Sep 16, 2007

Math ... And The Lagos Survivor

A survivor in Lagos must understand simple, complex and "Naija" mathematics, and he must learn how to use them all to his advantage. If you disagree, how else would you explain these scenarios?

I
Rent for a standard shop in Lagos would cost anything from N10000 - N50000 per month and a would-be shopkeeper is required to pay 12-24 months in advance depending on the location. On the other hand, a used Volkswagen Beetle costs N25000 - N40000, is portable, and can carry your market to where the audience is ... and that's how I came across this mobile and portable Audio CD shop on wheels complete with an amplifier, a speaker, showglass and sales girls! Unfortunately, I couldn't take too many pictures before the "sales manager" became suspicious. Now that's a survivor ... to say the least, and he knows his Naija math and how to manipulate it to his advantage!



II
This picture was sent in by a friend ... a fellow freelance (cellphone) photographer. It brought back memories of those arithmetic questions in primary school. Questions like "If it costs N40 to carry 1 tire from point A to point B, how much will it cost to carry 4 tires from point A to point B?" Alas in Okada Arithmetic (a subset of Naija Math), the answer is neither N160 or N40. This young man in the picture below will pay something like N60 / N80 to convey those 4 tires. The price will also depend on his haggling power. Now look what he's gained. He gets his merchandise to his location faster and will have saved N100 - N120, money which will make a lot of sense in Iya Basira's buka where he'll have his lunch. Another survivor, another mathematician.



III
Typical rainy afternoon in Lagos. Mr Someone was very angry. Whenever it rains, the traffic in Lagos increases exponentially. He would use up a lot of time and fuel for his truck in transporting his cassava from his farm in Mowe to his house in Iyana Ipaja. He usually did two trips on an average day, but the rains and the unavoidable subsequent traffic jams would not allow for two trips. So what does he do? He decided to do some math. He would transport two truck loads of cassava in exactly the same time and using the same amount of resources it would take to transport one load. Well, I happened to be driving behind him in the rain, and I'm sure his truck did not share his thoughts. The bumpers were almost touching the road ... but again, Mr Someone was true to his words ... and took 2 loads of cassava to Lagos in one trip. After all, it's not his fault that there's traffic, is it?







If cars could talk ... I wonder what this one would say.

On this note, I'd like to announce my return to Blogsville. I'm sorry for the long absence, it was due to circumstances beyond my control (seriously). Thank you for staying tuned, and waiting for me. I return a survivor and I know my math. Have a nice week.

22 comments:

Nuggets of Gold said...

Unfortunately scenes like this pervade Nigeria / Lagos everyday. May God help us.

Anyway Welcome back!

Africanloft said...

Those folks are abusing the laxity in civil and traffic laws in Nigeria!

akin aworan said...

I can tell you this much: if the MoT guys saw the way how Niaja people yamma cars, they'd have a heart attack.
Nice shots. I was thinking of doing a photo journal of Niaja, then I realised it'll be a logisital and red-tape nightmare...

TRAE said...

great blogging, nice one, good job with the pictures. minimum age for a potential girlfriend is equal to half your age, plus seven. do the maths ;).

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

Ah ah, some of those pics na wa, oh.Is that Datsun carrying 6 full grown baskets? How are people behind supposed to see? No wonder there are so many accidents ...

If the cars could talk? If the bloody roads could talkI shudder to think!

onydchic said...

Ah, i had a picture i took (or tried to take) while on a bike in the middle of HORRIBLE traffic under drizzle in VI. There were so many okadas, no-one could move... it was crazy.
Yet, crazy as lagos is, i really dont see myself in any other state!

UnNaked Soul said...

LOL
Lagos is a mixture of fun + frustration... some kind of balance... LOL
nice one

My Heart said...

welcome back,Tayo.
i guess its all in a bid to survive, the naija man has to be sharp....and do wat he has to do irrespective of who is affected

Anonymous said...

Welcome back Tayo. Looking forward to reading more tales. Haven't you taken a bus with someone carrying chicken next to you? I am scared of birds(I can't stand their beaks though I love them cooked) and I find it quite annoying when u are already in the bus and u realise you are next to chickens or a mechanic or butcher! So, allow the man carrying his cassava.After all, man must whack....True talk

Writefreak said...

Ha..these pictures na real wa! been a while on your blog...the average NIgerian's survival instinct is really high but men, that of Lagos is hyper

Believer said...

Welcome back. Nice post

truth said...

Tayo (3ce). How many times did I assume I called you?lol. Just saying hello, It feels like forever since you last posted a story.
Take care

Tayo said...

@Nuggets of Gold, thanks a lot
@Africanloft, I don't think such laws exist
@Akin, MOT for where? Does that still exist?
@Trae, LOL!
@Solomonsydelle, Imagine!
@Onydchic, LOL

Tayo said...

@Unnaked, true talk. But I rarely see the fun part
@My Heart, thanks a lot. That'ss true, it's all about survival
@Anon, thanks a lot. I once had those experiences. sat in a bus full of dry pepper! Imagine all the sneezing
@Writefreak, LOL, yes o!
@Believer, thanks
@truth, thanks a lot.

Chika said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chika said...

happy independence day dear

Overwhelmed Naija Babe said...

God i have to be in naija this xmas to witness firsthand... lol

Mrs Somebody said...

Lagos is a typical 'no man's land'.I have seen this car at mile 12 market .
I can't even begin to count The number of times I've seen full grown assed men taking a dump on the streets in the full glare of watching eyes.It's just terrible!!!!!

Meanwhile you need to update this blog!!!

Obinwanne said...

I know what it takes to survive in Lagos, im a die hard Ikeja-Ogba-island Survivor, and i know why i say this....


welcome back

femme said...

the pictures say a lot especially about the need to survive. these people just need to catch a break.

Chika said...

Oga update o!!!!

ablackjamesbond said...

Great post Tayo. Great pictures too.