How Our Society Tells The Victim How To React – Danfo Episode

I am trying hard to get my breathing back to normal as I type this. It’s a sunny Wednesday morning and I have the good fortune of free Lagos roads. Looking forward to a great day, I try to enjoy my bus ride. But this city brings up the craziest surprises.

Somewhere around Yaba, a man who is carrying 5-foot long U-shaped iron rods gets down from the back and takes a seat at the front row where I am at the left window seat. I watch him as he arranges them on the floor around our feet and ask him to be careful.

Impact of iron rods on shoes

The regular battles with conductor for change go on. Next thing like a flash, I feel the weight of said iron rods suddenly fall on my feet. They had lost their precarious balance and landed on me and the lady beside me. I bear the brunt of the curved parts where they fold. Is this how my toes will get crushed? I shout in pain and annoyance asking him why he wants to paralyse me, the lady also said she felt some pain.

He picks them up and says “E má binú.”

Then he gets angry (the nerve!) and tries to seek sympathy for what he perceived as the hurtful choice of my words. I start to see stars at this point. He must be joking. This guy wants to send me to orthopaedic hospital on this blessed morning and has the guts to take offence at how I object to this?

Other passengers (women) plus conductor join in saying E má binú (sorry). I tell them sorry is not going to cut hospital bills and they should call Mr Iron Rods to account instead. He could have conveyed these dangerous metals in a way that does not maim other passengers.

This manner of entitlement , is it a Nigerian thing or a male thing or worse, both? I scream at him and tell him he has no right to gauge the intensity of my pain or to nitpick at my reaction. It’s in a mixture of English and Yoruba.

Next I hear , “Sorry eyin olóyìnbó” a non-apology mixed with a common street insult reserved for educated people. i.e. you are speaking too much English. I was not expecting this as he (barring his antics) appeared educated. I do not stop telling him that he hurt me badly and is doubly wicked for trying to play the victim. He then goes on to say a barrage of fake’E ma binu’s other passengers and conductor help him to do same. Their sorry is doing nothing for the pain shooting across my toes.

I was calming down when suddenly the driver, who should have mandated the man to strap the iron bars on the hood or something and is therefore complicit in my injury said ,

“Oro eyin obinrin gan-an le” (You women are difficult).

I rounded up on him with the fury of ten lionesses.
“Don’t tell me nonsense! Face the person who did wrong. Will you people’s sorry pay my hospital bills? Because I’m a woman, I should smile until you kill me right? You think you’ve seen a fool who won’t fight for her rights ”

(Was the English too much?)

Frankly, we all couldn’t wait to reach my bus stop. Them to get rid of me, me to be free of this madness. They all continued to beg this man like he was the one who would be limping for a day.

This attitude of taking sides with the person who is obviously in the wrong have weighty consequences often costing limbs, lives and affect the victims in many other ways. This brand of injustice is worse when women connive with men when they should be defending those who have been wronged.

In trying to brand me as an over- reacting woman and him as someone who made a simple mistake and should be let off easily, they let me down. None of them sought to check for wounds or provide first aid. In times like this, I like to imagine how sorry he would have been if he had done this same thing to a soldier or a policeman. But I am reminded that brutality is not a great solution either.

I hope they all have a great day.

Meanwhile I have examined my metatarsals and they seem fine, none are broken thankfully. My foot will hurt for a bit, and I think the shoes will survive too.

Thank you all for your concern.


Lagos, Nigeria


16 thoughts on “How Our Society Tells The Victim How To React – Danfo Episode

  1. Sorry about your toes and shoes. We live in a society where the victim is expected to manage the pain because ‘it can’t be that painful’ or ‘others are feeling the same’ and this is not right as it does not help to address the cause of the pain and ’empowers’ the perpetrator(s). We need to do better as a people.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pele.
    This is one of the many annoying Lagos danfo stories. Sadly women are usually at the receiving end. If it were a man in your shoes it would most likely be a different scenario. It makes one to think its a gender thing or maybe people are just too unreasonable in Lagos.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful piece.

    Sorry about the blunt trauma by the way. It’s one of the many ways the country in collaboration with Lagosians want to hurt, maim or kill its citizens.

    Keep up the good work. And keep fighting for your rights and the rights of others.

    God bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. And it’s the same thing we face everywhere. The driver was obviously more concerned about the money he’ll make from the baggage and quite frankly, the passengers are the average Nigerian, who thinks women should respect men, irrespective of what they’ve done. Injustice is served everywhere. If tables where turned, the driver might stick to his narrative, he’s after the money afterall, but the passengers, who should defend the oppressed, will only pounce on you cause your female.
    We need to do better.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Nigerians are the suffering and smoking type. And so we find it hard to understand when somebody cannot bear a little suffering especially if the said suffering is being experienced by a woman at the hands of a man.

    For real though, imagine if the victim was a soldier, the story will be different.

    Its worse that women are an accomplice to this. They join in hushing their fellow women who attempt to cry out for help.

    Finally, people have different motives for acting the way they did. A great number of them want to get to their destination quickly, others just don’t want the noise and some others can’t bear the fact that a woman is talking to a man like that. The driver clearly wants to make his own money, he’d charge extra for the iron rods not minding the fact that your toes have been put on the line.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks ElChyko.

      It’s one thing to observe these incidents. It is another whole level experiencing them. All of these issues -tavit approval of impunity by men, putting profit before customer safety, women putting down other women, oppressors palying victim and currying sympathy and poor regard for human life are too rife. They need to stop.

      I shudder to think of which ward I would be in if I hadn’t chosen to wear rubber shoes today.


  6. WOW! Glad you weren’t injured. I usually ask people to put themselves in my stead and they go….you can guess…. God forbid.
    We have a long way to go: I hope someday, we are truly empathetic when we claim to be.

    Please use some balm on your feet 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Febi. The average Nigerian is a selfish being. When the Lagos-Ibadan Expreessway tanker fire occurred months ago near Michael Otedola Estate, people were more concerned in posting how they were saved, how God loves them more, than showing ocncern and rendering help to those who suffered such horror.

      It is this me-alone mentality that holds us back, keeping us with such dismal indices in all sectors.

      There is so much work

      I will dear. Thanks


  7. OMG! I’m so angry, I don’t even know how to react! The nerve! Are they trying to say a woman should calmly take anything that comes her way without complaints? I know a man would have been treated better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Faridah. It was unbelievable! You read about these incidents and don’t fully grasp the scale of this problem until I happens to you. He would have been more well behaved with a man.


  8. First, I am glad the metast… (What’s the spelling again?) Eyin Oloyinbo sha, abi is it eyin dokita! Lol. Thank God the possible maiming did not materialise.

    I have always said our public transport system is denigrating- hopefully them leaders will realise that a dignifying public transport system is ultimately good for the nation (state if you like)- for one, less people will ride privately owned cars which;

    1. Reduces Carbon Monoxide emissions into the atmosphere, and
    2. Does its own part to decongest the roads (Less traffic jam as a result). But what do I know!

    Don’t worry, you will buy your own car soon. Except the system improves, and it makes more sense to take public transport.

    I witnessed that fury once though; are you sure it is of ten lionesses? Looked to be more from where I stood! Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

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