Flashback Fridays: Founding Members of PMAN & President Shagari (1982)

On today's flashback post, we showcase the picture of founding members of Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria on a visit to the then President of Nigeria, Alhaji Shehu Shagari at the State House, Ribadu Road, Lagos. These were the rich crop of pioneer artistes who paved the way for different genre of Nigerian artistes today. Some are dead and some are still alive.

Standing from left to right: Unidentified artiste, Onyeka Onwenu, Christy Essien Igbokwe, Gboyega Adelaja, Sonny Okosuns, Bala Miller, King Sunny Ade, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Bobby Benson, Sir Victor Uwaifo, Kris Okotie, Commander Ebenezer Obey, Nelly Uchendu(?)
Squatting are Dan Maraya Jos, Nico Mbarga, Emma Dorgu and Tony Grey. 

lol...I know there are many readers who are unfamiliar with some of these people, especially those born in the nineties. But that does not say they can't be familiar with the likes of Onyeka Owenu, Ebenezer Obey, King Sunny Ade and Kris Okotie who's now the Pastor of Household of God church. 

1 Screamer(s):

The Chronicles X - Owambe 2

There was commotion from two tables nearby; one of the guests a well dressed middle aged lady had started making uneasy movements on her seat; she held onto her stomach and began to groan. The other guests at her table rallied round to help her as she fell off her chair almost lifeless onto the floor.

Four tables away, a fat pot-bellied man burst into a shaking fit and crashed to the ground jerking and foaming at the mouth. The young chick that accompanied him screamed as concerned fellow guests came round to inquire what was happening.

The young chick who had bent down to assist her man suddenly stiffened, clutched at her belly and started gasping before falling to the floor next to the man. She jerked about like a salted earthworm battling for survival.

Emma looked at his uneaten meal and dropped his fork hastily. He felt his stomach knot up turgidly in fear.

Tade also quickly pushed away his meal with trembling hands as the horrific realization also dawned on him.

Something was wrong with the food.

The hall that was once filled with music, cheer, celebration and laughter was suddenly turned into a chaotic din of groans, howls and loud cries.

Like a spreading plague across the hall, people began to stiffen, gasp and cascade off their seats in agony; some broke into convulsing fits and foamed at the mouth.  Many collapsed on their tables, eyes turning white, bodies jerking to the rhythm of impending death. Others got up from their seats and staggered about in dazed anguish.

 The MC had stopped talking and was in a confused state as he watched the horror unfolding before his eyes.  A loud squeal and electric static ensued from the loud speakers as the microphone he had been holding fell out of his hand in shock and clattered across the tiled floor.

The band stopped playing abruptly and its members struggled to rescue its lead vocalist, a renowned juju artiste, who had collapsed and gone into a convulsing fit. In the course of the performance, he had taken a drink to stay refreshed thus adding himself to the impending casualty.

The newly wedded couple had also stood up from their sofa horrified out of their wits; the bride was screaming and calling for help for no one in particular while the groom ran to and fro on the stage, unsure of what to do.

 Across the hall, individuals who had not eaten of the food were darting up and down trying to help the affected ones.

Tade did not waste time taking in all of the horrific scenario; his eyes went back to the stewards at the buffet table.

Is that all you want? Have more sir.

The words of the steward who had chided him at the buffet table echoed suspiciously through his head. The man had wanted to make sure he ate a good deal of the food.
And now in the midst of the ensuing chaos, they stood at the table doing nothing but watching. One of them even glanced at his wristwatch.

He spotted some of the guests who had either not eaten of the meal or were somewhat not affected, storming over to where the stewards stood by the buffet table, demanding to know what went wrong with the food.

Deep within, Tade felt a strong foreboding that they were making a very big mistake.
What happened next confirmed his thoughts.

With the same martial precision they had moved with earlier, the stewards all suddenly reached under the buffet table swiftly and brought out MP5 submachine guns.

There was a stampede as some of the protesting guests turned in a flash to run for their lives while others just began to apologize and make bumbling pleas.

The moment the stewards had reached under the tables, Tade had moved instinctively.
He stood up, grabbed Emma by the sleeve and yanked him along towards the exit….
….just as the stewards opened fire on the demanding guests and every other person in the hall.
Tade skidded in his tracks and went down, pulling Emma with him. They crouched behind a couple of huge speakers at one corner of the hall.

