These trucks, popularly called “Agbegilodo” (Agbégilódò) in south-western Nigeria, are one of the most common sights on Nigerian inter-state highway roads. The term ‘agbegilodo’ is a Yoruba word which means ‘one who fetches wood from the stream’. You cannot but know them if you are a frequent traveler on Nigeria’s highways.
For decades, these trucks have been used to explore the deepest and thickest forests of Nigeria, in search of large timber in order to meet the ever increasing demand for quality furniture products in the urban centers.
Most Agbegilodos appear rickety, with precariously fitted body parts, faded paint finishing, some having number plates while others don’t and some having just one head lamp while some others have none. The drivers of these trucks are normally rustic and rugged looking and muscular, most times shirtless and sweating while driving the trucks. As a result of the greed of the timber business owners, the trucks are often made to carry over-load on each trip, thereby leading to frequent breakdowns of the trucks on the highways.
On a recent trip along the Ijebu Ode – Ore Road, I counted tens of these trucks as my bus sped past them and I wondered how much of Nigeria’s forest has been depleted that very day from the lumbering of those logs tied to the carriage of each of the trucks. One of these trucks made me laugh uncontrollably. It was the ugliest and most rickety of all the Agbegilodos we saw on the journey; and as we approached the truck from behind, all the passengers in my bus had already started laughing and shaking their heads at the terrible sight of the truck with the over-load of logs mounted on its back, making it dawdle annoyingly yet amusingly along the roadside. As we laughed and sped past it, we looked back at the truck and a lettering printed on the edge of its hood (engine bonnet) caught our eyes;
It read: “Wey Your Own?” (where is yours?)
The cracks of laughter and giggles in the bus diminished immediately. Everyone had been struck and humbled by the reality of the sarcasm intended by the note. Then we started laughing again, realizing that whoever owned the truck already knew that people would likely mock his truck, and had prepared a response on the truck itself.
So, tell us what you think about Nigeria’s Agbegilodo trucks and what you call them in your own part of the country.
This article was written by Folarin Kolawole
Founder of Naijatreks, Nigerian-born Folarin Kolawole is a geologist, travel writer and researcher. When not at work, he travels the length and breadth of Nigeria, exploring, taking photos and writing about her numerous hidden tourist potentials. 'Naijatreks' is a product name registered under the Ntreks brand, which is also duly registered by Nigeria's Federal Corporate Affairs Commission. The contents on this blog are re-usable. However, it must be ensured that it is linked back to this blog, and correctly attributed to Naijatreks or the author. Please do not edit, rewrite or commercialize the original works on this blog without direct and written permission from the Founder (Folarin Kolawole). For inquiries and advert placement on the blog, kindly contact us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.