Two weddings & a coupla gigs later...well, may be more than a couple, um...actually, I think I have lost count, what day is it? Where is my money....?
Its been a while since I last blogged, don’t be surprised. Lagos keeps you so occupied that there is little time for sober reflection and cerebral pontificating. When do you get the time to do any of that philosophical stuff when there is a wedding, an engagement party, a birthday party, a pre-wedding party, a bachelor’s eve, a beach party, a pool party or a ‘thank God we have oxygen to breathe’ party! Ah, and don’t forget that during the daytime you are worn out from scrumming your way through traffic and dodging manic Okada ( commercial transport motorcycles) to get from place to place. But what’s tiredness got to do with it? The show must go on, there are parties to attend! Something is always happening somewhere.This is Lagos, we love it!
By the way, just in case you forgot something at home while rushing out in the morning, don’t worry. Even if you forgot to wear clothes, by the time you go through what I call the MRS – Mobile Roadside Supermarkets- you can buy yourself not only a full attire with matching underwear, but also a shaver, a briefcase, books to go in it and a hairpiece in case you are bald. I hear that the MRS of the future may provide cosmetic surgery on the go. You’ll be able to get a tummy tuck between Third Mainland Bridge and the end of IBB Bridge (…ok, fine, I made that up,but you get ther idea). But Lagos shows you free enterprise at its best! From dawn to dusk and beyond, you can buy anything, at anytime if you know where to go - or nowadays you can even have it delivered. You just need to find a Mama kin sun (mother never sleeps). The West needs to learn from us, surely this is the land of freedom and liberty. In Lagos, anything is possible.
Talking about possibilities, is it possible that Lagosians never sleep? I don’t know how Lagosians do it, but they are at every gig till day break, at work early each day ( if not, they can conveniently blame it on traffic), in church on Sunday and mid-week service on Wednesday and in traffic the rest of the time. When does Lagos sleep? That’s simple, it doesn’t! When do Lagosians sleep: ah, Watson, that is the question. How about : never? Why would you want to sleep when you could be having an endless blast at parties where you don’t need to take your own bottle of wine and instead get drowned in champagne till you plead for water. I predict that soon MOET may become a swear word. Can you hear it? : “Get the MOET outta here!!!”
Lagos is a seductress. Like a vain courtesan, she demands your attention. She cannot be ignored. She bats her eyelids at you, lifts her skirt and entices you, pulling you in into her ethereal light promising pleasures never known...at a cost. You must shower her with expensive gifts and copious attention lest her deeper beauties remain hidden. It not rocket science though, that soon you will be broke and she will be done with you. Eko o gba gbere ( Lagos takes no nonsense). Nontheless, the truth is that no matter how travelled you may be and how serene and lush your suburb in Sussex or New Jersey may be, you know only too well that the god of enjoyment resides in Lagos. As a matter of fact s/he carries a green passport too. When you take your nose out of the air and bother to see the real essence of Lagos, it is lovable. It is the mirror of the diverse facets of humanity in modern times. Lagos is great fun despite concerns about security, perennial power cuts, roads with craters and ghost (stalled) trucks that suddenly appear in the centre of the road just when you are changing to gear six and whistling to Asa’s sultry serenading or Two-face’s localised internationalism. Lagos is a social candy store that never closes.
As I sign-off today, I should mention that one of the two weddings was that of my baby baby baby sister who while I was on some plane to somewhere or buried in some book in some bookstore decided to grow up, become a woman and even decide to get married. I remember clearly taking her to school and picking her up just yesterday and next thing you know she is someone’s wife! Well the wedding took three days: one day for the wedding engagement party i.e. traditional wedding ( about 500 hundred guests); the formal wedding and reception ( about a thousand guests) and the third day, the thanksgiving service and reception in Ibadan, Oyo State. It ended with a thousand fully inebriated guests dancing their way into the New Year. It took a few days for me to recover fully from all the ‘jollifications’. I must say that my sis was a such a beautiful bride. If you don’t believe me I have placed the evidence here. The second was my childhood friend, who eventually got hitched. Thank God he did, cause that’s where I met my first Nigerian fellow blogger: http://saymama.blogspot.com/
Finally, I really have to say something about Asa. She is Nigeria’s new voice and my my my is she good or what? She is like a cross between Sade, Amy Winehouse, Tracy Chapman, Erika Badu, Nora Jones and Nomvula, yet still original. She has this sultry, serenading yet awakening voice that commands and stirs things within your soul you didn’t know was there. Provided you have air-conditioning, she makes an afternoon drive from Victoria Island to Oregun and to Ikeja seem like a wonderful road trip. Yes, she has that magical quality. For example she sings in Yoruba and makes it sound romantic. Now that’s a feat! There is no doubt that this lady deserves a wider global audience and if she does and the world is fair, I see Grammies raining down upon her head like jacarandas. She is a must hear and her CD is a must own. See Funmi Iyanda's interview with her http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhguS-q8OY8. On that note, its Friday night and Lagos beckons. I will hop into my silver wagon and foray into the bowels of Lagos while listening to Asa. Who knows what I may find? Its Lagos, anything is possible.