Okay.. So we Lagosians understand the hustle and bustle of trying to make ends meet, survive and even blow in this Lagos. Lagos has been termed the ‘hardest city to live in, in Africa”. And every bit of that statement is true. From the hassling bus stops, to the annoying traffic and traffic fights, to the accidents and random occurrences of people fainting, slumping and getting robbed on the expressway. Despite these we love our Lagos like that.

So long story short I’m a model. A “freelance model” as I’ll like to describe myself. Why? Because it is a tush word for unsigned, hustling model. Largely characterized by various casting calls and auditions around Lagos. In the space of a year, I’ve been to various nooks and crannies in Lagos from Ojodu to Satellite town, from Surulere to Lekki, you name it. All in the hopes of “blowing”.

Few’s Next Face was one of the most prestigious modelling competitions this year and almost every model (aspiring or signed) went for that audition, I was one of them. The audition meant a lot to me and seemed like a good opportunity for me to set my modelling career on the right track. So important that I even sacrificed my sister’s valedictory service to attend the audition. On this fateful day, the  29th of July I woke up early, prayed, wore my clothes and I already had my overnight bag which I was supposed to go with in case I make it to the next round. I’m a unilag student so I entered obalende bus from unilag junction. I was so nervous and unsettled. I decided to listen to music to calm myself down. I got carried away with the music and before I knew what was happening we had gotten to a place I couldn’t recognize. The conductor was shouting that we should all come down; he wasn’t going to Obalende under bridge. I was sitting at the last row on the far left so I had to wait for others to come down. I got down and collected my change from the conductor. At this point others had already walked forward. My earphones were still in my ear. The woman walking beside me had two children she backed one and the other one was walking beside her. I was asking her for directions to Federal Palace Hotel since the conductor refused to answer me, whilst trying to put my phone in my hand bag. Next thing an agbero walks steadily towards me and starts dragging my phone while trying to touch my breast. I was confused and also dragging my phone back. Before I knew what was happening the woman beside me escaped with her children and the others at the front ran away also.

I was literally screaming for help but no one answered me and no other bus stopped there, so that place was pretty empty. He eventually won in the tug of war and I fell down with force and scraped my elbows. My phone clattered to the ground and the screen shattered even more. Now my phone is like my life and I couldn’t see my baby go just like that. We digital age children understand the sheer significance of phones in our lives. This is in addition to the fact that I’m a broke ass and I couldn’t even afford to buy another phone at the time. (Not like I can now.. lol) I did the only thing that seemed rational at the point. I started crying and begging the man to give me back my phone. Did I really expect a thief to give me my back my phone?? Seriously? But I was too desperate and I felt I had to do something and not just let my phone go like that. But somehow it worked, he stopped for a minute and looked at me then I remembered the way in movies people say please don’t do this I’ll give you whatever you want. It seemed like a brilliant idea at the time till I remembered that I had only #2000 with me. Still I hoped that somehow he will agree to give me my phone for the money. So I told him to bring the phone I’ll give him money. I gave him the money and he climbed the bridge and escaped with my phone and money. I was literally devastated, I didn’t know what to do. At that moment about three buses stopped there so there was a crowd. I started crying hysterically and pointing to the bridge that the man was still there, someone should help me get my phone. Right then, two other agberos ran towards me and I told them the man running on the bridge stole my phone. They ran after him. I kept on crying. Two other men came towards me and told me to stop crying that God will provide another phone but I should forget about that one. I explained to them that I had no transport money to go to where I was going one of them gave me 500 and left. The other one stayed with me. Next thing we heard gunshots and two other agberos came to meet me that am I the girl that was robbed? I said yes they said I shouldn’t worry that their boys have gone to get my phone back. The police officer started walking towards us with his gun and we all raised our hands as a sign of peace. When we got close we explained the situation and the guy with me told me to wait at the police van for my phone that he’s going to work but if it’s an emergency I can collect the officer’s number and go for my audition. Then call him afterwards in case they bring back my phone. One mind told me to wait that there was still time and me being will show the officer that I’m serious about my phone. So I decided to wait and some other  officers were advising me and telling not to worry I will get another phone.

After about 30 minutes,  the first police officer came to meet me and told me to follow him. I followed him and I was praying that they have truly found my phone. The other police officers followed us to see what was happening. When we got there everyone gathered around and was looking at me. With my hair packed to the back and no earrings I looked like a baby and the police officer was telling the agberos that this is the kind of small children they go about robbing, that it’s because I’m small. In my mind I was like is that the point they should please bring the phone. Few minutes later, a tall bald man came towards the police officer and the officer told me to check the phone is it mine. I looked at the corpse of my poor phone and at that moment it was the most beautiful sight to me, because even though it was shattered and there was no battery it was still my phone. My baby was back!!! I thanked the agbero and the police officer profusely and the officers followed me to a keke man who they told to carry me to Federal Palace hotel without payment. Surprisingly the man agreed. I was weak and traumatized but overjoyed. I failed the audition. But anytime I think of that day I smile to myself and anyone I tell my story marvels at the fact that I got my stolen phone back. It shows that there is still good in some people and despite all the negative sides and chaos in this city. I still love my Lagos. 😁😁😁  This is my third mainland story, share yours…

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