It is 2.15am pacific and I just drove in from LAX after returning to CA from the biggest 'Owanbe' to grace NC in all the nearly 9 years that I had been there. As someone put it, parties/weddings like this only occur once in 4 years in North Carolina so you can imagine how high we were on the 'faaji & miliki'. Anyways I wish I could stay up and give you the full report but I have to try to catch some 3 and a half hours of sleep so I can be at work at 7am. But I shall be back with the report and my pictures by Monday night so keep watching this space. Meanwhile, I am sure there are enough Kodak Galleries being created today so please feel free to post your photo links (or commentary) in the comment section. Have good start to the week. Later.
Here's the first set of pictures courtesy of Singto and Oyinkan
Here's My Gallery... I didn't take a lot.
WEDDING REPORT UPDATE
For those of you who were doing shakara and waiting for invitation to come before you showed up...lets' just say you missed. HA HA HA!!! As you have heard by now and seen from all the pictures, this weekend was more than just bananas in NC. It was PLANTAINS. MEEEEENNNNN....BONE!!! Ya'll must be wondering whether NC is this bush to be hype about one party. Yes oh believe. NC is the boondocks when it comes to Nigerian festivities but we are finally on the MAP. Yes O we have finally arrived oh. So ATL and MD ya'll berra watch out, we are climbing the social ladder with a vengeance. Anyways let me too come and give you my full blow by blow coverage from the perspective of a guest. Bring out your guguru and epa because no amount of popcorn can help you enjoy this gist. Let's first breeze through the boring part (for ya'll at least)So I landed on Thursday morning at the ungodly hour of 6.30am. Ndidi came and picked me up from the airport. I was so excited to be back in NC and to see my girl. We analyzed our baffs and I can tell you that I started having my aso-ebi complex right there and then, especially when Ndidi told me she was going in trad not English wear . DAMN. This is just earth shattering. Ndidi agreeing to wear traditional without me begging and convincing her. I think I left my girl with these darned Nigerians for far too long. They are turning her into another creature. My outfit as you can see was still lace sha so it's all good. Anyways we went to the salon and then to the tailor to go pick up her outfit. After that we branched into SRI to see if there was any last minute shopping. No need. I came prepared. Went home had dinner. Ndidi made her special Lasagna. The girl can cook o. Ok.. fast forward to Friday evening. Singto lands and meets us at the mall where I am trying out those skinny jeans once again. I am trying to convince myself that I need a pair but I am just not feeling them at all. We go to my cousin's house to see my new nephew. My cousin had just come back from the engagement ceremony. After she finished giving us her own version of the engagement ceremony we were like 'hmh... this one go be helele'. We left and went to Ndidi's to go get ready for the Denim and White singles bash. Desmina would meet us there. We were all excited to be together once again.
So around 10.30pm we headed out to Cary where the singles bash was being held. It was supposed to start at 8pm but trust now. I actually wanted to get there at 8pm considering I came 'from far'. I needed to maximize my time. Lol. Folks started trickling in in their denim and white and all manners of 'abortion belts'...dunno how many future generations were choked. Anyways the party started shortly after. Omo, i didn't know we NC peeps sabi how to 'ROCK' sha. The place was packed and rowdy. After a little gallivanting and butterflying, you know looking cute for the pictures and all and saying hi to a number of people , I jejely found a clean spot on the fire place to take of my high heels and do my own dancing. I brought flip flops but I forgot them in the car. Anyways Ndidi, Des, Singto and I were just having a blast. I was even moon walking to Michael Jackson. Let's not even mention how wild it was when Shina Peters came on. Honestly I was not paying attention to anybody at the party, I was just in my own world dancing the night away. So was every body else. It was too crunk. I also met my twin, Audrey. Love her already. She takes off her shoes too when she dances. Imagine I leave NC and what do they do, they find a copy of Adaure, down to even the name. Left for me I would have stayed a bit longer just to get up to no good and be mischievous by being razz and looking for trouble. By that I mean harassing men folk...easy target. Unfortunately we had to go home and sleep so that we can have power for the next day... the D-DAY.
