Visible on the streets of the Metropolis since the early 1970s, the Molue forms a significant part of the Lagos zeitgeist, inspiring numerous Lagos-specific memes. The most obvious of which are the ‘bole ka ja’,'Agbero’ or ‘Area’ phenomena which the Molue conductor’s have skillfully invented; theirs is a distinct guttural language with unique mannerisms. For the conductor, life is a fast paced never ending hustle, starring straggling whining passengers, greedy cops, and brawl prone area boys. He can be seen perched precariously on the side of the bus, shouting destinations in a thickened sing-song accent, the distinctive Lagos ‘area’ brogue peppering his raucous monologue.
His brash, aggressive mien dares the city to take him on, as the yellow and black striped Molue races past, the wind of the traffic blowing across his face, gin augmented adrenaline coursing through his veins, every nerve, every muscle in sync with the vehicle’s up and down bump-along on the pothole scarred motorways, always ready to jump on or off in smooth running motion. In his arsenal, is his ruffian’s visage, loud intimidating bluster, and as a last resort, fists of fury. His carefree philosophies, steeped in local superstition and conspicuously depicted on Molue graffiti markings might provide some explanation for his contempt of the ever present danger to his life and limbs.
The Molue is known in some quarters as the ‘king of the road‘, though the ‘king” has lost its regal station and is becoming an endangered species on the roads of the Lagos Metropolis.