Bayelsa - Day 4
For some people, yesterday was the tipping point.
Some tipped to the positive, others tipped to the negative.
For me, it was a bit of both.
I started my morning with the now habitual breakfast with one of Nigeria and Bayelsa's greatest, Dr Gabriel Okara. I just must repeat my bewonderment at how lucid, articulate and witty this 89 year old man is. I almost have a crush on him. Almost.
While his niece visited with him, I completed and posted yesterday's blog, which actually felt a bit like I was being rude, hunched over my phone like Abdul. I thank my parents forever for my up-bringing. At the time we always think our parents are nagging nd 'having a go at us' but it all plants itself somewhere deep in one's psyche, and bubbles up when and where appropriate.
Anyway, eventually we were told of the breakfast plan which, involved breakfasting at 'Tourism'. I had already had and paid for mine. I emphasise the 'paid for' because my trip ws supposed to be 'all expenses paid' so far I had paid for two meals, a breakfast and drinks.
On arrival at 'Tourism,' it seemed as if the whole world had had the same idea. There was a feverish energy in the hot air. Full of tables and chairs under canopies, and a buffet laden with all sorts of goodies.
We hustled ourselves a table...and scavenged some chairs, well the guys did, while I teetered in the soft grass on my Lady Gaga's. Yes, I did!
Uti's crew were well settled in and enjoying the morning, I had a feeling of deja vu at the rambunctiousness coming from their table, which was flanked by pretty girls in shorts and pretty boys in tight tees. The previous night at the hotel restaurant had been much the same.
With the echo of my sweetheart's words in my ear 'make sure you mingle,' 'don't go into yourself'...I forced myself to go over and say a bright 'hello' followed by 'good morning' followed by 'did you sleep well'. To which Uti answered 'Not really'. I laughed. He laughed. We laughed.
In trooped Zach Orji, Lancelot, Brian Opara, Osi, Ukeje and many many more...I even took a picture with Zach, who wasn't too thrilled with my left hand self-snapping skills!
Before we left, while huddled by my door we heard a voice, a beautiful singing voice. Andrew and I immediately rolled our eyes at yet another 'attention seeker' and Stephen, the ever vigilent star-spotter called out 'Tim!!!' So that was a little preview of what was to come.
By 8pm we arrived at the AMAAs venue and did a bit of the red carpet thing. As usual, I hung back, only to be hoodwinked into giving two interviews before I could get to the door. 'Who are you wearing???' Wtf! I wasn't prepared for that! Errmmmm...
After the usual boring protocols, and monotonous soliloquys, we started seeing some stars.
AY and Ama presented as hosts. Musical artists were 'Flavour' 'Waje'. Comedy from 'Funny Bone', G-Bone. Celebs in da hizzous were RMD, Zach Orji, Chioma Chukwuka, Osita Iheme and Chinedu Ikedieze,A.K.A Aki & Paw Paw, Uti Nwachukwu, Brian Opara, Alex, Kanayo O. Kanayo, Charles Novia, Charles Inojie, Clint the Drunk, Victor Osuagu Ibinabo Fiberesima (who moved around a lot)...and many many more.
As we left I passed Uti in the corridor, and he'd just finished presenting. 'Cute suit (me) thanks sis (him), big hug (us) . 'I tweeted (me)' *thumbs up* (him). Outside, 'Flavour' swept past us with a huge entourage...nearly knocked me down. Sigh.
Home, Udeme hotel never looked so good.
A sleep full of nightmares of being stranded in Bayelsa and my boo coming to rescue me. I guess I'm missing home.
But WHAT AN EXPERIENCE this week has been. A surreal one. I look forward to the next. Lessons learned Onyeka, thank you for the invitation. I enjoyed this, but let's do it better next time.
It's been swell!