Detainment in Abeokuta.

Hm, I think I’ll spend the night here.

There’s a pile of stones on the ground. I sit down and relax, staring into the night sky and generally just contemplating life.

This reminds me of Cape Verde. Nights I spent on the island of Sal out in the open and staring into the sky. Either at the beach or in the desert. No human being around for miles and miles. Just me. Chilling.

Sal is so cool though. So much free space. There’s not that much rainfall and so vegetation is very sparse. This makes available a very large expanse of open desert land that you’re pretty free to just roam about. It’s not like anyone has the time to patrol the wide open desert.

There is a hotel right next door. I went in to ask about their prices. Prices seemed fair, but just did not make much financial sense given the amount currently available in my bank account. It was just a night. By the next morning I would have very little left available in the account. So I thought, why not spend the night out here, chilling under the stars? Like I used to do on the island of Sal?

I’m here, reminiscing about my fresh experience with Abeokuta nightlife (Abeokuta is a city in Southwestern Nigeria), comparing and contrasting it with my nightlife experience in Berlin, Germany.

The most striking difference so far is that people in Abeokuta (possibly in Nigeria generally) are not nearly as nice. I asked to have a little of a stimulant someone was having at an event in Berlin and he forgot it with me. I had to look around for him to return it. I tried to do the same thing in Abeokuta and I almost got punched in the face.

Nigerians are generally very suspicious people. And this learned suspicion probably makes sense because people for some reason are more likely to be secretly malevolent here. I think the issue is fundamentally a socio-economic one. It’s much more difficult to be nice to people if you feel like a lot of things you desire are missing from your life.

My thoughts are suddenly interrupted by a voice:

Hey! Kilonshe nibeyen!

Hey you! What are you doing there?

It takes me a few seconds to exit the headspace I’m currently in, and pay proper attention to the dark indiscernible figure in front of me.

Mo ni kilonshe nibeyen!

I said what are you doing there?!

Er, I’m like just sitting here. Like just sitting here. The plan is to spend the night. Is there a problem?

The figure does not respond to my words.

Osama! Osama!

He is calling out to someone.

Okay now I feel weird. Who the fuck is Osama?

Osama! Osama! Mo ti mu ikan ni arin won o!

Osama! I have caught one of them!

I am wondering what is happening.

A figure emerges from the darkness beyond. I think he is holding a gun. He does not look like he intends to use it, so my perturbation is still considerably containable. This figure who apparently is named after a once FBI most wanted terrorist walks towards me. He walks with a limp that makes his dark ominous figure seem even more menacing.

I am still trying to understand what is going on.

I try sending some words across the space between us.

Hello Good Evening Sir.

Nigerians like it when you use “Sir”.

I didn’t feel particularly comfortable paying the rates at the hotel next-door so I decided to spend the night out here in this open space, is that alright?

I think I also say an equivalent of this in Yoruba. In case this is a language barrier issue.

Words emerge from the Osama figure.

Ahhh mo mo gbogbo yin! Ikan ninu yin ni o wa ji tire trailer ti o wa ni ibi nijosi! Awon oga wa so pe awa vigilante gbudo san owo tyre yen lati inu salary wa! Ah ti e ba e leni!!

Ahhh I know all of you! One of you came here to steal the tyre of that trailer a few nights ago! Our employer has demanded that we pay for new tyres from our salaries! Ahh you’re so dead!! You are so deaddd!!!

 I try sending some more words, explaining that I had nothing to do with the mentioned stolen tyre. That I am just visiting Abeokuta.

But something has to be wrong with my voice. I don’t think these people are able to hear anything I’m saying. It’s like I’m talking- my lips are moving and sounds are coming out of my mouth, but all of these sounds are falling to the ground before they reach the figures in front of me.

They draw closer. Osama seems to be adjusting his grip on his gun.

I keep sending out words. They do not seem to be having any effect.

I think I’m in trouble. I think I’m in serious trouble.

This post is one in a Series. A list of all of the posts in this Series can be accessed here.

Image Credits: Shutterstock

I Should Not Have Smoked: A Viscous Midnight on THC.

I am not at ease.

It is about 12:30 AM.