Continuous blasts of rapid fire gunshots rang through the hall; confetti of bullets went flying in different directions. Bloodied bodies crashed to the floor, screams and yells rent the air. The heavy stench of gun smoke overwhelmed the air-conditioned atmosphere.

Some people ran for the hall exit but were cut down by another group of gunmen shooting sporadically from another section of the hall.
They watched in horror as a gruesome mass execution took place before their eyes.

The bride and groom along with the bridal train were ultimate targets as gunmen faced them squarely scattering their glamorous façade with the inglorious chaos of bullets.  The groom died instantly as gunfire pummeled him in the chest and head and leaving gory exit wounds; the bride’s immaculate white gown was turned into a bloody mess.
Tade’s mind raced as the adrenaline of survival and military instincts which he had gathered from a brief stint in military school kicked in. Emma on the other hand crouched close to him whimpering and calling on the name of Jesus. Nothing in his long experience in crashing parties prepared him for this.

Tade noticed that some people were returning fire – probably security personnel of some of the guests or just some of the guest who happened to be strapped.  This was what kept the gunfire exchange going. A handful of security agents had positioned themselves near a number of surviving guests and were returning fire.

The hall exit was a few meters away from them.

‘Help me!…please…’ an agonized female voice cried out in their direction.
Some distance away on the floor was one of the two girls that had admired Emma earlier when they arrived. She was lying on the floor with a gunshot wound on her right thigh in between two other dead bodies – one was her friend, the other was a stylishly dressed young man.

She was crying and wincing in pain; her eyes locked pleadingly onto Tade’s as though if she looked away, she’d die.

He motioned her to lie down and try to stay still.

Tade surveyed the hall to locate the danger zones and the safe zones.
He saw one of the gunmen get up and move forward towards where they hid, weapon at the ready. He recognized him immediately – the steward who had chided him to eat the poisoned food.

The steward fired a few shots in their direction. Whizzing bullets ripped through a side of the speakers. Pieces of shredded plastic and bit of metal from the speaker hit Emma in the face; he yelped in fear and felt some warmth in his clothes as he peed on himself.
The gunman advanced forward, unclipping his empty bullet chamber and getting ready to attach a new one.

Tade seized the moment and picked up a small piece of rock that had been used to balance one of the speakers. He swung it in quick cyclic motion adding thrust and leverage to his aim.  The rock flew and hit the gunman on one side of the face causing him to lose balance and fall backward with a startled cry. The trip made him fire aimlessly into the ceiling.

 Tade swung into action. He snaked himself across the floor to where the hit gunman had fallen. The man was bleeding in the face and was struggling to get to his gun that had fallen away from his grip. But Tade got to the gun before him. The gunman was not to be deterred. He reached behind his back and drew out a small semi-automatic pistol but found his hand shattering to pieces as Tade squeezed the trigger of the MP5 emptying a volley of bullets into it.

The gunman screamed as the handgun was flung out of his shredded hand by the impact; he reeled on the floor holding onto his bloody mess of a hand.

Tade turned to face Emma.

‘You grab the girl lying on the floor and carry her while I cover us. ’

 ‘Whaat? We suppose save ourselves not…’

‘Shut up Emma! It’s your fault, your greed that we ended up in this warzone.  I knew there was something wrong about this place when we stepped in…and I was right!’

Emma kept quiet. He had reached a point where the jurisdiction of his party crashing knowledge could no longer operate. It was now up to Tade’s military school experience to save their asses.

He nodded sheepishly in defeat.

‘You ready? Let’s go!’

Tade moved quickly, his eyes jumped about the whole venue taking in every potential threat within sight. Gun ready, he walked away from the damaged speaker.

Emma came up behind him and on seeing that the exit was free, bolted off through the doors leaving Tade and the injured girl behind.

Tade cursed.

Emma was the kind of friend who could stab you in the back but come back to help nurse the wounds after being eaten raw by his conscience.  But being abandoned in a life or death situation was not something he was prepared to have his friend do to him.

