The Road That Leads Home

the road home

She took the cab on a corner street in Victoria Island, she would normally have taken a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) but the queue that night was too long for her to cope with. She resolved to take a taxi instead so she could avoid standing for hours.

The first empty cab she saw was one of those black, sleek branded cabs, the ones that have A/Cs and would treat the passenger to cool music all through the journey. Just what I need she thought approaching the driver.

“Adekunle Estate”, she called out

“4,000 naira” the driver replied

“2,000 naira” she retorted

The driver didn’t bother to answer and just zoomed off.

“Ole oshi.’’ Mayowa murmured. That she could afford to pay for something didn’t mean she should, that was Mayowa’s creed; the one she lived her life by. She spent money only when necessary and never cared if anyone called her a miser.

These cab drivers are opportunists she mumbled after staying another fifteen minutes without seeing any empty cab. She resolved to lower her standards and try her best not to miss the next available cab.

A rickety yellow cab finally swerved onto the kerb where she stood, she glanced at the driver and saw he was a young man probably in his early thirties. She liked that, there was nothing she hated like boarding an old taxi driven by an equally old man.

“Adekunle Estate”

“3,000 naira”

“Na 1,500 naira I get”

“No wahala, bye bye”

“Ok, make I pay 2000 naira?”


She quickly entered without another word. She would have entered the back of the car, but she couldn’t be sure of the state of the seats seeing how dirty and worn the taxi looked.

She tried relaxing but realised it was almost impossible, the cab smelled of stale urine mixed with tobacco, she quickly wound down the glass beside her and was glad she was even able to do that with ease; the way the cab looked she was amazed it could even move.

They had barely moved fifty yards when she realised she was going to regret entering the cab. The guy drove like he wanted to commit suicide.

He made a sudden swerve and almost but didn’t hit the driver in front of them.

“Gerrrout the road niggur…move that motherheffing car or I’m gonna move the thang for ya”

She wanted to glance at the guy but was too disturbed and scared to; she instead checked that her seat belt was still intact. She checked the dashboard and almost chuckled. Why should I even expect this kind of car to have an air bag?  She asked herself why she didn’t just tell the driver she wanted to come down instead of preparing herself for the possibility of an accident.

She was still thinking about his behaviour when he shot into an opening in the traffic and horned frantically at a 2013 Honda in front of them.

“Stop pampering this baby dawg…..move tha machine man, aint ya gat insurance, leddem bash the thang and them all gonna buy another machine for ya.”

Mayowa held her bag tightly to her chest, her heart thumping wildly as the cab man wove through an almost impossible maze of traffic; he kept yelling at everyone from a Tricycle driver to a Bullion van driver. They got to a stop sign and Mayowa debated on whether she should yank the door open and run for her life but somehow perhaps because of the tired day she had at work, her brain couldn’t convince her limbs to move. She was about to force herself to try when his voice rang out again;

“You all get da fuck outa the road mehn….the light shouldna stop ya, you all too dull, this is Lagos mehn. This is frigging Lagos, you all gotta be mad yeah……………..”

He went on and on and then the light went green but instead of joining the main road, he swerved into a dark side street. Mayowa’s heart missed a beat; she knew she should be saying something, the words formed in her mind. “Please take it easy” “please I’m not in a hurry” “where are we going?” “Why are you taking this dark side street, this dirt road that seems more like moving in between compounds?”

The words formed but they refused to come out. She doubted if he would even hear her if she tried, he had kept on a monologue from the moment they entered the side street mumbling stuff about the ragamuffins of harlem, the bomboclarks of Jerusalem and the bad motherfrigging boys of Lagos. Mayowa felt so weak and she berated herself for not getting out of the car when she had the chance.

She had no idea where they were or were going, the cab driver was driving blindly, jumping into ditch after ditch and cursing nonstop. Her mouth was still open to ask where they were but her lips refused to form the words. She turned her eyes to the passenger window and glanced frantically at signboards for clues as to which area they were but she could barely make out the words. She put her head on her laps in resignation and that was when she saw it, the object that took her mind back to that afternoon.

She was hungry, her stomach was growling, there has to be something to eat she thought. She thought of what to eat and the vision of AFC’s Ofada Rice came to her mind, 800 naira she thought, in one sitting? No. She called the office assistant and gave him a crisp 200 naira note, “please get me bole”. Five minutes later, he was back and she was munching her booli and flushing it down with a bottle of sparkling water. She finished the bole too quickly and made to crumple the newspaper wrapping when a picture caught her eye. She is beautiful she thought as she read the words under the picture. 28 year old Mary Annette Otah Missing, kindly contact the nearest police station or the following phone numbers if you have any information as to her whereabouts.

Her mind jolted back to the present and she glanced at the taxi driver, she looked at him and back to the business card in the pocket of the side door. Mary Annette Otah, Attorney at law….Ibadisegbe Chambers. After the shock came the fear; the one that made her grip her heart as a pain shot through it, somehow the fear finally gave her the courage to talk to the driver.

Her voice weak, she said:

“Uncle, please where are we?”

“Relax babe….we are gonna reach Calcutta soon….just relaxxxxxxx……cool cool ya motherfrigging temper maam… are gonna be hooooomeee soooooon.”

Mayowa nodded her head, she was sure she would truly be home soon, in fact sooner than she ever imagined. She had thought home would be when she was in her eighties, wasn’t that what she had written when the witch that was her training school instructor asked them to write their obituary. I knew that stuff was bad luck; I should have stuck to my earlier plans not to write it and forfeit the 25 marks as threatened. She thought hot tears welling in her eyes.

