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An Introduction to Lagos Molue Culture

The most popular and most affordable means of public transportation in the city of Lagos a few decades ago used to be the long yellow buses called “Molue”. This remained the most affordable means of transportation for millions in Lagos, Nigeria. Love by many because it’s very pocket friendly and goes long distances even though it moves quite as slow as a snail. The molue buses are has impacted the city – a culture and legacy that is evident in the nation’s pop-culture.

We also recommend our guide to the most non-touristy things to do in Lagos.

The name molue was coined from the English word “Maul” which Nigerians turned to “Molue” which simply means ‘Maul it”. The molue was tagged this name as a result of how it get hammered and panel beaten before it can be put together to work. It’s also tagged molue as a result of how passengers struggle with all their might to squeeze into the rickety vehicle in other to secure themselves a sit or a standing position to save money.

This old looking vehicle surprisingly manages to accommodate a maximum of about 44 seated passengers and about 25 standing passengers all in one journey, which results in the slow pace at which it moves.

The most interesting thing about these molue buses is that they’re made from only 2 auto manufacturing companies which are Mercedes Benz with their 911 model and Bedford. These buses are originally old trucks which goes through restructuring process by local artistic panel beaters into buses. Most passengers who board molue are usually knowledgeable in current affairs and will argue about matters and affairs till they arrive at their desired destinations or bus stops. The whole noise, laughter, arguments and the roaring of the motor engine from the bus is an experience which most passengers never fail to forget from riding Molue.

Riding in the molue can also be seen as a means of exploration on it’s own too because one gets to rush in with other impatient passengers who seem to always be in a hurry to wherever they’re headed, and once you’re lucky to secure yourself a seating or standing position within the bus the next phase of adventure is you facing the bus conductor’s rants about not having and clamoring for passengers to bring out their exact bus fair in other to avoid his wrath and insults.

These buses which used to be the King of Lagos roads has now gone into extinction as better means of transportation services has been provided. A few number of these can still be found in the ‘Oshodi’ and ‘Surulere’ parts of Lagos Nigeria.


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