He rushed to where the girl lay in her blood, picked her up and slung her over his left shoulder while he brandished the gun with his right hand, tucking its backend under his armpit. She was losing blood and was almost lifeless. Thank goodness she was not very heavy.

His eyes continued to pan his surroundings as gunfire continued to ensue around the auditorium.

He moved with his back against the wall and straffed towards the exit.

Gunfire came in his direction; a window beside him shattered to pieces, some its glass cut him in the face.

His right eye caught sight of the intruder and he raised the gun fired in the direction.
The machine gun jumped violently in his hand and he struggled to hold it down firmly. He had never used such a weapon before though he had an idea what one needed to do to handle it.

His aim was lousy but he succeeded in firing a circumference of bullets around his attacker which stalled him and bought him enough time to move out of the line of fire with the girl and out of the hall.

Once outside, he caught sight of the abandoned street. The violence had caused residents to go into hiding in their houses and traders about the area to close shop and take off. The area had momentarily become a ghost town with eyes peering from hidden places. The only visible live movements came from police and military vehicles parked in the distance at a point where the area had been cordoned off.

Tade dropped the gun and ran with the girl dangling over his shoulder.
Somehow he found strength to sprint as much as he could with the girl.
But it was short-lived.

He was just a few meters away from the barricade where the police and military personnel and vehicles stood before the strength ebbed out of him and he began to stagger in his stride with the girl he carried. He felt a sharp pain on his side, looked down and realized why he was losing strength.

There was a ghastly bullet wound just slightly below his rib cage.

Tade gasped and slowed down before eventually falling to his knees.
He managed to lay the girl on the ground before collapsing and allowing the darkness to 
overwhelm him…


The darkness receded gradually as Tade opened his eyes.

A pair of lovely eyes was peering at him in the midst of a hazy vision.
An angel? Was he in heaven?

‘Where am I?’ He asked no one in particular.

‘You’re awake! Thank God! You’re in a hospital. You’ve been unconscious for two days.’ It was a female voice that responded and he was immediately able to attach it to the eyes that were looking at him.

His vision cleared the more and he could make out the hospital room; he winced as he could still feel pain despite having undergone a few days of healing.

In one corner of the room, a television set was on and a heavy news report was ongoing about the terrorist attack on a celebrity wedding attended by prominent personalities.

‘The doctor said you lost more blood than me’, the female voice continued

He finally turned on the bed and saw her seated by his bedside. She was in a long frilly dress and held onto a walking support to aid her movement while her thigh healed.

She wasn’t wearing any make-up but she had a pair of eyes that looked like nature had made them up for her. Not even the recuperating situation could spoil her good looks.

‘Where’s Emma?’

She didn’t reply but just gave him a forlorn look.

‘Where is Emma?’ Tade asked again thinking she hadn’t heard him well the first time.

She sighed before she reluctantly answered, ‘he didn’t make it. ’

Tade continued looking at her expecting more than what she was saying.

‘They said he ran into the line of fire between gunmen and the military outside the hall. We were lucky. They had just finished off the terrorists outside the hall before you came out carrying me.’

Tade became breathless. Reality of the fact that Emma was no more and how close he was to getting killed suddenly began to choke him…all because they had gone a journey to infiltrate an Owambe.

Emma was dead. He lived by Owambes and died by an Owambe. He had betrayed Tade in a life or death situation but nevertheless had been a good friend in a lot of other ways.

Not even the fact that the girl he had saved was a senator’s daughter who would soon reward him and influence a great change in his life later on, could comfort Tade from the intense sorrow that  suddenly overwhelmed him.

He broke down and cried.



Thanks for reading! Now drop those comments!

3 Screamer(s):

What to do & Where to go this Easter?

For many Nigerians, the Easter period marks a time of reflection, rest and celebration with family and friends. In Lagos, there is always a sense of both calm and chaos; although the roads are no longer full of traffic, music and laughter can be heard all across the city. This year is no exception, and Jovago has created a mini-guide to the upcoming Easter weekend to make sure that you and your loved ones make the most of the time together!

To do:

Lagos Easter Water Regatta
For a fun and cultural afternoon, we’d highly recommend a look at the Lagos Water Regatta on Easter Sunday. The Regatta is a cultural festival of indigenous communities and is put together to showcase what the various coastal communities have to offer in terms of water sport and cultural beauty. The event usually has a 50,000 strong turnout on the day, and the beautiful waterfront of Lagos Island seems like the perfect place to kick back for the afternoon.

