, right? Wrong.
For the next four hours, we traipsed the length and breadth of his neighbourhood, knocking on doors. Each occupant, himself just a lad barely past his teenage years, would receive us. Chibuzo’s friend would chat with him for awhile, and then broach the topic of ‘these my two friends who are looking for a temporary place to stay.’ The host would frown, heave a world-weary sigh, shake his head, and then very sorrowfully start his excuse with ‘You see ehn…’
With each passing minute, my mood soured. I was hungry. Tired. Grimy from the journey. I just wanted to stop walking about and rest my legs, and my shoulders that had hefting my tightly-packed school bag. I felt like crying. I was exhausted. I was silently mad at my roommate. Kai! What is this? Ah-ah! Even when no be only me waka come…
Finally, we ended up back where we started out from – Chibuzo’s friend’s place. He had to speak t his mother to let us stay for that night. Just for the night, he cajoled. Because Chibuzo had already called another friend of his who was in Shomolu, and who was okay with us shacking up with him. The mother conceded. It was a few minutes past midnight. I slept without dinner, in my clothes, squeezed inside a plastic chair. Chibuzo slept…well, I don’t know, but I sha heard him snoring from somewhere in the unlit living room.
Welcome to Lagos, a voice mocked cruelly in my head before I drifted off to sleep.
TO BE CONTINUED.
Written by Pink Panther
Do follow us on twitter: @panther_blog, and for any submissions, let us have your stories at email@example.com.
U can imagine I won’t leave except deer is hotel reservations o I beg
I’m waiting for the sequel, Pinky. 12 noon today is your deadline.
I really hate how this ended
So do u like d story or nah? *pensive* (I hate that ur “stamp of approval” is unofficially becoming a trophy to be chased after,lol). I’m actually holding my breath…and I didn’t write d story!
Speak for yourself.
Pinkie, are you really sure u didn’t want him seeing that? I’m still gonna find a way to make him ON HERE. *devil smiley*
You’re not the only victim of my moderation. He said lotsa ugly things ystdy that I deleted. You people’s catfight sef. One moment, its entertaining, the next I just want you two to go away. 😀
@pinky: oh,my bad! Apparently, na only me waka come.
By d way,pinky, it’s past noon o! These beeshes are abt to open a can of whoop-ass on ur butt if u don’t come and finish d story right now.
As long as they’re hot with tons of stamina, them beeshes are welcome to try. 😉
Pinky,don’t keep us waiting too long o! I’m already sucked into d story. These kinds of stories make me feel like I wasn’t adventurous enough in my youth (well, I “came out” late sha,so that’s understandable).then again, I’m sort of thankful I didn’t have to experience some of the…”Inconveniences”, associated with such adventures,sometimes.
*Alarmed* and to think I was just planning to go to lag with a friend *jexix* auntypinky re u spyin n me????? *still shocked* @andre_hayford
You could sleep??? Your forebearance is strong o. If my ‘host’ no fit accomodate, na 2 go my cousin house o. I’d av just lied to them.
arghhh! sista pinkyyyyy *wails and rolls on the ground scattering expensive Peruvian hair* you stopped at the point where the story was starting to get juicy, bitch! I know you did that on purpose! I stand by Absalom and the 12noon deadline *removes gele, tightens wrapper and gears up for a nasty bitch fight*
no just try me ooo!
sweet heavens. I am waiting for d sequel
When no be only you waka come? Chai, dia ris god ooo!
(I don’t know why this “dia ris god” thing gets me everytime. Lol)
Pinky, that’s a good one! A good story should hold the readers spellbound.
As for your wanting ” to storm
Lagos some day ” before graduation, that was a very typical teenage exuberance. No plan B eh? Lol!
Let me guess now. In part two of this story, your plight will Be made worse when Chibuzo’s friend in Shimolu starts pestering you with sex demands. Oh please! Mek this wan no end like 9ja movie oo.
Trip from hell. Lagos na wa
Reminds me of wen I visited a friend, still in this same lasgidi. I got a rude shock when I was walked out of the house by his mum, for reasons best known to her. Smh
I went on a lot of these trips when I was in college! But I always have a Plan B, C and D. And then a plan E which ofcourse what my atm card containing money I ripped off my dear folks under the pretense of some fictitious textbook!!!
looool. Poor unsuspecting parents. Remind me how far from hell you are???
I vacation in hell already! So it will be a smooth transition! Y’all should get off your bloody high horses! We all came up with fictitious textbooks in college to rip off our parents. I went to a private university which was very expensive so I could not add anything on my tuition fees again. Fake textbooks was the way forward LOL
Hian!!! Nwam, I’m already off my horse o. I was an angel to the end
And God hasn’t punished you yet for those crimes? HeIsWatchingYou oo.
Nice story…lmao! As for us Lagos born, bred and ‘buttered’ kids, well….let’s just say this can never happen. Unless you don’t know your ‘location social standing’ tables by heart.
LOL! What are y’all feeling like now?
Hang on pls …Thrystham in all seriousness. .don’t u have anything doing? Cause this is really becoming sad. ..Why do ur comments revolve around me or ways to get back at me? why do u always feel the need to justify and validate urself when u come across my comments? yst u almost wrote a thesis trying to come up with a witty reply. is it some form of inferiority complex? or is it just a case of being idle? look when the chips are down. ..u are a man! pls go and find something doing. ..go and get a job pls, don’t centre ur life around an anonymous gay blog esp amongst ppl that will cringe when they finally see u.
Are u in school? are u writing Jamb? what do u do pls? Unemployment isn’t something u should feel too comfortable with.
at the end of the day…im the one with the boyfriend who i love so much. ..and the nice job I am so grateful about and the good looks and u are still well, poor and ugly.
hope u have a nice weekend. ..might not have time for our cat fights this weekend cus I also work on Saturdays…and after that I’ll be hanging out with the mr…might go see Maleficent on Sunday finally… *hugs* praying for u
And here I was thinking you actually know Trystham, seeing as you always put his name, unemployment and unattractiveness in one sentence. For all anyone knows, he might also have a job. At the end of the day, you don’t know him. A bunch of us don’t know ourselves here.
So can you please get over yourselves and stop this sniping and clawing and biting? You’re both grown people. Surely you can manage that. Nobody said you have to address each other when you come on the blog.
It has gotten very VERY OLD!
On to more serious matters, Bianca sent Cammy away??? Yayere is so gonna flip.
I think we should be able to know when kids are throwing tantrums and ignore them. High road people
Hypocrisy can also be defined as ‘the behavior of people who do things that they tell other people not to do’.
Chizzie, I wonder why you all of a sudden realise that jobless and ‘not-serious’ people are those who have the need to justify and validate themselves when they come across others’ comments or entries.
If you are accusing or should I say ‘advising’ trystham on what to do or what not to do, then why do you spend your days around James’ journal looking for ways to get back at him. If you are that ’employed’ and ‘matured’ as you frequently claim (an act of inferiority complex though), then I guess you should be busy and not have time to place some annoying and childish comments as you are fond of doing regularly.
The ‘advice’ you gave trystham is actually meant for you. Read it again, learn from it, and put into use. #justsaying
A “TO BE CONTINUED” broke my heart. Can’t wait for the next episode.
Pingback: WHILE WE WERE YET KIDS (Part 2) | kitodiaries
Pingback: WHILE WE WERE YET KIDS (Part 2) – KitoDiaries