Dear Lagos Market Women, “Why Always Angry?”

Photo credit: DANG 1 March 11, 2017 By Dang

On Thursday, a family friend in America asked me to buy her ‘Awin’ (Pictured). I realised I could only get it inside the Lagos Island market. It had been a while since I visited that side of Lagos but I it wasn’t a big deal, so off to the market I went

Crossing over from the Marina car park into the market, I was plunged straight into chaos. Car honks everywhere, buses squeezing their way out from a narrow road with thousands of people walking right in the middle of the road but the buses accelerated anyway, blaring their honks and shouting “commot for road now”

My personal experience started when I heard someone screaming behind me “Nkiru, Nkiru, come and buy skirt”. I thought to myself while smiling “do I look like Nkriu now?”. The same voice again, just as if he heard my thoughts “ Nkiru with the big breast na you I day call, come buy skirt now”. That cracked me up and almost made me hold my chest in defence. Instead I gave him disgusted look and went on my way

It took me a while but I finally found someone who sold this fruit. There were many other market women whose wears and goods were placed around her but the road was really tight so I stood between the fruit seller and the woman next to her who sold bra and pant

“Aunty please you dey block my view”. Said madam Bra and Pant seller

In my mind I thought “what view exactly?” But I smiled nicely and told her “I’m sorry madam but theres no where else to stand…”

She quickly fired back “ahn ahn, stand in front of the person way day sell something to you na”

“But madam I’m standing right here. This place is too tight” My smile was still in place

“If e too tight for you why you no go buy awin for shoprite?” she said bitterly

Ah. How did we get to shop rite just now? So I shifted a little to the right even though there really was no where to turn to. I told the awin seller to please hurry so I could leave

“Come and see how these rich people behave…” She addressed the general audience “I say move, she look me dey smile like say I dey craze. Na you day craze. stay for your side of market, I don talk too much?”

What was this woman’s problem? I don’t mind confrontations but I wasn’t about to pick an unnecessary fight with her. So I ignored her while I tried to fetch money out of my bag

She stood, came to stand beside me, legs spread wide, claiming her space and nudging me further to the right with her shoulder

This woman just blocked her own damn view! This way, any passerby would not see the bra and pant she littered on the tray. This made me erupt in laughter.I said, “Madam if person day pass wey wan buy bra and pant now how dem go see am? You don block yourself now”

She instinctively moved to the left, giving me the leg room she intended to deny me in the first place. I bursted into laughter again. As I walked away I could hear her screaming “Na your mama you day laugh. Na your Papa you day laugh. Can you imagine?…she don make me lose customer, why you no send your house boy….”

Her voice faded as I walked briskly away from that situation, still shaking my head in awe


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