Suffering and Smiling!

suffering and smiling

“Every day my people dey inside bus

Forty-nine sitting, ninety-nine standing

Them go pack themselves in like sardine

Them dey faint, them dey wake like cock

Them go reach house, water no dey

Them go reach bed, power no dey

Them go reach road, go-slow go come

Them go reach road, police go slap

Them go reach road, army go whip

Them go look pocket, money no dey

Them go reach work, query ready

Every day na the same thing”

Shuffering and Shmiling is an album composed, bandleader, and multi-instrumentalist Fela Kuti recorded in 1977. Pardon my emphasis but the year is now 2016. Noticed much difference yet?

I was on the road a few days ago going someplace Google Maps calculated to me was to take 58mins. Thank God I like to be early and ready when I have appointments so I set out 2hrs prior to my appointment time. I was lucky to be there about 2mins after my scheduled time, meaning I used 2hrs 2mins on a trip that would have usually taken 30mins on a day like Sunday morning.

What I saw on the roads were devastating – long queues at filling stations, generators coming off and on Okadas or Keke Napep at filling stations, rowdy roads, Police and Army officers trying to keep people and traffic under control (suffice it to mention I didn’t notice any FRSC ((Federal Road Safety Corp)) official on the roads at all). Simply put, it was pathetic. I ended up spending 7hrs on the road on a trip within Lagos metropolis. And I couldn’t help but wonder, what would Fela say about this?

55years of Independence! Nigeria!

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