An Ibadan Girl’s Guide to Being a Fierce Woman

Everyday, for the past six weeks, I take a danfo* to Obalende*. On some days, the bus stops along the way to pick up more passengers. Over time, I have come to notice a young woman at the bus stop. She waits there everyday with her young son, all dressed in his cute little school uniform.

When the danfo comes, she is the first to hustle for it (mornings in Lagos, especially when using the public transport system, are a battle for the triumph of the swiftest). She fights harder than everyone else to get on the bus. Getting her son to school promptly probably means she is able to get to work early.

Every time I get the opportunity to ride with her, I watch her stealthily out of the corner of my eye. She settles herself on the narrow bus bench, hoists her son onto her lap and haggles the bus fare. When the fare has been haggled to her satisfaction, she sits with her spine straight, her eyes facing forward and her chin jutting out.

Every day I get to watch her, I admire her silently. She is one bad ass fierce woman and I hope I get to tell her one day.

*Generally used to refer to the bright yellow buses that arguably form the backbone of the public transport system in Lagos, Nigeria.

*A popular neighbourhood in the Eti-Osa Local Government Area, Lagos, Nigeria.

Postscript: This post was originally written in October, 2018. I never got to tell the young woman how much I admired her.

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