We arrived at our hotel after midnight last night and 'woke' the restaurant staff to give us dinner. My new friends:
'Writer Peter' from Abuja and 'Journalist Abdul' from Kano joined me for a late late supper, all exhausted by the length of the journey and the 3 hour wait for all participants to arrive at Port Harcourt airport, Abdul promptly fell asleep at the table, and Sabrina went straight to sleep, after all, she'd started her journey from Germany.
We had already established what we have in common and whom our common friends are: some names (apart for Onyeka of course) that came up were ''Eljo', Carmen McCain, Felix Obi and Lola Shoneyin...the ALS and AWF.
Sabrina has SUCH an interesting story! She was here in the 80's and told us of the times when Lagos was so dangerous that if you went clubbing, you'd have to sleep in the club! Also her water journeys in the Delta! She's back! She's excited to join the book fair as one of the panelists and experience the AMAA awards with us.
Peter told me so many things that left my jaw on the ground...just one was that I shouldn't be surprised if I 'hear that he DIED'! Peter works for the same boss as my friend Ebere, and is super-intelligent. He has plans later to join the Nigerian Secret Service...ssshhh! Don't tell anyone!! He has so many talents...I can already imagine what he will achieve in his life.
Abdul is ALWAYS on his phone. But then, as a Journalist, who won't allow me to call myslef a writer even though I am twice published (newspaper and online magazine, but hell, published is published) he's probably doing some useful journalistic thing when hunched over his iphone/ipad or lappy. Abdul denies he's an academic, but I still think he thinks like one...analysing everything I say carefully, and asking deep questions. A sign of a true thinker!
Today I woke to an exciting email from Onyeka welcoming us and telling us about all the activities planned for today.
It feels a bit like I'm in the Tim Burton version of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, except Onyeka Nwelue is 'Willy Wonka' haha!
I'm here, I'm loving it, and I'm not going to to miss a thing!
I'd better go, breakfast is calling.
Here's the programme (which is subject to change), if you look carefully, you'll see my name where I'll moderate 2 sessions under 'Fame and Personal Entanglements' and 'Goldie'.
What am I MOST looking forward to? Meeting Denrele, the REALEST TV Personality in Nigeria!