Wednesday, 14 August 2013


"Balende CMS! Balende CMS!" The conductor rants. Calls on passers-by to join his bus as they ignore him and carry on with their "passing". He yells the more to those cros

sing the road on to his side: "Balende CMS!" Convincing them to take this trip with him yelling at the top of his voice till the bus is filled with people and luggage.

He wakes up early so he could be selected by a bus driver to conduct the bus for the day... or for the number of trips the driver is willing to have him work.  Depending on when he wakes up, bathing is an option not an obligation.

He suits up in his regular: a sagging denim jeans and what seem to have been a "white" arm-less underwear. Away from his shelter he walks into the bus park, speaks to a few drivers and finally gets one in need of his services. After a few hits and knocks on the motor battery with a spanner or a plier  with the ignition light on, he pushes the bus from the rear while the driver controls the steering wheel, shifting the gear and stepping on the gas pedal in the right sequence until the roar of a dying engine is heard.

A few sachets of dry gin and some "bitters" kick starts his working session.

The fate of having his meals is dependent on his ability to get the bus filled in quick time, spending less on settling the police, the traffic officials, and road union workers.

The #ogogoro sellers have been up even before activities begin in this bus settlement. With a variety on display to suite every and any kind of early morning drinker.
Her kids all around her, very much as active as she is. Awakened by the same body clock as of their mum. They learn her trade everyday before they are off to school for formal education.

The noise slowly but steadily gets louder by the passing minutes that sets the sun at the edge of the sky glowing in cool heat and announcing the start of the day for the not-so-early risers. The symphony of destination calls fill the area as people can be seen hurrying around and onto buses headed their way.

Garage touts and officers in their full regalia: a white shinny buttoned shirt on green pants rolled up to the knee, and in their various ranks are very much as obvious as the buses. Collecting taxes from bus drivers and reporting half the proceeds to their superiors.

The snack hawker can not thrive unless he is within the perimeters of the  area, clinging to windows and begging for an exchange of your money for his commodity.

By sunset destination calls are switched and the rush begins again. Dusts raised, rants pitched, engines roars, hawkers everywhere, ...and so it continues.

Again slowly and steadily emptiness fill the area as only the croak of the frog can be heard in murky waters, calling for mates.

Then silence.

"Balende CMS, Balende CMS".... The signal for waking up tells me its morning again as I rush to have my bathe and... 


  1. You notice so much Marcelo but go UnNoticed as you post little. Do so more!

    I have researched "Balende CMS, Balende CMS".. but am directed back to your post. What does it mean?

    Anna :o]

    1. :) Thank you Anna, but my job takes the most part of my active time so I get to write when I'm kinda free from it and when the inspiration comes.

      "Balende CMS" are actually 2 places in Lagos Nigeria. So it's a destination call from the public bus driver and his conductor. It is a Central Business District in Lagos where you have major financial institutions headquartered here.

      It is "Obalende" and "CMS" (Christian Missionary Society) a place named during the colonization era in Nigeria.

      So the bus conductor calls it "Balende" instead of "Obalende". Its kinda easier in pronouncing the former than the later... Give it try :)