Yesterday was Eyo Festival, I hear, and I would have missed seeing an eyo masquerade for the first time until someone tapped me and pointed to one. It has taken some three years of curiosity and expectation.
It is not that the eyo is special to me, but prior to moving to Lagos I had regarded it as the symbol of the Lagos culture, a representation of the Spirit of Lagos. I would not blame you if you are thinking that i meant the eyo being a “spirit” as all masquerades are believed to be, but you are alone in that thought.
I may have expected to see it standing as a statue, three of them at Tinubu Square, with glowing white clothes like the “Three Wise Men” that welcomes one to Lagos; but what I saw was not glamorous, not trendy, not spectacular. The rain had browned its white and it was less statue and more human, less spirit and more mortal. Besides, I found it near the railway of Mushin, Mushin of all places!
It is the same with our Lagos. We tell you ‘Eko oni ba je o’ and you get excited and attracted. You think we hawk jobs on trays and hang opportunities under every bridge, and so you dream and dream and flood our Lagos in your numbers.
That we have opportunities here is true, but if you come to Lagos, you may just need to be very patient before that dream you came with can materialize. You came to “make it”, that’s OK, but what do you think of us? Abi we be mumu? Or do you think we now drive the big cars and live in Lekki and only join danfo buses because we want to have the Lagos experience?
When that supposed success of yours come, you may just be disappointed.
The truth is, many come to lagos to make it, our arms are open and more people are welcome. While the wait is on, we will remind you to at least “make-eat” while waiting, hustle to put food on the table!!!
#if you can’t reach the sky, the roof is waiting
(by Effiong Samuel. Culled from EKOes, vol 2)