rumuokoro-1

Over the grumbling of vehicle engines, honking, voices that drowned each other, I heard the thumps, amplified. I saw the source when I turned. A bus conductor was receiving heavy blows from a guy.

He was hanging on the door of the Danfo in the manner characteristic of bus conductors. He probably sold his seat, or maybe, didn’t even have one.

This other guy was standing by the bus, heaving him heavy blows on the chest.

“Come down na, come down na,” he told the conductor, his expression threatening in a militant way.

As the bus moved slowly in traffic, this guy followed it in backward paces, giving the conductor more blows on the chest.

Some other six guys were with him. He told them the conductor “capped careless.” They too joined in, delivering slaps one after the other.

The passengers were quiet, the driver too. The conductor could have bent in and shut the door, but he didn’t. He just stood there receiving the blows as they came, quiet as though he were watching the scene— a spectator like the rest of us.  I didn’t want him to bend in and shut the door. He didn’t.

This happened the day before yesterday at Rumuokoro, and I think he made a wise decision not to fight. It would have been foolish to. Besides, he was on a job. The bus was a job he couldn’t have abandoned, not even for a split second.

As I walked away from the scene, I kept thinking about this man, of all those like him in cities all over the world who though suffering, are resolute to make it. And whether or not they do at the end of the day, hope would have kept them running for many years.

*********

About the author:

portrait-sotonyeSotonye Dan is a liberal philosopher, writer and journalist. Living in Port-Harcourt, he is a lover of community.

Tags: , , ,

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

4 Responses to “Rumuokoro | by Sotonye Dan | An African Story” Subscribe

  1. Michael Inioluwa Oladele 2016/09/20 at 01:54 #

    Short and simple.

  2. Terrence 2016/09/20 at 13:07 #

    A beautiful realistic approach to contemporary scenarios

  3. Farida 2016/09/20 at 16:44 #

    Short and beautiful.

  4. Capt. Richard 2017/01/11 at 07:54 #

    This is artistry keep it up bro.

Leave a Reply

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Archives

Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing Wins the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize

yaa gyasi

Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing has been awarded the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize for the best debut novel. This […]

Memoirs of a Lagos Wedding Planner | Episode 1: The Almost Wedding | by Tolulope Popoola

memoirs lagos wedding planner popoola

My client and I had been planning this wedding for months. It was going to be a big affair, attended […]

Perfumes | by Mimi Adebayo | African Fiction

perfume

“I married my husband, Tolu, because he understood, to an extent, the sanctity of scents.”   *** THESE DAYS, I […]

Mama Junior | by Uzoamaka Doris Aniunoh | African Fiction

junior

“‘You see this front seat?’ she asked, pointing at the car. ‘That front seat belongs to my first son Junior. […]

Mama Hadiza’s Money | by Dare Dan | African Fiction

Screen Shot 2017-01-20 at 7.15.51 AM

SOONER OR LATER in life—at one’s very last breath perhaps—something welcomes one to the world again; its strangeness; its shock; […]

Happy Birthday Binyavanga! | Six Writers on Binyavanga as Friend, Mentor, and Teacher

bingayavanga by Msingi Sasis

Inspired by Lara Abiona’s beautiful birthday tribute to Binyavanga Wainaina here on Brittle Paper, we asked six writers—Linda Musita, Kiprop […]