I am perambulating the darkness-enshrouded streets of Victoria Island, Lagos Nigeria.

I am not at ease.

There is THC in my system. I feel particularly vulnerable.

:: It felt like the ingestion had for that space in time, dispossessed me of my cognitive shell- the protective exterior forged by training and thinking and identity-moulding experience, and that in that period in time I was a naked inchoate mind- exposed and soft and malleable- being bullied about by the intimidating darkness and the midnight island air.

I am not at ease.

I should not have smoked.

I am not at ease.

I should not have smoked.

I am moving about, not precisely sure in what direction I am headed, trusting that intuition and its sibling unconscious sense of navigation have things under control- although my conscious mind is far from feeling convinced.

I hear the voices of my parents in my head. I find myself walking through feeling-beams made of words- their words. Like discontinuous ropes of constituent raindrops in my path, each beam making sure to smite me in its own unique way.

There was the person who something horrific happened to, while they were out at night in Lagos.


That smites me somewhere in my face.

There was the old man who got lost in Lagos, in search of his child who preceded him in being misplaced.


That smites me somewhere else along my physical frame.

There is a scalding verbal downpour today.

No public transport tricycle has passed by for a considerable amount of time. 

Jesus, great. One proactive thought. One proactive thought. One thought that in contrast to an indulgent revelling in haplessness, actually endeavours to commence searching for a path towards a means of direly necessitated extrication from this foundationally perturbing situation.

I’ll need more of those. I’ll need more of those proactive thoughts, I’ll need more of those.

I have training. I have experience. The task before me should not at all be a problem. It just feels like the direction-designating, directive-effectuating resource that is my mind, is running on Vaseline. Everything is just so, slooowww.

And I feel detached from it.

I feel like I am a separate entity- disparate from this facility that is my mind, and experiencing my personal consciousness from the perspective of a passenger.

I’m attempting to prod the driver: Hey! Hey! I need to get somewhere! It’s late! And I’m here on the road!

But the intravening pathway feels blocked. The conduit through which the urgency borne of my disconcertion should be communicated, feels clogged. 

My agency-driver is on THC.

Ah, I shouldn’t have smoked.

I find myself going in and out of a number of restaurants. I am not sure what is happening. I am saying something to the attendants. They are responding. Apparently I am making sense. I find myself browsing through menus, glimpsing different options and their accompanying price tags.

Mayowa, what are you doing here? It is 12:30 AM! Is this what you are supposed to be doing right now?

I keep perambulating.

Next I’m engaging in disagreements with a number of security guards.

These people are so hostile, all of these people are so hostile. Nobody even appears interested in taking time to calmly exchange words. Not even the security guards, not even them who should be the guardians of the night.

My parents had chilled me appropriately with richly-gruesome stories before I left their house for Lagos earlier that evening.

In the midst of my unsettlement I find myself walking towards a building. For refuge apparently.

::There was a glowing emblem illuminating the muzzle of a formidably composed guard dog.

I find myself drifting towards this building. The gates appear so strong and confidence-inspiring.

Ah. Let me relax here for a while. I should be safe here. I don’t think anyone will come to enact any adversarial intent on my own existence, at least not while I’m here.

I stop to take a look at the building.

In my marijuana-induced- haze, I gape in awe at the intimidating imposingness of this building.

Jesus Christ! This building is so big! And tall! Yeh!!

At the top of the building, I make out a name. In bold glowing red.


AHHHHHHH. Jesus Christ!! MIke Adenuga!!! Yeehhhh!! You were the one who built this thing??!! Yeeehhhhhh!!!! 

Look at how huge this building is!!! Yeehhhhh!!!

I have definitely seen bigger buildings before, but the THC in my system appeared to have temporarily undone a learnt imperviousness to the sheer magnitude of such buildings.

Yeeeehhhhh!!! Mike Adenugaaa!!!! Yeeeehhhhhh!!!!

Now I see why people speak of you with regard in this country. Yeehhhh!!!! Look at this big building!!!!

Jessuuss Chrisstt!!!!!!!!!! Mike Adenuga oooooo!!!!!!!!!!



I should not have smoked.



A Viscous Midnight on THC.