This is a play narrating the ordeal of commuters in Lagos, Nigeria after a very stressful day.
It’s a single scene script.
A rickety bus.
Tajudeen- the bus driver
Wasiu- the conductor
Pastor- a commuter with good diction
Iya Ibeji- a commuter with typical Yoruba accent, pregnant, backing a child of 1 year and holding another one of 3 years old
Hawker-the hawker by the road
At the garage, Wasiu calling passengers into the bus.
Wasiu: Oshodi-Gbagada-Iyana Oworo-Ketu (He repeats over and over again, Pastor arrives to board the vehicle)
Pastor: Please I will alight at first Pedro.
Wasiu: Alight, a beg no put fire here o. If na drop you go drop, we go pass through First pedro, enter, enter (as Pastor boarded the vehicle, he continues to call passengers, after a while Iya Ibeji comes into the bus, with typical Yoruba accent, she climbs the )
Iya Ibeji: In Jesus name. Good afternoon Baba wa.
Pastor: You welcome Madam.
Iya Ibeji: Since when you don dey inside the bus
Pastor: I have been in the bus for just some few minutes.
Iya Ibeji: Me, I am going far gan ni, I would not want to spend the whole of the day here in the garage.
Pastor: Well, since we are two now, let’s hope other people would join us. (Wasiu’s voice in the background calling passengers, Tajudeen the bus driver comes, enters the vehicle slams the door by the driver’s seat)
Iya Ibeji: Na you dey drive this bus?
Tajudeen: (with a very thick baritone voice) Yes, na me be driver.
Iya Ibeji: Bros, I hope say we are safe. This is a whole family o. I am pregnant and I still have small children o. Do not throw my family into mourning, this time of the year o.
Tajudeen: Madam, nobody get double life. We pray to God that we should all enter the New Year safely.
Iya Ibeji: Correct.
Pastor: What will happen if we do not get passengers to fill up this bus, we have been here for 30 minutes and people are not trooping out to board your vehicle.
Tajudeen: I don tire for this country, people no dey leave their houses again o. Everybody sits at home, mo more visitation like before before. I will leave soon and carry passengers by the roadside.
Pastor: That is nice; just ensure that is done in limited time.
Tajuden: We will go soon.( He beckons at Wasiu, some meters away, Waisu comes) let’s go, we will carr let’s go, we will carry others by the roadside. (He attempts kicking the vehicle)
( Ta yun yun yun, ta yun-, ta yun-yun yun yun) Push the vehicle now; you can hear that it is not kicking. (Wasiu pulls the car while Tajudeen jump starts it, Wasiu joined the vehicle as it is kicked and they zoomed off, Wasiu continues to shout Oshodi-Gbagada-Ketu)
There is a slight traffic build up.
Pastor: Oh! My God, how do I get to the church in good time? The programme would soon commence.
Tajudeen: You don forget that this is Lagos, any small thing, traffic go dey. You are supposed to have put that in your agenda. Don’t complain o. Na this traffic we go all follow.
Iya Ibeji: You no be better person o! Na man of God you dey talk to like that?
Tajudeen: You dey craze.
Iya Ibaji: Na you dey craze, your mama for villiage, your brother for Lagos. See me, see trouble o! As the pastor talk to himself, na wahala, you come start. (Wasiu interrupts)
Wasiu: Madam, e don do. (She looks sharply at him)
Iya Ibeji: Wetin be your own, I talk to you? Your driver dey talk anyhow, you too come dey do the same thing. Be careful o! if not I go treat the fuck up of the two of you before I reach where I dey go.
Pastor: Madam, please leave them for they know not what they are doing.
Wasiu: Where my money? (they bring out money from their purses) Na change make una bring o, if not…
Iya Ibeji: If not, wetin go happen self? I ask you? Na 1,000 me I get o!
Wasiu: You never understand…
Iya Ibeji: Driver warn your guy, no be everybody he go dey shakara o.
Wasiu: Sakara say wetin? Na only 150 bus, you dey take, you bring 1,000.
Iya Ibeji: So because I want to buy something from you, I must still find change.
Wasiu: Na you sabi o, na to marry una.
Iya Ibeji: You will understand, if nobody tell you say you need manners. I go show you.
Wasiu: Woman, e don do. All these one, wey you dey shout, I no get your time.
Iya Ibeji: (looks out of the window, calls a hawker) Gala, gala, give me 2 (the guy just runs towards her)
Hawker: How many?
Iya Ibeji: You no dey hear word? I say make you give me 2.
Excerpt from a playlet From Mile 2.