I’m on Toyin Street, Ikeja Lagos trying to locate a particular shop. I get down from my car because there’s traffic and I’m running out of time. I can’t locate the street so I stand at a junction to get directions from google maps.
I look up from my phone and I see three men walk intentionally towards me. One of them is unclad from waist up. The remaining two walk behind him, like bodyguards. The unclad man is now standing in front of me, I see now he’s holding a dumbbell of around 10kg.
As I look at the dumbbell and back at him, he smiles foolishly and begins to pump…slowly. What is happeninggggg??? I almost laugh but there are 3 men who have surrounded me, one of them working a dumbbell. “How va?” Dumbbell asks me. His smile looks like he’s about to bite.
I do not respond. I turn around, wondering if my driver is close by so he can save me from the situation. “Ahn ahn. You no wan answer ni? As I see you comot for car I say AH! Omooo ele! Na gym I dey o, but I no fit miss you…” dumbbell is talking to me, still pumping.
It’s time to call my driver. “Akeem, bring the car to where you dropped me off. Let’s go” I say to my driver as soon as he answers the phone. “Ahhhhhh. Your driver name is Akeem. My name is Akeem too o. Everybody know me for here as AK. But is Akeem”.
I still do not respond. I can see my car, my driver is driving towards me. Now one of the mute bodyguards speaks, “They’re talking to you, you’re doing gbonku gbonku. You don’t know who is this?” I look at dumbbell. I don’t care. He’s still working his arms. “Look up!” Commands the bodyguard. I look up. I don’t see anything. “Yinka Bamgbose. You see am?” Dumbbell is speaking for himself now as he points at a street sign directly above me, “Dah is my father name. So dee is awa street. My name is Akeem Bamgbose…”
Dumbell stretches out his sweaty palms. I ignore it. My car is here. “Wo. Psss… I never see you here before, anything you want for this area, eees me you look for. Ask for AK, mo cover è (Translation: I’ve got you)” My driver jumps down from the car and and does a mini jog towards me. He opens the car door and says, “Oya ma. Let’s go,” as he steps up to Dumbbell which made him instinctively step back. As I enter the car, Dumbbell reminds me, “Omo Ele, AK ni o, no forget. Anytin at all” My driver zooms off.
I realise I’ve been holding my breath.