A picture went round recently showing a screwdriver used in place of keys in the ignition of a commercial bus and it just had me laughing. The improvisation skills of danfo drivers are second to none. When you think nothing you’ll see in a bus would ever surprise you, they just seem to find a way of upping the ante intentionally or unintentionally.
Danfo buses serve one purpose in the life of every Lagosian. Getting you from point A to point B. if you want comfort while you commute, getting your own car is the obvious choice or better yet, use the array of other choices available: Car request service Uber, private car hire services, or even BRT are some of those that come to mind.
Here are some of the unusual things I have observed in danfo buses.
• Improvised extra seat:
There is this space between the driver and the passenger in the front of the bus and for extra profit, they put all sort of things in place of a car seat. I’ve seen drivers use a wooden stool, paint bucket, plastic or steel chairs in fact anything that can hold the weight of a human being. Surprisingly people don’t object to sitting on these unusual materials especially during rush hour. All that is on their mind is getting home.
• Improvised car key:
You’ll rarely see a danfo driver worry if his bus key gets missing. These Lagos drivers have perfected the art of starting a bus without its keys. Items like screw driver and small knives have been known to start danfo buses. The average danfo driver is also adept at hot wiring his bus.
• A piece of wood aka plank
7 out of ten times you would find a seat that is not well positioned or missing its cushion in a danfo bus. This doesn’t concern the driver one bit because they have a solution for it. What they do is find a flat piece of wood (plank) and put it in place of the seat. Damn the passenger and his or her comfort.
I’m sure a lot of people have witnessed this scenario in a danfo bus. It’s about 8 pm, people are gathered at a bus stop, a danfo saunters by, conductor calls passengers into the bus, passengers get in, bus starts moving, conductor announces its time for passengers to start paying, one passenger asks the conductor to put on the inside light of the bus so they can get to their cash, conductor brings out a torchlight, yes, a torchlight, puts it on and asks if every passenger can ‘see.’For easy access, the tourchlight(s) now has a permanent spot by getting tied to the roof of the bus. As ridiculous as this sounds, it happens.
• Improvised seat belt
Seat belts are a very important part of any vehicle and perhaps in recognition of this Danfo drivers have decided to always have them in their vehicles even though they may not be what you expect. Ropes, pieces of cloth and belts have been known to be used in place of seat belts.
What unusual thing have you noticed in a public vehicle? Let us know in the comment section below: