It was hot
There were a lot of things Joel has become accustomed to since he left Jos for Lagos and the unrelenting heat was not one of them.
The rickety Volkswagen commercial bus he was in, was filled beyond its capacity with everyone from market women, to school children. It was rank with a pungent smell of sweat, raw food stuff and petrol. Joel was stuck between a pretty girl, who he would have tried to chat up, save for the odor that emanated from her armpits and a man who preached intermittently about God’s fire and fury.
He couldn’t wait for the bus to drop him off at his stop, which would have been a few minutes away but for the traffic.
As the vehicle galloped down the bumpy road for the umpteenth time, his mind drifted and he wondered what was taking fate so long to reward him for all his hard work.
Soon as the bus stopped at the Ojodu Berger motor park, he would begin yet another journey to Ibadan, in a bus in probably worse off condition that the current one, all to woo a potential business partner.
Joel was 28 years old born and bred in the city of Jos, his parents were Christian missionaries who had been killed in the 2001 riots.
Being an only child and a teenager at the time, he had to move in with his grandmother on her quaint farm in the Chaha hamlet, located on the outskirt of Vom.
It was just the both of them, she had put him through school with the proceeds from her crops, but taught him to till the ground and patiently wait for life to sprout.
When she died, she left him 5 plots of farming land, she had been a strawberry farmer at the point of her death and Joel had every intention of continuing her legacy as the best strawberry farmer in their location.
Her death had sparked something in him. It had created a need to leave an indelible mark on the world, just like she did in his. He knew this could only be achieved through tenacity and patience, the sort one must cultivate while waiting for life to spring forth from the earth.
There were days when got anxious, days when it seemed like the payoff for all the time and energy poured into his grandmother’s farm was forever and a day away. On such days he reminds himself that nothing good comes easy. Hard work in the way of achieving ones dreams is to be expected.
He finally arrived at his stop.
He got down from the black and yellow danfo and enjoyed the luxury of fresh air for a few minutes.
He stretched a bit and hopped into a white interstate bus to begin his journey to Ibadan. He was the last to board the car. This time he sat on the adjustable chair which looked like it could collapse any minute.
The bus driver hopped in and started the car, it made all sorts of sounds that would make any sane driver leave the vehicle at the mechanic’s for at least a year.
Joel said a quick prayer and prepared for what was to be a bumpy ride.
Credit: Tobi Akhanamoya
Tobi Akhanamoya is your typical millennial. She loves selfies, has an occasional penchant for punctuating with cuss words and wants to “change the world”.
She works as a corporate communications officer at MTN Nigeria by day and by night? Well….you’ll find her asleep on her comfy bed and fluffy pillow after a long hard day of stirring up controversy.
Instagram : @Osione_Akhanamoya