Blackbox Nigeria


Every Lagosian is a mathematician

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Safiu Kehinde

After the short holiday, Lagosians resume back to the hustle bustle of their beloved mega city. They resume to the quest to beat the traffic, throw punches and hurl abuses in order to take their chances. Lagos is such a city where you don’t just work with your hands and walk with your legs. You have to do both with your brain and sixth sense inclusive. As Africans, we might be renowned for inability to meet scheduled time in what we describe as African timing. But every Lagosian has developed this calculative habit that dictates their day-to-day activities.

First in the morning, you wake up as early as possible, calculating the time you spend to do your morning rituals as you can not afford to get trapped in Lagos’ morning traffic. The genius among these conditional mathematics do leave their homes as early as 5:30am – though it also depends on the distance between your home and workplace.

The 5:30am geniuses are those who live at areas such a Ikorodu and some remote areas in Ogun State. They often refer to their daily routine as bóojíojími (wake me once you’re awake). Office duties start 8am and wares arrive warehouse and stores by 7am. To avoid query from HR and prevent being shortchanged at the market, our dear mathematicians put their cognitive calculator into use.

Meanwhile, the alogrithms and pythagoras theorem do not end at the morning preparation. The calculation continues on their way to the bus-stop.

Firstly, they have to deal with the uneven manner at which pedestrians walk. Lagosians does not have a specific direction of movement. The walkway is usually a cluttered scenery to watch. As a Lagosian, you need to watch your steps to avoid trampling upon wobbly and hurrying feet ahead. You also have to deal with the pattern at which people walk. In some cases, you will need to maneuver past the sluggish ones while at some other point, you will need avoid barging and bruising shoulder with the impatient ones.

Secondly, Lagosians become highly calculative while crossing the road. Though there are scores of pedestrian bridges across Lagos, but good number of these inhabitants take to road rather than the bridge. You can take a Lagosian out of the hustle, but you can not take the hustle out of a Lagosian. With the teeming number of crazy drivers and insane riders, Lagos road is one of the busiest in Africa.

Despite the sheer display of insanity by the high-speed road users, these mathematicians still salvage their way out. They have developed a quick feet and eagle vision as they calculate the gap between vehicles on motion before crossing. The most fascinating scenario is when they faced with okada riders who fondly struggle with pedestrian when the main road becomes cluttered with automobiles. The riders barely apply brake. Rather they swerve their hands left and right to maneuver past the sensitive Lagosians who also try to avoid being hit by one of the most cursed professionals in the city.

Lastly, Lagos is indeed one of the rising economy in Africa. It is Nigeria’s commercial hub and the most recognized globally. However, the city, according to Forbes (2019), is the 4th worst city to live in. But if you no fit wise for Lagos, you no fit wise for anywhere.

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