The Lagos Carnival
The Lagos Carnival is an enormously popular event every year and this year promises to be even bigger and better. Starting on Easter Monday at 10am, you can either walk with the bands from Awolowo Road, Ikoyi to Tafawa Balewa Square or go directly to the square. Let yourself be dazzled by the colourful costumes and music, and bust out your best dance moves with the rest of the crowd. It’s guaranteed to have a great party atmosphere that’s perfect to share with friends.

To eat:

Senses Restaurant - Cascade Resort
For those in search of a slice of luxury this Easter weekend, look no further than Senses Restaurant within the Cascade Resort in Lagos. Star chef Luís Batalha works meticulously with his first-class team to deliver impeccable dishes that are a feast for the eyes and the stomach! This spectacular restaurant would make the perfect family meal this Easter, but make your reservations as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Ocean Basket Seafood Restaurant
If you are looking for something a little different, then Ocean Basket is a great destination on Victoria Island for a taste of the sea with friends and family. The menu offers a large range of platters to share or individual dishes, and is highly praised for the freshness of their ingredients. Upstairs is usually a little bit quieter, so it’s the ideal location for an easy-going weekend lunch.

To stay:
Best Western The Island

The Best Western The Island Hotel is a beautiful oceanfront hotel located in Victoria Island, Lagos and ideal for both business and leisure travellers. The Hotel would be the perfect place to spend your Easter break with your family as it features suites, ocean view rooms, free parking, high speed internet and airport shuttle services.

Morning Side Suites

Morning Side Suites is a charming boutique hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos. With a nice restaurant, swimming pool, bar, a lounge and a fitness room, this hotel would be the perfect home away from home this Easter. 

These hotels and many more are available to book online at Jovago.com.ng - we wish you all a happy and peaceful Easter break.

About Jovago
Jovago.com is an online hotel booking service headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, and was founded by Africa Internet Holding in 2013. By listing travel destinations and providing hotel information online, Jovago facilitates the booking process for its users. Africa’s No.1 Booking Portal provides its customers with the best hotel booking experience and with fast, reliable and easy-to-use services. Jovago is run by a team of 50 and has the best curated hotels in Africa and around the world.

0 Screamer(s):

Randoms: The GEJ Dota Wedding, Celebs Silly Selfies, Blinging for Jesus, Protesting Gbagaun-ly, Afrocandy did what? and more...

Its been a while I did a set of randoms and so here goes....

Lets start with President Goodluck Jonathan's daughter's wedding.

By now we all know that it was a BIG affair what with the calibre of individuals in attendance as well as the nature of wedding gifts given to the couple and souvenirs shared at the event. 

I'm not sure of how many cars dem give the couple with all the different numbers wey tabloid talk - some said 80, some said 30 and others said 60. Whichever one it is, the fact remains that plenti cars where given out. That's an opportunity to start car sales business nah...I trust my Igbo brothers, that would have been their own step.

The news had always referred to the event as Jonathan's daughter's wedding. I still wonder why they dropped the 'adopted'
 because we all got to know that she was not a biological daughter. The first family seem to have adopted so many relatives with the likes of Madame Patience Jonathan's 'adopted' mother et al.

