A Danfo is a clumsy tailored commercial shuttle popularly identified by its yellow colour and black stripes. It is widely associated with Lagos, a cosmopolitan city and it ranges from four seaters to six seaters depending on the size of the bus.
A Danfo is usually marked by its incompleteness, if it has a side-mirror, it most likely has a broken windscreen; if it has a windscreen it most likely has no side mirror, front mirror or even, a missing chair replaced by a kitchen stool, or a dangling seat belt like the measuring tape on a tailor’s shoulder.
The Danfo was perhaps born out of the passage of old rickety ‘Molue’. Its structure takes its form from metal and has oftentimes been panel-beaten by its reckless users to retain its shape from constant bashing.
Like a cargo container with tires, a Danfo would accommodate all creations alike and unalike; the bold, the bad and the ugly, the screamers who would always find something to scream about, the sleepers who would sleep on other people’s shoulders causing discomfort and pity at the same time, the arguers who always have something to say about the government, the thieves who board buses to gain back their transport fare with some profit, the politicians who know other politicians but don’t have money for election, and most importantly the animals; goats, chicken, rams etc who also have their rights to uphold at the back end of the bus. A Danfo could therefore be likened to a dummy representation of Nigeria; crazy and clueless. Its language nothing short of eccentric and savage.
Searching for comfort in a Danfo, you should never miss the seat by the window. While this may bestow on you the comfort you desire, it could also be the most risky place to be when an accident occurs. So the question on your mind when you enter a danfo should be “Would I rather die from an accident or die of some odoriferous emission from my neighbours?” Whichever way, the risk is yours to take but then what is life in Lagos without risks… risk it mehn!!
The Danfo is a cocktail of joy and sadness, a happy tragedy or a tragi-comedy. Though it’s not always a party in a Danfo, it is never a dull moment.
I am a simple girl from the southern part of Nigeria. I write to experience life twice; in reality and in retrospect.