– Olanrewaju Ibitoye


Growing up as a kid in Mushin has being a worthwhile experience, although, embedded with mixed feelings which I feel needs to be shared for the world to see.


Mushin is a name which shakes the Lagos metropolis and has been tagged as a hub for breeding criminals in time past, but there is no society without it’s flaws and shortcomings. Because some people do not think the way you think does not make them criminals, delinquents or outlaws: it only makes them different.


Recently, about 59 people were killed and hundreds injured in Las Vegas in what has being described as the “deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.” Do we then tag everyone in Las Vegas as criminals? Absolutely NO! There are definitely the bad eggs in every society which the system needs to flush out.


Firstly, #SMARTNESS is a very strong trait of every Mushin person. I often tease my friends by saying, “if you are not smart in Mushin, you can never be smart anywhere.” For you to live in this part of the world, you have to be smart to face the different challenges you MUST encounter. Life itself has it’s own challenges which only the smart ones can overcome. Smartness does not mean you have to be skillful in combats, it simply means being able to do the right thing at the right time in other to avoid unforeseen circumstances.


Secondly, #AGGRESSION is another character trait which a Mushin breed must possess. Sigmund Freud once said “the tendency to aggression is an innate, independent, instinctual disposition in man…” There is this way an archetypal Mushin person attacks challenges or threats posed to him or her. Aggression in this sense is not the destructive one but the ability to bravely face life’s challenges. Murphy Ijemba, a popular On Air Personality (O.A.P) who was a staff of Brila once adviced his ardent listeners “…to face life as if it’s right in front of them and conquer their world.” Coincidentally, he is a product of Mushin.


Also, there is this #INDEPENDENT spirit in every Mushin person. You either belong somewhere or you belong nowhere: it’s either you are a trader, driver, businessman, doctor, lawyer, banker, engineer, student, teacher, motorcyclist popularly called “Okada-rider,” mechanic, vulcanizer, pastor, Imam, Traditionalist, street urchin or you belong nowhere.


Some of you might wonder why I included street urchins. Yes! They are part of the system, their is no point denying that. These guys have their own usefulness to the society. Some few years back, an inferno engulfed a building right behind my house and everyone was trying to rescue the occupants of the building and see how to quench the concomitant inferno in which if something drastic is not done, might lead to the destruction of lives and properties. As expected, I dialed the Lagos State emergency number to inform them about the fire and see what can be done to help ameliorate the situation but help was not forthcoming from the Fire Service which is just a 20 minute drive to the engulfed building.


To my greatest surprise, the so called “destructive elements” swung into action to break cages of satchet Water just to save the building from being ruined. They threw them at the building which at this time can not be approached and saved the day. You might say they did the unlawful by breaking cages but I put it to you, they saved lives and properties.


Marcus Aurelius once said, “poverty is the mother of crime.” I believe if these so called street urchins can be empowered, they will turn out to be useful beings to Mushin, Nigeria and the world at large.


Twitter: PrincelarryJ

Facebook: Ibitoye John Olanrewaju

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