We've been seeing the photos of the wedding but Charles Novia gave us an insight of the event which many may not know:
Let me just give a slice of it; all these big men you guys see in power and out of it are all hustlers like you and me! The rush to enter the hall, ehn? Captains of industries and Government officials were in a flux and fight to enter the hall which was barricaded by stern security men at the International Conference Centre...There were rumpled and creased clothes on people after the scamble. A couple of ladies lost their headscarves and headties and gave us shocking glimpses of their ‘Abolo’ heads! Chai! The President’s Security detail at the venue were stern but professional. They didn’t give a hoot who you were. Orders are orders. Everyone who entered; those that mattered wanted to be seen by the President or First Lady and a small line of diffident favour-seekers or friends was formed but many could not pass through the security detail to just greet Mr President. 
Hahahaha! Its amazing how diginty is thrown into the winds when the attempt to do eye-service is threatened. I just wished someone had been vigilant to snap some photos of the rush palava. But it was not this part of Novia's account that got me thinking, it was this part:
Let me shock you guys a bit. The biggest critics of President Jonathan, the opposition parties or cliques, the rabble-rousers and all were mostly there at the wedding! I was shocked! Ehn! Politicians! That’s how they deceive you all by crying wolf and abusing the President yet they run to him to prostrate at night or in private!Those of you who follow blindly these people una go see! Be careful! I even saw Dele Momodu, who lambasts President Jonathan every week for the past four years on Thisday backpage on Saturday, taking pictures and going round shaking hands. He shook my hands too. Egbon! Look, in politics there are no permanent friends or enemies: just permanent interests!  
What does this tell us? That the whole of leadership in Nigeria is all a stage where different plays are being enacted on a daily basis. Every big person present at this wedding were just conspiracy game players who play their part to decieve and distort views for Nigerians. We all saw that when PDP bigwigs decamped to APC as if it would make any difference.

The couple got gifts of over 60 brand new cars as presents from what a close source told me. ‘Bastardly rich’ Nigerians fell over themselves to give presents. Chai! There was a group of orange-scarved women who caused a stampede in the hall after the wedding rushing for gifts and stuff! Wetin? People nor get shame? 

Who were those orange scarved women? Abuja runs girls? Because that behaviour no be the one of a rich Nigeria but that of a desperate hustler.

Nowadays, posting selfies is the in thing especially for celebrities who want to spark up some attention. It has been tested and proven - ask Maheeda, she has a testimony of perverted fans gathered via posting of nude photos. What probably remains for that one now is a sex tape.

So, Nollywood twins Chidinma and Chidiebere Aneke took a photo in shoprite (seriously I don't know what these two are famous for but since they were refered to as 'Nollywood's' I'll let that pass) I know the intention of the photo was to look good but man...how is wearing just an oversize dull-colored shirt good looking and you sporting a pose that looks as if you're fighting haemorrhoids good looking?

And some blogs have the nerve to call that 'sexy'! Even the little girl they took that photo with looks cuter than them. 

Ladies, you need to stop that pouted mouth pose....it makes you look like starving idiots - that is starving for the unmentionable.


Lord have mercy!

We now have eyebrow wigs? They call them lace-front eyebrows but I still like to call 'em eyebrow wigs.

This is making life too scary. Women now practically have artificial parts of every part of the body that's meant to be an attractive point! 

We got wigs for fake hair, fake nails, butt injections for fake ass and hips, plastic surgery for facial re-structuring, surgery for vagina re-structuring (or building for transgenders), estrogen for transgender breast, fake boob surgery....the list no dey end!

Now eyebrows don join chorus. you can even choose colors to match your hair. 

Sigh...I thought women preferred to draw the brows with eye pencil nah...soon the pubic hair go get im own wig.  

I tire...!

Men have suffered....fake women don full market.


Everywhere we look, we proof of Naija's collapse in provision of amenties and proper education.

Abi how do you explain this massive falling of hand?

See women who were making noise that Diezani Alison Madueke should be left alone over the private jet scandal. What's written on their placards?

'Live' instead of 'Leave'

And nobody could notice that this was very incorrect?

Were those a bunch of illiterates protesting? It makes me suspect they were hired to make that kind of protest. Its been done before by that corrupt former Bayelsa governor Depreiye Alamaiseigha. 


We all saw the numerous sleeping photos of our 'lucky' delegates at the National conference.

This is why they shouldn't have sent many old folk to the conference; they tire out too easily apart from the fact that many of them have nothing to offer except prejudices and a show of uneeded 'old school experience'. 

The conference has been a joke since the day it took off with delegates fighting over food, allowances to be paid to drivers, and basically stuff that has to do with their personal well-being rather than the nation's.

At one time a photo showed a delegate playing scrabble on his Laptop.

Again noise was raised over this photo but the delegate who was identified as Professor Oyewale Tomori.

The Professor took a smart step - he explained the photo - and it made sense; in fact it made those who accused him of wasting his time look stupid. 

