Tony | Adeoye Shobakin

The silence before dawn, you could slice with a rusty razor. But when the first light breaks the boughs of dusk, the arena becomes a hub of buzzing bumble bees. That was how Tony described it. He took a look at the arena and decided then and there to pitch his tent.

Each day starts off slowly; the distant muezzin’s call to prayer, then muffled shuffles of feet travelling wherever. Tony mumbles along, hardly moved until the magic itself begins. As if by a vengeful virus, the arena is consumed. He finds it difficult to tell who starts it. Somebody somewhere yanks at collapsible steel doors. Whoever such persons are, they do it in a rush as if chased by a ghoulish killer squad. Then the bus arrives and its conductor bawls at the passengers, literally shoving them onto the bus and clearing out.

Some gyrating madness, Tony calls it. From then on it is a rush. And lots of crush. Crushing of feet, crushing of bones, sometimes crushing of lives too. These go on daily and Tony wonders why they still do it anyway.

He hates it when they gather in the morning, like runners congregating before a marathon, faces stern and in a hurry. He prefers when they come back to the bus stop in the evenings, which is when he goes out to them to beg for his daily bread.


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