Eko Encounters: Tokumbo Limo

11 July, 2012

Circa 6.40pm, Lagos. In heavy traffic, towardsVictoria Island. There is a lot of traffic in Lagos due to the closure of 3rd Mainland Bridge for repairs.

We hear sirens, and I asked Nasiru, my driver, if the convoy is approaching from behind us. I asked him to make way for them, when he answered in the affirmative. A pickup with armed police pass us, followed by a black unregistered Range Rover limousine.

“Na tokumbo,” says Nasiru.

Tokumbo means used or second hand car. I asked him why he says that and he points out that it is because it has no license plate. I argue that I have seen some new cars with no license plates being escorted. He shrugged, clearly not convinced that the limo is not tokumbo.

He got his vindication – a few seconds later, the limo has stopped in the middle of the road, in traffic. A fault.

“Na tokumbo,” Nasiru repeats, smiling in a satisfied way.

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