According to Professor Tomori:
The truth is this activity was done during the lunch break between 2-4 pm. As soon as the Chairman calls the meeting to order, I switch off my computer. Is there any rule against spending my free time as I like? Moreover, is there anything wrong, if others engage in reading newspapers and talking with others during their free time, and I prefer engaging in activities, I consider more useful to my development, such as using scrabble to improve my word power and discover new words? Indeed, I often play against the best in the world, world champions, and I have been beaten many times. But in the process I learnt new words, their meanings and improve my written and spoken language.
"Journalists live and sell their papers through the sensation route, which often is the opposite to telling the truth or providing full details. If the person who posted the picture had said the activity took place during the lunch break, that would have been no news; but to create sensation, he or she was economical with details.
"I will certainly continue to play such other mind engaging games like Sudoku, Logic, etc, if only to make me a better thinker and presenter. Only thing, is I will do this at my own free time!  - news.naij.com
Smart man!

Okay...so we got his own explanation which was valid. Eermm...can the sleeping people tender in their own?

lol....for where, na yam?


Remember Prince Uzoegwu? Goldie's former stylist and the dude that circulated a bathroom photo showing us a part of his prick?

Yep....he's the one alright.

I didn't want to comment on his new hair-do but I couldn't resist.

Why does he look like a copy-cat version Prince (the american artiste) with cracked lips?

It makes him look like crack addict with a failed music career.


Anita Joseph also posted a selfie photo of herself without make-up.

I could only say two things when I saw this pix

1. Does she smoke that bad? Or its just natural black lips (if there's anything like that.)

2. Are those lace front eyebrows or eyebrow wigs on her face?

3. Brave of her to be real for once.


People are really surprised at the fact that Afrocandy is broke.
But then it can happen to anybody.

Her request for financial help has raked in a lot of responses on her twitter page. 
But people heartless sha...

Yeah, she may not be an admirable character (except for pervs and morally-deficient folk) but she's a human being. 

She vented her frustration on twitter. And it was at this point she made a revelation that she was religious person ( I doubt if its a Spirit-filled one sha) and even had a gospel track she had done.


Why does she have to have that similarity....with Maheeda??

Gospel track? Before going porn shey?


She calls herself D'bling (inspired by Dbanj?) and was a secular musician before God visited her and she became born again. She has now released a track titled 'I Bling for Jesus'.

Hmmm....okay oh. From all I've seen in the industry, artistes of this type get frustrated out of the system and turn back to secular music.
 "A lot has been going on. Last year, I was out of the scene because I had to take time off to know God and rediscover myself. Right now, I am back.I am looking unto my ministry. I cannot say I am a pastor, but I am a minister of God. I have gone for some Bible courses; and with time, I am going to have my own church. 
Church ke? Ahh...careful oh. How you wan do am? How you wan steal members from Pastor Chris Okotie's church? (At least that's the celebrity church run by a former artiste which artstes attend abi?)
Also, lately I am sort of a gospel artiste (Laughs). I’ve got a new single, I bling for Jesus, which is gaining waves on air. I’ve always been a God-fearing person and I have always been spiritual. But I just got entangled in the industry and was lost. That made me to start looking for the real me that people don’t get to see.
Hen...this is the exact kind of thing Maheeda said before she 'yimu' to salvation oh! But seriously...what kind of music be dis 'I bling for Jesus'? I'm kinda scared to hear music that makes yeye of my Lord and Saviour oh.

Hopefully, they will accept this new me. As I always say, I am still glamorous. Working for God does not make me somebody else; so, I am still myself. You know a lot of people make that mistake that once you start working for God; you try to be somebody else. No, God made you for you.No! It is not for the time being, but for forever. No more secular music forever by His grace"

It is well oh....Sister D'bling ( so awkward sounding sha!) I wish you the best. Afterall with God everything is posssible...just don't yoke shake ya bumbum' with praise worship sha.


3 Screamer(s):

The Chronicles X - Owambe 1

Tade sat down on the plastic party chair totally perplexed by the heavily bottomed woman who was swaying her hips in rhythm to the juju music being played by the band. The woman moved her body fluidly as though she had expertly trained for the choreography; her butt gyrated in perfect harmony to the vibrant sequence of talking-drum beats and percussions. Not even her rich and heavy traditional laced outfit of iro, buba, ipele, majestic gele and glittering display of jewelry could stall her movements.

