Apata to Dugbe: Of Misfortune and Fortune by Bamidele Seth

Photo Credit: naijatreks.com

I boarded a bus from Apata to Dugbe, dropping my box in its boot. While doing that, a similar box which insignificantly differed in size from mine caught my attention. I had premonitions, but I discarded them, taking the tattered seat in front like royalty.

Along the way, a fellow passenger alerted the driver he would alight at the next bus stop, making it known he had luggage in the boot. On alighting, the bus conductor hastily opened the boot and ignorantly gave my box to the man who innocently took it. He immediately flagged down a taxi cruising towards Ojoo/UI.  My instincts drove cold through my spines propelling me to look back to confirm from the conductor if my box was still ‘rightly safe’ in the boot. He replied assertively in Yoruba. With the intonation of the Ibadan man which his long bold tribal marks also depicted him to be, he said, “Busi yin wa nbe, emi ni mo sa gbee be” meaning the box was safe. Unknown to him, he had made a costly mistake. I turned to sit well, trying to trust the credibility of the conductor while anxiety kept smiling at me mockingly. On getting to my destination, I hopped off the bus, took a stride towards the back of the bus to get my box which the bus conductor already offloaded before I could reach the rear. Dropping the hat, before I could grab it to ascertain its ownership, the bus had zoomed off.


You can guess the look on my face when I discovered “my box wasn’t mine”! My clothes, 5 shirts, 1 trouser! My problematic yet important phone charger, my one and only shoe! A linguistic committee had to sit to determine a new adjective to describe the look that possessed my face! Pandemonium filled the air like thick smoke exuding from a godforsaken car as I cursed the absence of the conductor only to remember I forgot my change with him! I paid 500 Naira for a fare of just 70 Naira. I felt the world turning its back on me. That was the last note I had in my life!

Devastated, I walked down my house’ street almost walking past my house until one of my nosy neighbours called on me to wake me from my deep sleep of thoughts.  As I walked into my room, power was supplied which up my mood a little, only for my patched phone’s battery to bleep indicating a critically low battery faring my mind back to my plight. I dropped to my bed almost in tears only for sleep to crawl through my sorrows to drown my consciousness.

I woke up with a startling headache.  The epileptic power supply compounded my agony making me kick at the box which I now compellingly owned. As I kicked at it, it flung opened spilling its content. God’s own country in its opulence lay bare before my eyes in pristine state. Unconsciously I muttered, uttering in my native language ‘A da fun conductor yii’, meaning ‘it shall be well with the bus conductor’ lost in the dilemma of decision making.


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