‘The Federal government has declared next week’s monday and tuesday as holidays to mark this year’s sallah celebration,’ announced the voice on radio and dancing broke forth in the canteen where I was having lunch. Suddenly weary spirits were lifted, faces animated and the once grudgy people became instantly nice. It was amazing.
As a personnel of corporate Nigeria, especially if you work in Lagos, finding rest for your weary body can be very hard to come by. Touted the city of hustlers, the state seems to be no respecter of any person. It acts as a cauldron melting our lives together and dishing the same harshness to it’s residents. So dancing broke out, when a short reprieve from the city’s harshness was announced.
Like any other large city in the world, Lagos has it’s own peculiarities. From traffic which is a frustrating nuisance, to over population, pollution and all other ills, Lagos is no different. Still, as Nigerians and as workers, our stand we have made here. Ready to confront all the challenges and battles the city springs on us. Most times however we lose badly; complaining of the unfairness of our situations, to all and sundry disregarding the fact that they even sometimes have sadder stories to tell.
Working here is harsh, people have to be awake as early as three in the morning, for those traveling from one end of the state to the other (I refuse to mention locations :p); in order to beat the morning traffic and be at work as early as seven. Most times it is at this time that these people get back to sleep. But this is no news to any Lagosian, it has become our way of life.
Getting home from work is an adventure a la super mario (nibi lo ma ku si). People leave work around five in the evening and get home later than eight o’clock spending at the very least an hour in traffic depending on how really close their offices are to their residence. Thus life in Lagos as a working class individual may often be frustrating and enervating, so the people cheered when the announcement was made.
The two days holiday comes as a welcome and timely gift to all those who are so tired they fall asleep as soon as they enter public transport. Who can scarcely complete the hourly broadcast of the evening news as all they remember are the highlights. Whose lives seems to have been pigeon holed into their jobs. This holiday is a wonderful gift.
And as the muslims celebrated salah worldwide, (yesterday sunday) I am seriously miffed at all my friends who decided to desert Lagos, traveling to other states and surburbs to celebrate the holidays with family and friends. Chiefly because, I was unable to get any meat on the day. At a time when people were eating so much meat and throwing away, I was left ruing the absences of all my friends. But my disappointment is a matter for another day.
As these two days (monday and tuesday) are work free and people get the much needed rest their bodies desire, we all should remember that it (the holidays, like life) is a gift. So let us treat be grateful for the days off. Rest. Relax. For come wednesday, the viciousness of honking cars, terribly traffic and important deadlines would arise from its ashes, and life in corporate Nigeria would go on…
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