“Danfo” is a word used in Lagos State, Nigeria for commercial buses. It carries approximately 14 – 18 passengers. The Danfo bus adds to the framing of the megacity with its vivid yellow colour and vigorous blare.
If you live in Lagos or have been to Lagos without having to experience a clash with any of its “Danfo” Conductors, can we truly say: you’ve seen Lagos? It’s like eating the white of an egg without knowing there’s the yolk.
As a regular Danfo hopper in Lagos state, I know the intense struggle passengers go through to collect their change from bus conductors. In most cases, it leads to verbal assaults. These guys have no business knowing who you are, they serve you the prickly heat of the moment.
Here are some points I have written out from my observation to handle a Lagos bus conductor. You must first understand that these Danfo conductors have seen it all. They encounter different kinds of people every day: the sane, good, bad, insane, ugly, beauty queens, clergies and even the I’ll-deal-with-you type (it could be raising hands in the midnight and calling on their creator to descend on them or visiting the ancient shrine of Okija with 10 virgin lizards).
Having said that, this is why you need to pull up with a tight scheme to convince these conductors into believing that regardless of their numerous encounters yours just fell, freshly from the sky that morning. Do you get?😒 😌
- Pocket your phonetics/bedroom voice: This had to be the first point because these conductors do not waste time to make a caricature of you once they notice your voice is bougie. Long story short, they would hardly take you seriously no matter how you scream for your change. Do not sound like a distraught chicken, the thicker and coarser your voice is, the faster your change gets into your hands. Believe me, these guys are always ready to play smart on anyone.
- Submit your Money Openly: This makes other passengers aware of the denomination you’ve given the bus conductor. Don’t squeeze your money into the conductors’ hand like when you try to hide your offering from the congregation when dropping your money in an offering box. This is a commercial vehicle, let your money be seen so that other passengers would know the amount you gave and bear witness in the case of denial. Most bus conductors if not all can be very crafty, crafty enough to deny the amount given to them while insisting you paid your exact bus fare and therefore have no need for change. If this should occur with no passenger to be your alibi, you might end up exhausting all the languages you’ve learnt in this life on the bald head of a street tout.
- Be Vigilant and Loud: Ask for your change at intervals, from the moment your money enters the conductor’s hand. He might want to relax your nerves by saying ‘don’t worry I go give you your change’. Bros this is when you should double your pestering unless you don’t need your balance, then you can do otherwise. In situations they claim not to have your change don’t be carried away still. They always never have change but still, give out change. Adjust your blazer, tighten your headscarf and shout: conductor where my change?
- Mass Collection: this helps a lot when you have a big denomination of money. You can collect money from other passengers having the exact fare, then use your money to cover for theirs. Doing so, you have your change with you without having to fight anyone. Do it politely so you don’t become a nuisance to other passengers because you want to avoid the conductor’s madness.
- Use the Discomfort to Your Advantage: You see this particular number should be carried out only by people whose faces can be mistaken for a brute. Although having a cruel look is the first on the list before boarding a ‘Danfo’. To tell beforehand you don’t tolerate street nuisance. Scowling alone won’t help for this particular tip because you and I know that it comes in different levels. If your scowl isn’t as forbidding as a high tension pole, please don’t consider this as an option. This is how it goes: when a conductor requests for your fare and you don’t have the strength to fight for change or worst case scenario forget it? Complain about the sitting arrangement being constricted and uncomfortable to bring out money from your bag/pocket. Plead with the bus conductor to buy you some time while maintaining a straight face to coerce the conductor to your demands until you alight. Perhaps when you get down and he still insists on not having change you both can employ your fists until your change falls from either the conductor’s pocket or an umpire’s.
Candid Advice: if You can’t carry out any of these points listed above, it’s best you have the exact fare before boarding a danfo bus. If you are not sure of the exact fare, always make sure you have enough money in low denominations(#50, #100).
Do you have anything you wish to add or share with us on your Danfo experience with Conductors? Please do in the comment section below.
Thanks for stopping by, I’ll see you when next I see you on the blog.
Hugs X Kisses.