Emma who sat beside Tade, slapped his arm.

‘Guy, na food you come chop or na nyansh you come watch?’

‘Eh? Me? Watch whaa?…haba, no nah.’

‘Then finish your Jollof rice and mineral make we vamoose before somebody come blow our cover.’

Tade got the message and faced the plate of steaming Jollof rice with two small pieces of meat that had been served him earlier by one of the serving girls.

Almost every weekend a party took place in the rowdy urban neighborhoods of Ebute Metta; networked streets would be blocked and barricaded from vehicle traffic, canopies erected, plastic chairs arranged in array.  Food, drinks and Juju or Fuji music would be served till late into early morning hours.  The parties could be for a funeral, wedding or just random youth or street clubs needing to throw one to stay relevant.

Tade and Emma always seized any opportunity to gate crash any of these parties (popularly referred to as ‘Owambes’ because of their vain, extravagant and flamboyant nature) in order to get fed from the surplus menus that flowed at these events.  All they had to do was dress well for any event and blend in with the surplus crowd that characterized these gatherings. They would be all smiles wishing relatives and friends of the celebrant well. 
They always sat under canopies for friends of the family to avoid any easy detection.

Emma finished his own meal and quickly handed the empty plate to a server who was clearing used plates and disposing wasted food. He watched out for anybody giving out souvenirs which are usually just cheap merchandise carrying an imprint of the event. The more expensive and better quality merchandise were usually reserved for people who wore the correct ‘aso ebi’ - the official dress code that would have been sold for the event at almost twice its original price.
Nobody seemed to be sharing any souvenirs at this particular event. Emma took note quickly.

‘Guy do quick and finish your food make we go elsewhere. These people no get anything pass food.’

Tade was struggling with a piece of tough goat meat that was beginning to cause his jaw to ache. Exasperated, he threw the half chewed chunk back in his plate and picked up a serviette to clean his oily hand.

Emma laughed.

‘Next time, make sure say you collect plate wey get ‘ponmo’ instead of goat meat.’
‘As if ‘ponmo’ no dey get him own wahala too,’ Tade scoffed dropping the used serviette into the plate.

They got up and walked through seated guests, smiling and greeting family members and friends they came across as though they were of any relevance.
Once outside the crowded venue, they hi-fived each other at a successful outing.

‘So, make we go home now.’ Tade said belching and poking his dental gaps with a toothpick.

‘Dey go. I still get one other party I wan jam.’

Tade gave him a worried look.

‘Another party? After two plates and three bottles you never belleful? Emma you no need this oh.’

Emma adjusted his well starched guinea buba and sokoto and checked to ensure there were no food stains from the last party. He then looked at his friend, unperturbed.

‘You dey come? Or you wan tanda there dey run your mouth?’

‘Na only drink I go take. I no fit eat again sha.’

‘Whareva…lets go.’

The targeted party was taking place in partially secluded location in the outskirts of the town in an expensively decorated hall.

Tade stopped in his tracks and looked at Emma in alarm.

‘Emma! Na when we begin enter hall? You know say na only street runs be our thing now!’

‘Guy, this one no be like any of those ones wey no get correct money for correct food. Sunnepa talk am say na ‘serve yourself’ dem wan do there.’

Sunnepa was their special informant on parties happening about town.  He had been crashing parties for years and knew how to blend in so well it was hard to detect he was a fake guest. He even went as far as acquiring the aso-ebi  of the day. Sunnepa knew any owambe gig happening anywhere within the whole Ebute Metta radius.

Outside the hall, a lovely banner had been erected bearing the picture of a young unsmiling couple.

It was a wedding reception.

The hall was large and air conditioned.  Expensive vehicles littered the car park surrounding the venue as well as outside along the perimeter of the hall. Guest with distinguished air that reeked of opulence and importance colorfully flocked the venue. There was even a red carpet location where people stood to express their wishes and reminisce about the times they had encountered with the couple before a number of reporters and cameramen. Flashes kept going off and on as photographers thronged well dressed guests to get a good snap at them.

Tade felt a weird sense of unease overwhelm him.

‘Emma, I no too feel comfortable for this place. Them fit catch us oh!’

