Lagos is a scary place and no one should tell you different. Actually, no one tells you different. Not the books like Toni Kan’s Night of the Creaking Bed and Ayo Sogunro‘s The Wonderful Life of Senator Boniface and other Sorry Tales. And not the 1990s comedy Lagos Na Wa. Writers of these fare are realists perhaps. But the message has been passed across so many times that any artist presenting Lagos as a sunny, happy place would be subverting an entire genre.
Yet despite the abundant efforts of our artists, the city keeps attracting aspirant and dreamy characters. Lagos may inspire fear in the minds of our artists but their characters believe the juice is worth the squeeze.
Daniel Emeke Oriahi’s Taxi Driver (Oko Ashewo) is the latest inclusion to the inexhaustible Lagos-is-Dangerous corpus.
He sets his new film at night, doubling the menace, tripling the inevitability of terror. Night, as any film lover knows, is when the monsters come out. Only, in Lagos these monsters are human, and every bit as desperate to survive as their victims. The myth sold on the streets is that all parts are needed for Lagos to thrive. Clearly, no one who has lost their phone, car or innocence agrees. Still the myth prevails. ‘Lagos needs people like me for balance,’ a malevolent character tells Taxi Driver’s hero.
Our hero is Adigun. With his shaky grasp of English and lovelorn puppy ...