The Wedding Day
So on Saturday we woke up. Ndidi being the perfect hostess made us pancake and eggs and was just serving us. The girl is just wifey-material and I am sure we shall soon dash her away. After that we went to pick up some pins to tie the gele and pick up my pancake powder from the MAC counter. I sha used style to tell the girl to organized my face abeg. Considering the fact that I was not going to be wearing trad I just had to 'make-up', no pun intended, in other areas and enhance my beauty biko. The wedding was scheduled for 1.30pm but Singto was still washing her hair at 1pm. They said pastor already gave warning so the bride and groom guaranteed would be on time. We managed to leave the house soon after and on the drive I engaged everyone in a very interesting conversation that I shall not get into. I sat in between Ndidi and a friend of her's who came from out of town. I bet he must have been like this girl can talk sha. We got to the church and true true sha, like say na magic, it seemed as if every thing started with little delay because we got there at 2.30pm and one of the other preachers was already delivering the message. Damn it... I always miss the wedding solemnization. As we walked into the church, meeennn, the array of red and brown geles and aso-okes was quite intimidating. I was not sure whether I was at United Methodist in Cary or Arch Bishop Vining in Ikeja. But me and Singto were holding it down for the 'white-people-wey-their-papa-black' aka Americanas. I was just scoping out the get ups. I am not a fan of brown but the bridesmaids dresses were tres fab and the girls looked gorgeous in them and so did the bride. Then the suit that the groomsmen were wearing made us go 'hmh... that sure as heck ain't no David's Bridal suit'. Turns out it was from a pricey specialty store (we don't have Zara in NC, so it is specialty o). Speaking of the groomsmen, my homie Mo-ho was representing well and looking bunz as usual. Big G too represented at the traditional engagement with the groom and his boys as they 'dobaled' for the elders
I mean people, I am not about flamboyance and flashy flashy stuff but men I will make exceptions for weddings anysay anytime. GO ALL OUT IF YOU CAN AND WANT TO....it happens only once in a lifetime. Enjoy it and make it memorable while you are at it. That was my disclaimer. Bros and Sis, if I tell you that I have been to a party like this in this America before, I would be lying. Even in Nigeria sef, I can't recall which party it was that I attended that was blazing like this. The last thing of the sort to grace NC happened in 2003 at the Durham Millennium Hotel when some dude was throwing a party to celebrate his acquisition of a Phd (till today I swear I don't know from which school or which degree the man received, but we still went to celebrate it sha). That one was just because there were a lot of people with Mercedes Benzes. Even that medical doctor guy that appeared in Ovation, that has that massive house in Charlotte is yet to throw a party like this. Once in a while it is good to indulge oneself o, but I don't know if anyone in NC should attempt to top this one. Let's just go back to birthday parties at Chuckee Cheese and Maggianos and naming ceremonies in balconies men. Just let's marinate on this one for the next 4 years. So as we landed the Hilton, there was no parking at all. We had to go and park in some open field because all the spots were taken. Word was that there were supposed to be 800 guests. I was like where will 800 people come from, when it is not Nigeria. Omo after a while seats ran out because there were 800 people if not more there. On my table alone, there were different people taking turns at some of the chairs. The place was packed and there was soooo much grub. The menu included, Fried fish, Asaro, Puff-puff, Shish-Kebob, Ewa Agoyin, Fried rice Jollof Rice, 'designer stew' (I wanted to ask which designer, if it was Louis Vuitton or Calvin Klein but they say all that means is 'assorted' meat). I was on the look out for Iyan but by the time I went through my goat meat from the designer stew that I collected from Dare and Des's plates I was full. I couldn't even go for a second round because I was too full.
Do you recall my wedding trip of the summer in New Jersey. That wedding to was hot and in a class of its own. Everybody was rocking BCBG and other manners of designers. That was fitting of the crowd because that was an original Aje-butter wedding and all of us too that were attending were on the aje-butter level, with the exception of myself. I just happen to be able to infiltrate. But men this one was on the other extreme because BCBG would not feel welcomed at all. It would mean Biko Come Begin Go because of the aso-oke oppression and depression. No joke, this was a serious Ijebu wedding all the way...no fronting neccessary and I mean that as flattery. If you couldn't go to Isale Eko to get the lace, it was brought to you LIVE and accompanied with a juju band. The assortment of styles and geles floored me completely. Let's not even talk about the bridal aso-okes and stuff. Ahn Ahn....Where the hell did they bring that from. May be it is because I am igbo and I am not used to seeing that kind of aso-oke and lace. I mean when it comes to George , Abada and Akwete I can yarn, but aso-oke and lace is on a whole 'nother level. As we were eating we were scoping out the get-ups, these two girls had this red outfit that were made from ankara. It was very very nice and they wore it very well. They got my vote for best outfit. Ndidi and another lady had the same lace and of course we took a picture of them together. I was just taking notes of the ladies in the cream and brown lace, ya'll will soon see me rocking the knock-off version. Too dope. Let me not even start about the professionally tied geles that were just every where courtesy of Mr. Segun of the Bride's" Escort. I have heard of this guy in the past and seen his website before but I didn't know he had MAD talent until I saw for my eyes. I mean I can tie gele but this dude is the King of Gele and me I am the house girl. I mean Lagbaja should have had him in his Sketele Skontolo video because that song was made for him. I am not one to promote added expenses to wedding budget but BABES if you can you need to employ this dude to tie your gele for your wedding day. It is well worth it. The gele can do a million things for your outfit and wedding pictures. Just check this spread out.
