I've been here a solid fortnight now, and the novelty still hasn't worn off (thank God). I'm enjoying the work I'm involved with (of which I cannot divulge details of, due to confidentiality clauses) and have somewhat acclimatised and got my bearings here.
Dress : H&M
This blog post idea sparked after a scene I'd witnessed on the rough streets of Lagos yesterday. It had been a very long day, but productive, day and I was heading home when a fight broke out on the road. The yellow bus had broken down, and amidst attempts of disgruntled passengers seeking a refund, an agboro (tout, pauper, you get the picture) thought that was the best time to plug in his 2-cents. None were too pleased by his appearance, and made no secret of it, but he persisted. Traffic was held up as this young agboro beat his chest to the sound of his own ignorant drum, until the male passengers had enough. They banished him from whence he came, and after a toss and shuffle here & there, he retreated.
Except, seconds later, he returned with a bottle in hand and a renewed zeal! He picked out the most decadently dressed male passenger as his 'victim', ang lunged. To his surprise, however, he soon discovered this dude was a Clark Kent in his own right. He soon stripped to his shirt and unleashed the animal within; bashing the poor sod to a pulp.
I, in no way, condone barbaric acts such as this, but I saw this as a valuable lesson that should be shared. So here are 3 key points I took from that incident:
- When in Rome, do as the Romans do. I keep schutm for fear of the discovery that I am a JJC (Translation: Freshie) & thus, will be exploited. I believe its essential that one blends in to their surrounding in order to truly survive. The suited man truly blended when he ripped off his blazer, taking the true form of the agboro, like his opponent.
- Never underestimate your opponent. I came here hoping to gain experience but half-expecting obstacles in the form of the flawed system in Nigeria, to stand in the way. Instead, what I am learning is how to work efficiently in spite of this. The agboro deliberately picked the suited dude out, thinking he was the easiest target, but was taught an invaluable lesson that one should never judge a book by its cover after being beaten black & blue.
- Tap into your basic instincts. I was appalled by the submission made by opposing counsel in a hearing that the only reason the adjudicator empathised with the petitioner, was because she was female. The disgust of the judge was apparent, and she soon shut down such a notion on the basis that she was human. In the short time I’ve been here, I've drafted, researched, reported, shadowed and advocated for marginalised women in Nigeria. You don’t need to be a lawyer to understand the basic principles of righting a wrong. Seeing these victims of discriminatory laws, barbaric practices and downright injustice, overcome is indescribable. The suited fella yesterday was just the same. He saw a young man, too big for his boots, getting tangled in grown-folk business of which he had no right to. He soon tapped into his most basic skill, and battled the lad (to the pleasure of his audience) for respect and justice.
Onyxsta says...BLEURGH!! No parents. No rules. Just me, in the wild.