Friday, April 13, 2012

By Their Bus stops Ye Shall Know Them

"Dress the way you want to be addressed", I'm sure the saying is familiar to most people. Early in the morning, I see people sharply dressed in suits and polished shoes. From the way they were dressed you would think they were the MD/CEO of one multi-billion dollars institution. I on the other hand wore whatever was the fastest to get into [I get tired like that sometimes in the morning]. You would probably assume I was the ‘boy-boy’ to a low level ranked staff in an organisation in which the name ended with ‘’ or ‘...and Sons’. Every morning we all leave our homes to meet at the bus stop. 

Our meeting at the bus stop was the first sign our outfit was part of ‘packaging’ to boost the perception of our status. People I saw every day at the bus stop were more likely not to own a car. If you don’t own a car there was a possibility it was because you couldn’t afford one. If you can’t afford one then you were broke.
On busy days with populated bus stops, even those suited with sparking whites underneath had to rush to board buses. Ladies in high heels do the same. For that moment the danfo slows down everyone had to be in their Usain Bolt’s fram of mind. You had to rush, push, shove, to occupy a bus that wouldn’t meet any safety standard in the developed countries. Everything about commercial buses screamed POVERTY. But that isn’t where I’m heading. As we occupy the bus the first thing we did was to adjust what we wore to regain that millionaire look we had as we stepped out of our homes. As the bus moved along its route each of us would alight at our bus stop and from their bus stop ye shall know them. Yes! From the bus stop we shall know who is who. No matter how you dress, your last bus stop to work can’t be Bariga market and expect me to believe you were one top shot. There were some things we that lived all our lives in Lagos know.

For example, majority of those who wear suits to work were bankers. Two, if you are leaving for work around 8am then you were not a banker. How come some people wear suits to work and leave home past 8 o’clock? I noticed a guy suited up and his last bus stop was Unity Road in Ikeja, that was a giveaway you were simply dressed to impress and not the address of your work place [or pay check].

There was a guy in my area who wore nice fitted suit to work...his dress sense made so much sense, it was impossible to guess where he worked. I use to think he was a banker until he began going to work wearing a bow tie. The only guy I knew who wore bow tie to work was the Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Sanusi. Unfortunately/fortunately we boarded the same bus one day and from his bus stop I knew he was a teacher. I was amazed, a school teaching decking up like George Clooney in tux.

I understand why people might want to do that. They might not have control over their pay check [or job] but they could at least dress the way they want to be addressed. Like the guy in the picture below. I wrote about him once [Beggar With A Swag]. The guy depended on alms for a living and still wore stylist suits.
I hope people can understand if they saw me wearing only boxers to work and I drop at Obalende bus stop that I might be the next William H.


  1. haha. Nice one. There was this beggar at Cele, he had both legs amputated but you find him every morning at his station wearing well ironed/pleated clothes. I truly admired him.

    p.s. unable to afford and being broke arent synonymous you know?