Shytown is another name for Shitta, similar to the same way people love to call Lagos Gidi. Truth be told, there is nothing remotely shy about Shitta, a rough suburb in the Lagos metropolis.
At its heart is Medube, the Skunk capital of Surulere, where all shyness goes to die.
On a very normal Shitta evening, the place is live with loud music from several stores contesting bragging rights for loudest speakers ever liveth.
There are lots of chairs for customers to sit while they nurse a bottle or two of the strong stuff. The mix of cigarette and skunk smoke hangs thick in the air.
Lately, another spirit has been known to hover over Shitta.
This one does not wear a cape or mask because well, that would be too mainstream but Shitta remains stuck with him just as Gotham is stuck with the batman.
His name is Uncle Taju.
Last year during election season, a politician trying to ‘wet the ground’ dropped about a million for the ever restless Shitta youth.
Considering how hard it is for people to work out a proper sharing formula, wahala started almost immediately.
Few bodies dropped never to rise, the fear was evenly distributed.
Enter the six-foot-plus Uncle Taju, a policeman with only one mission; restoring order. Many will add “by any means necessary.”
I remember once walking through Medube. Some guys were seated there lamenting over a previous raid. “Taju lo paa now” which translates to “Taju killed him.” *shudders*
Lives were lost but order was restored. Which begs the question, is uncle Taju Batman or Bane or both?
Considering his methods (which include) allegations of extortion and intimidation, many will say uncle Taju isn’t that much of a hero.
What is certain is that he has brought order and an uneasy calm to Shitta. He’s the new boogeyman, the type you scare your children and debtors with.
The urban legend of Uncle Taju has just begun.