She was trying to force the tears back when her head collided with the passenger door as the cab lurched into a huge ditch. The pain was what finally brought out the tears unhindered. They poured in streams and she bowed her head grateful the tears could pour noiselessly.

Oh gochi, gochi gochi, gochi, the driver shouted slamming his palms on the steering and shooting out of the ditch.

Where in the frigging frigging estate are you gwaan.

“What did you say?” she asked raising her head up, she watched in disbelief as he made a turn and she saw her estate gate just in front of her. Mayowa blinked her eyes in disbelief, she was in her estate already; she couldn’t believe it.

“Your frigging ears need some dry cleaning maam? I said where in the frigging estate are you gwaan.” The driver turned off the engine and turned eyes the shade of blood to her.

“Here is okay”, she mumbled, hurriedly removing the seatbelt and scrambling out of the car.

She would have broke into a run upon coming out but his voice stopped her cold.

Eh, omo wa…owo mi da…ibo lo’n salo abi kilose e to’n gbon bi ewe jobele lati aaro…you no know Lagos ni abi you be learner?

She was still scared but not too scared to note his last words had been spoken in a proper Yoruba accent. She however wasn’t bothered; she just wanted to be home. “Sorry sir”, she quickly said opening her bag. She fumbled around and counted three thousand naira which she placed on the bonnet of the car. She grabbed her bag tighter and ran the remaining distance home.

She slumped in the chair nearest to the door immediately she got home and didn’t move for over thirty minutes wondering what exactly it was that she had just gone through. The sound of her Blackberry phone was what jolted her back to reality.

She opened her Blackberry messenger and was about to hiss upon seeing it was a broadcast message when the words jumped at her: Missing Lawyer found. Miss Otah showed up at her home round 7pm this evening, it was learnt she decided to take some time off from family and work pressures and wasn’t abducted as was feared, she spoke to a news reporter and……..

Mayowa couldn’t bear to read the rest, she just burst into a fit of maniacal laughter, hitting the wall and tearing at her hair.


40 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. petunia007
    Mar 09, 2013 @ 19:32:21

    A nice story you’ve got here. Sometimes are so unreasonable but so real at those ‘afraid’ moments. I guess you meant ‘boli’ not ‘bole’ (roasted plantain).


  2. JayCax
    Mar 09, 2013 @ 21:35:06

    Sweetheart, you weave your tales so beautifully. I felt the fear…


  3. gbengaosowe1
    Mar 09, 2013 @ 21:56:09

    Pure genius, classic Toyin! Good as always!


  4. UNwankwor
    Mar 09, 2013 @ 22:18:03

    Nice story. I’m now following…


  5. Iyiola
    Mar 09, 2013 @ 22:39:45



  6. cocosgist
    Mar 09, 2013 @ 22:52:44

    Where the hell did you get that cab driver?


  7. saymalcolm
    Mar 10, 2013 @ 06:31:21

    ROTFL! This is the most hilarious piece I’ve read in a long while. Great writing skills you’ve got. And might I suggest something; the life of that crazy taxi driver would make a very good story.



  8. sagay
    Mar 10, 2013 @ 07:00:13

    Toyin, I love this!


  9. moskeda
    Mar 10, 2013 @ 07:28:46

    I had a similar experience and reading this made me remember the fear I felt. I guess some of these cabbies are just crazy on a diff level
    I love reading your work Jumoke 🙂


  10. abe temitope
    Mar 10, 2013 @ 12:54:32

    9ce 1 …. Keep d fire burning!!!


  11. Somi
    Mar 10, 2013 @ 16:22:09

    Which Kin Nigga Raw Cab Driver be this? LOL. This was enjoyable. Kudos.

    I’ve been robbed in a cab before, so if it aint one of those ancient yoruba men with Lagos association of Taxi Divers ankara… I aint entering.


  12. moskeda
    Mar 10, 2013 @ 16:51:31

    Toyin, sorry for mixing up your name. Jaycax at the moment. Still, wonderful piece


  13. Joy
    Mar 12, 2013 @ 07:26:42

    Nice. simply nice. Kept me at the edge of my seat till the end.


  14. Nikki Laoye
    Mar 13, 2013 @ 12:56:00

    Wow! U got me intrigued from start to finish..came across your page by mistake while lookin for something else on d net.. Wow! U write good..will share this on twitter. Keep up d good job


  15. Tope Tedela
    Mar 13, 2013 @ 13:41:53

    I couldn’t stop until I finished reading. It is a well written one. Thumbs up!


  16. dfl
    Mar 14, 2013 @ 11:30:18



  17. Lara
    Mar 16, 2013 @ 10:35:35

    Really nice piece, good to prove that ‘eni n wa ‘fa, n w’ofo’. And I knw ‘the witch that was her training school instructor asked them to write their obituary.’ There’s jst one of her


  18. option binaire forex
    Apr 03, 2013 @ 01:44:17

    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted
    to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts.
    After all I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!


  19. hacolyte
    May 23, 2013 @ 18:33:26

    Reblogged this on hacolyte's Blog.


  20. amaeze
    Jul 01, 2013 @ 21:45:04

    I must have missed out on this one. Very funny write up. Keep it up. One day you’ll publish a book and never have to work again. Cheers


  21. Taresaoa
    Jan 26, 2015 @ 06:33:30

    Добрый День!
    Я в растерянности
    Где мы только не искали и не можем найти интернет аптеку где есть в продаже Пегасис с доставкой на Сахалин
    когда в гостях в Москве были, пользовались этой . Проверенная аптека, и доставляет шустро , но только по Москве и области, а на Сахалин нет.
    Может кто нибудь подсказать, где можно по адекватной цене купить?
    Огромное спасибо


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