MUSIC and DANCE
I have to admit that I am an undercover yoruba girl because I was actually rocking to juju music like no man's business. The last real Owambe that I had been to was in like 1989 or so at the one year anniversary of my landlord's death. My landlord was Igbo so you can imagine the surprise when Shina Peters and his band came to our house. We were tripping like mad (We were actually expecting Osondu Owendi because they are from the same area). We watched him play from the balcony while all the 'agbalagbas' were dancing. We too we were dancing on the balcony and trying to hide from our parents by turning off all the lights. Anyways the MC at the reception meant business when he started at exactly 5.25pm. It is like he knew what was in store. The live juju band came from Maryland as I am told and they really brought the house down. I didn't even get to see the first dance or cutting of the cake because there was just too much 'Owambeing' going on. From calling one family or group to the dance floor. Then come and seee spraying. I have never seen so many one-one dollar bills in trash bags. Even the common guests sef that were not a part of the wedding or any group were being sprayed like it was going out of style. I swear I made enough to pay for one of my excess luggage to Nigeria. Oyinkan too made so much money. Random guests at the Hilton were gazing from the door to see what all the festivity and commotion was about. Then we danced and dance and danced till we could dance no more. There was one Chinese man that was just really digging it and keying it down. All manners of Konko below, Komole, and all the ko-ko's you can think about. It was really serious. Some times I think I was born to the wrong tribe because I just cannot see an Igbo wedding being like this one. The only option we have is to bring Bright Chimezie and Oliver De' Coque out of retirement or find a knock off highlife band to play renditions of Rex Lawson and Joe Nez if at all (Ndi men we have to discuss this one with Aunty Amaks o...we have to represent for the Eastside). Kai...oh God.. this means I may need to seriously consider weighing the options based on what kind of wedding I'll end up with. The matter is perplexing. Hmh.... we'll have to get back to that on another date. But back to the dancing, once again I took off my shoes and tied my pashmina around my waist, I was not going to be out done by the mamas o. Speaking of taking off shoes and Chinese men, the only freebie that was missing were chinese slippers. You know, the mesh ones with sequins because I am sure some people's feet were hurting from all the gbedu gbedu dancing. As in what wedding freebies/favors did we not get. Coasters, cup, plate, plastic bowls, fan, gift bag with the couples picture so you can carry the stuff, name it... even SALT. WOW...that's deep. Taking it straight to the root men. It was just too authentically Nigerian. And yes we did take two containers of salt. As in enough ideas and that's just the stuff that I saw. We had to wait till the end because Ndidi's friend was playing the saxophone that accompanied the band. Singto was very tired and jejely found a chair, wrapped herself up and slept. She must have slept for a good 2 hours. The party was finally over at like 2am but by the time we got to the car it was knocking 3am. We were so freaking tired. And we were expected to go to church for the Thanksgiving service. Omo I just don't know how we made it to church, and on time too. But we were there and ready for praise and worship.
Church service was the bomb as usual, everybody should try to attend Jubilee Church in Durham when they visit NC. You will truly be blessed. It was truly GREAT seeing everybody, meeting new people and being a part of the celebration. I had a blast and a fabulous time and I miss all the familiar faces so much. My trip was well worth it. Not sure when next I will be back in NC (may be summer) but as Arnold says' I'll be back'. To the newly weds, the wedding was the absolute best so here's to wishing you guys the best blissful marriage ever, one full of love, happiness, compassion and plenty of kids. Speaking of kids, any chance you can throw another slamming bash for the naming ceremony....he he he...I kid I kid.
(I know this was kinda rough, but I have to go and pack a bit more and then go to sleep so abeg manage this write up.)