Thursday, 8 September 2016



Script Title: Caption it yourself

Director: Edwin Oko Lamptey 

Location: Inside A "trotro" (Commercial bus)

Imagine yourself in a trotro. The main occupants are usually the driver and his conductor. You join the bus at a bus stop. The conductor employs a few "delay tactics" to get more occupants into his car. Note: It is rush hour and traffic is building up; very fast! It's past five minutes; the car is still at the bus stop. The driver makes knee-jerking movements, as if he is moving the car. 

The occupants start to complain. He calls out to his conductor who pretends not to hear him. Ten minutes in, a couple of passengers get off the bus and hurriedly join another car going towards their destination. The conductor does not want more passengers getting off so he quickly runs back and joins the car. He shuts the door and exchanges words with a few irate passengers. The driver intervenes and calm is restored. Immediately, the conductor starts collecting fares. Your fare is proportional to the distance you want to travel (even though it doesn't make so much sense sometimes judging by our pricing methods). A few passengers argue it out with the conductor. A well-dressed man pays his fare but the conductor informs him that he has to add some more to equal his destination. The man pleads; the conductor disagrees so a "Good Samaritan", saves the well-dressed man from embarrassment by paying the difference. 

A woman hands the conductor somewhat of a huge denomination. The conductor complains of not having enough change. He hands the woman her change; but not the exact change. The conductor needs to add the same amount he was asking from the well-dressed man to make the woman's change accurate but he struggles to get it. A few stops ahead, the woman gets off and does not take the rest of the change. The driver moves the car. 

A passenger seated at the back alerts the conductor that he would alight at the next bus stop. The conductor nods and pulls his head out of the car to prospect for more customers. The driver zooms past the proposed bus stop and stops the car at another bus stop way ahead. The passenger at the back is fuming because he has to walk backwards to reach his original stop point. He insults the driver and his conductor. The driver pleads and says he can only stop at designated bus stops so he had to do the right thing once he has missed the chance to stop at the desired bus stop. The conductor doesn't see what he has done wrong. A few seconds after the passenger at the back alights, the driver stops right in front of a "NO PARKING...NO STOPPING", sign post to pick another "customer". The other customers in the car accuse the driver and his conductor of being bias. The driver and his conductor "shut them up" by saying; they had to pick that customer because any of them could have been in that same situation when they were in a hurry. The whole bus is quiet. 

The driver makes another stop before the main lorry station (which is supposed to be the last stop) and says that is his last stop. Many passengers fume and accuse the driver and his conductor of deception. No matter how much they complain, the driver doesn't budge, he even turns off the ignition to tell them how serious he is. On the other hand, some passengers are happy because the driver has actually saved them some walking time because their destination is pretty much closer to their current stop than from the main lorry station. They gleefully thank the driver and get off without saying anything foul to either the driver or his conductor. You are one of these "happy bunch", you get off too and start walking towards your destination...

Now, let’s edit this script through the lens of REALITY....

Life has a way of offering all of us a "levelled playground" for success regardless of your family background, occupational status, educational background or financial standing i.e (the bus stop)

When the bus of success pulls over at the bus stop, most of us get on. The "hungry ones" (the people with the get-rich-quick mentality, those with ideas that need to be swiftly put into action and the like) cannot stand the long wait so they get off and join a faster bandwagon to success i.e (their destination). 

Life will still go on whether you are in a hurry or not.

Life demands from everyone exactly what it wants; you cannot shortchange life if you expect to get to your destination. No matter how much you put on appearances, life would always have a way of exposing pretence. There are days when the pocket is genuinely 'not good' but life and success don’t care. They will take from you exactly what you must give to reach your destination i.e (the fight over the fare)

In life, you are bound to meet many "Good Samaritans". The mistake we sometimes make is that, we confuse the role of our helpers and make them our sole source of financial and other forms of support. We should sometimes learn to be dependent on our own resources no matter how little they may be.

Life would always demand whatever it wants from you but there are times that what you give out would not reflect what you expect in return. Life can sometimes short-change your efforts i.e (the woman with the "big" currency denomination being short-changed by the conductor).

You need to constantly remind yourself of your future and how big (or small) you want it to be. Life won't offer you success on a golden platter if you ask for it just once. You need to constantly work on it and make people aware of it. If you don't do it, you would miss your destination and none other but yourself would have to pay for it; sometimes even after you put in your best and meet all the requirements.

Life can stop you at any point naturally and take something from you but you cannot stop life or even ask for a timeout to get ready for success. You need to make yourself relevant and strive to be significant i.e (the drop off and pick up scene).

Life can sometimes decide how far you can go. It would be entirely up to you to decide at that point what lessons you've learnt and what the way forward would be. Life might throw many shots at you. Always make sure that should life decide to "dump" you off at a point you didn't plan on getting off, you would get off at least with a smile on your face. 



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