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The Funny Thing About Lagos ‘Danfo’



A vibrant city, interesting people and delicious cuisine capture the essence of Nigeria’s heartbeat, Lagos. However, with these aesthetics comes the challenge of survival for many – a dance for the fittest alone. This is why many Lagosians wake up early at the break of dawn to either drive to work or catch a commercial bus popularly called danfo to their various destinations.

If you do the latter often, there are some unusual things you will spot in these buses that stand out as unusual., Africa’s No 1 hotel booking portal puts together some of the weird scenarios to spot the next time you see a Lagos Danfo.

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Extra front seat 

In desperation to make additional cash, the driver in collision with the bus conductor often squeeze in this hilarious contraption called ‘an extra seat’ at the front. This extra seat is either a white plastic chair or a kitchen stool and it can be extremely uncomfortable. The driver is not concerned whether you are well-seated or not as far as you pay the fare. Surprisingly, in a land where demand far exceeds supply, you are sure to find passengers scrambling for the seat.

Wires as ignition keys

Have you witnessed the moment when a danfo bus is filled out and the driver wants to start the car? At that very moment, instead of turning on the ignition with a key, he simply rubs two naked wires against each other and the bus starts. This happens a lot in Hollywood movies. But this is not Hollywood, it is the reality in some parts of Lagos.  belt1_resized-750x422

Empty Fire extinguisher 

It seems safety is not in the books of many commercial drivers. Like the dysfunctional seat belts which are only fixed satisfy law enforcement agency, it is the same for the fire extinguisher. The extinguisher is just there as a disguise or show. Often times than not if drivers have it in their buses, it is empty. They hardly ever think of what happens if a fire outbreak occurs.

Planks as seat  

The bus conductor will categorically tell you that if you are searching for comfort in a bus, you should buy your own car. Aside that, you should make do with the ones on the road. These buses come with nice sofas or seats but the driver willfully removes these sofas and replace them with wooden or plank seats. They will even add an extra one that makes the journey an unpleasant ride.

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