Emma gave his friend a confident smile.

‘Guy, chill, just follow my lead. ’

They managed to get past the red carpet section and into the hall after Emma produced fake IVs as requested at the door.

Tade looked at his friend, Emma winked back at him.

The event required only guests by special invitation and Emma had it covered. Sunnepa had done his homework well.

The cool air inside the hall was a soothing and comforting contrast to the hot one outside. The hall had a stage area where a romantically decorated settee for the newlywed couple was positioned under a colorful arc among lovely decors. They walked past the exquisitely decorated tables staying clear of reserved seats and the ones that already had a guest or two seated. Eventually they found a totally empty table far back and sat down.

Throughout the razzmatazz of the event, Emma and Tade maintained pretentious air of arrogance like most of the guests. Emma was more convincing; his smoothness made him look like some wealthy arrogant yuppie. A couple of young ladies with celebrated mien even stole a look or two in his direction. Tade on the other hand looked a tad bit timid despite his good looking Atiku outfit which sat very well on his medium built frame.

Time progressed with the arrival of the couple and special guests of honor. A band played to usher them in amidst cheers. Tade noticed a number of celebrities in attendance. It was a high profile wedding.

Soon an announcement was made to guests to proceed to the buffet tables to serve themselves. Distinguished guests and celebrant family members were positioned closer to the serving tables and  as a result were opportune to get served before all other guests. 

Emma and Tade found themselves at the far end of a long queue.

‘Why you let us siddon for this side eh? See where we come dey!’ Tade retorted at Emma. It felt good to be on the ‘I told you this wasn’t worth it’ side for once. Emma ignored him and kept looking as important and arrogant as he could; everything to avoid looking like a desperate party crasher.

They soon took their turn to serve themselves.

Seven uniformed stewards stood behind the buffet tables in case anybody needed any assistance. Tade noticed that they were all men and they looked very stern. For a moment he felt a twinge of fear that one of them might see through him that he was a fake guest.
Two of them kept looking at their wrist watches. Tade wondered what they were impatient about.

Why on earth do they have only men waiting on the guests? Couldn’t they have gotten women too?

Emma had picked a plate and gone about picking his selection of meal. He was cautious not to overdo it so as not to raise suspicion. Tade followed closely behind and picked only a pair of chicken laps and a small helping of coleslaw.

‘Is that all you want? Have more sir.’ He heard one of the stewards say; he was a broad-chested fellow in white uniform jacket.

Tade felt uncomfortable and refused to heed the steward’s encouragement. Instead he reduced his helping of the coleslaw.  It seemed as though the man was leading him on into a trap to blow his cover.

Back at their seats, they both placed the food on the table and continued to watch the happenings around them. They were observing one of the key rules of crashing a party – never eat served food immediately; delay for a while to stall suspicion of your desperation to eat.

Tade’s eyes kept going to the stewards behind the buffet table; well built fellows with hardened looks.

There was something awkward and off about them. They seem to move with martial precision as though every move was calculated and rehearsed.

And some of them kept looking at their wristwatches.

By now the MC of the occasion, an obvious friend of the groom was telling a fabricated funny story on how the couple met. Emma noticed it was deliberate as the couple in question looked indifferent to each other.

Definitely an arranged marriage, he thought and picked up his fork to begin eating but was quickly halted by Tade.

‘What now?’ Emma grunted, irritably. He hated being interrupted when about to eat.

‘Don’t eat the food yet. I don’t like how those guys are looking at us.’ Tade spoke in hushed tone signaling with his eyes to one side to point to a certain direction.

Emma spun round systematically to comprehend what he was pointing out and found himself looking at the long table where the buffet stewards stood.

One of them – the one who had chided Tade to take more helpings - was looking towards their table and there was a slight scowl on his face.

Emma spun back to his meal as quickly as he had turned to view the problem. One of the unwritten rules of party crashing was to never make it obvious that you might have been spotted as an uninvited guest.   

He fingered his fork and dug it into his plate whilst taking cognizance of every movement at the buffet table.  He lifted a scoop of coconut rice but spilled it when a screaming female voice startled him.

Even Tade who had not made any attempt to touch his own meal had his vigilance of the buffet table briefly distracted.

to be continued....

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