Ode La-Gos [spoken word] By ‘Lanre Bucknor

Everywhere was jammed with traffic, cars crawled along at a pace that made the drivers faces tight with frustration, Okadas tore through gaps that even the bravest hawkers hesitated to enter and petrol fumes from overheated engines thickened the air – Blackass, A. Igoni Barrett

Neon lights, dark nights
Devil’s fright and plane flights
Murky lagoons with flowing beaches
Open drains and smelly shanties

Ikoyi delights
Coating the coastlines
With Aurated affluence
Badia deprives
Furore of nothiness
Feels Like surviving in coal mines

Sea of people lines Ikorodu
Relative ease dots Èpé
History reeks all over Badagry
Triumph keeps its forte with surulere
Yaba enclaves the academic hub
Isale eko is the seat to the throne
Ikeja boasts of untold power
Lekkoyi is home to crisp luxury
Mushin houses organised chaos
Obalende suya smells of old power
scenes of abandoned presidential palace

A noticeable trace of hurriedness
Even in human mushiness
Mother said everyone can make it here
Brings forth influx from everywhere

Beach front
Witch throng
Abattoir lies in Agege
Federal presence will never leave Akete

Ikorodu Oga
badagry gbagle
Ikeja, lo l’Alausa
Isale eko gangan ni Lagos-island
Epe l’omo Alaro
IBILE make my city rock
over land and on the Atlantic
Like a kid deprived of yòyò meal
Only ibile child know what this mean

Awa o kin se omo Uganda
No doubt p’egba lo ni Kampala
Ati pe Ibadan lo ni ankara
But, Na we get the white attire
In doubt, ask adamu orisa

Mosalasi jimoh nbe ni isale eko
Cathedral wa ni marina
Lagos will never be no Man’s land
Ìbìle isn’t a just a word of mouth

Victoria sorely misses the island
Her secret lies with Queen and the drive
Banana is the shape of wealth on my land
Clean Money isn’t solely based on strive
Ain’t nothing like Lagos rejects
Eko will live on the atlantic

Lanre Bucknor was born, bred and buttered in Lagos, lives in Lagos and writes from Lagos. ‘Lanre knows that Lagos is and will never be a no man’s land.

For my city, the fourth largest economy and the capital of Africa.

Belated milestone wishes to my friend, brother and business partner, Owoyele ‘Lagos Charisma.