Onitsha is a city in Anambra State, Nigeria. It's a very loud city with a great deal of craziness.
Being streetwise is a compulsory feature that must be possessed by anyone that wants to survive in this city. I know this because I was born and brought up in Onitsha. It's one of those places in Nigeria where being a lady or gentleman wouldn't stop a person from exchanging blows or curse words in public. Let's just say that they read a different meaning to gentility.
One of the issues that raise eyebrows about this city is the level of ghetto life that goes on within the streets of Onitsha. Gang life is at its apex. Cultism is also the trend. Kids and ladies are not exempted from this type of lifestyle. A young lad of 17 can walk up to you and ask you to 'submit your phone'. Trust me, he is serious about every line of that statement. Of course, you can cower and submit if you want to leave there unscathed. You can also step up to the occasion and stand firm. One thing is for sure, it's going to end badly for either of the two.
I always wonder how I turn out to be the way I am despite being born and raised in such a place. There must be a divine seed planted in me by my maker.
Speaking from experience, as far as Onitsha is concerned, it's important to note that I've had more than my fair share of this ghetto drama
What I'm saying about Onitsha is one of those things that nobody would get a clear picture of all it entails until they step into Onitsha and have first-hand experience of the type of life that is lived there.
Just like that. Live it, feel it. Lol
I can still recall the experience I had 3 months ago when I travelled from Edo state to Onitsha. The journey itself was a smooth ride, but immediately I stepped down in Onitsha and boarded another bus, the usual Onitsha drama started. In this new bus, I was seated at the front, beside the driver and I had my Earpiece well fixed in my ears. I wasn't playing anything but it's just there because I didn't want to be conversational with anyone. Just then, a tattered looking man in his late 30s decided to pull a silly stunt on me.
He came close to the bus l was boarding with a very mean face and asked me to submit my bag (a backpack) to be searched. Lol. He wasn't in any uniform and I didn't care about the silly I.D that he was flying on my face. I just wasn't in the mood to entertain his sh*t but I couldn't keep cool for too long because I was feeling the stench from his buccal cavity.
In the usual Onitsha style, some other touts whom I suspected to be part of his crew starting creeping up to persuade me to settle (bribe) the man. I didn't budge, I just held onto my bag and pushed my phone to the left pocket of my Jean trouser, far from the window. I didn't talk back. I completely ignored the man and his shallow-minded crew. I was rather waiting for him to either touch me or my backpack or even the earpiece.
Thank goodness, the whole stuff ended peaceFULLY. None of us appeared on a national daily. It could have been worse because for some reasons, the gentleman in me didn't turn up for the party. And I was hungry 😂. Looking back at how the incident cooled off that day, I must say that there was a metaphysical attachment to it.
Irrespective of the whole stuff I narrated about Onitsha, I can't write off the fact that it's still a very rewarding commercial city.
The business side of Onitsha will be discussed in the next stand-alone part of this post.
Thanks For Not Missing Any Full-stop Or Comma