Wednesday, May 23, 2007

ADDY'S FIRST ABUJA TRIP -- PART 3

NIGERIA MUSIC AWARDS AND THE JUVY RUNS

All I can say is Wow. Well may be those who were not juvenile and irresponsible like I and Isis would have something different to say. Anyways the show started at 11.45pm instead of 8pm. Apparently, the President and his P-D-P cronies were having their last retreat in the Obasanjo administration and stayed at the Convention center for ever. I ended up wearing my ‘Yellow BCBG dress’ from last summer that I had packed just incase. I know, Faux pas, but I was not going to pay N800 to Le Meridien to get my other dress ironed. We raced through the red carpet portion. I hate those. We found our people and got seated. Isis went to work. By the time we got to the 3rd award, after a VERY long BORING skit by Ramota and Chief Zebrudaya, Addy was half asleep. Isis got back and we agreed that we definitely had to gerrouta there. At this point I shall plead the 5th and stick by our story, which is we were just going to the bathroom and would be outside in the car thereafter getting some fresh air. I mean we had to make up for 45 minutes of no oxygen. We came back on time to see Tuface pick his Song of the Decade award. By now it was like 3am. Isis finished up and we all hit town once more. By now I was tired and decided to turn in shortly after that at around 4.30am.

ABUJA OF NO PURE WATER SACS

This is the cleanest place I have ever been to in Nigeria. Not a single pure water sac or seller, no hawkers, NO OKADA riders, no traffic, no yellow buses, no loud speakers blaring Fuji music, there were more trees than houses, more hills than high rises and clean air. Now I see what Singto had been raving about. In fact I want to move. I hate Lagos now. Hmh... With the new administration coming in and everyone jockeying for positions and stuff, may be I need to go to a street corner in Maitama or the gate of Aso Rock with a sign that reads ‘Hire Me.’ Lol. It is that serious. May be when Silverbird completes its new multiplex cinema in Abuja I will lobby my way up north. Or better yet SINGTO find a job in Abuja so that I can come and visit you every other weekend. We can have the best of both worlds. Gosh why can’t Lagos be half like Abuja? Is there anyone in the Action Congress in Lagos that can be like El Rufai whom Fashola can appoint to bring Lagos out of the trenches? And with a new president, will that mean they would release more funds to Lagos because as I understand it Baba and Tinubu are like oil and water and hence federal funding was not coming fast. I mean should Lagos not be treated and run like a country? Anyways I am sure I’ll be back in Abuja sooner that you can say Jack Robinson. If you haven’t been make sure you make an effort on your next trip to Nigeria. It is just something different from the craziness of the likes of Lagos, Benin and Port Harcourt. I mean it was so pinching me that on my return flight I looked out the window as we flew over Lagos. When I saw the shanty buildings, smking dumpsites, yellow buses and traffic, my heart sank and I was like "WHAT DA HELL IS DIS?" Hopefully I'll be back for the inauguration but I hear the place will not be for the meek.

LEAVING ABUJA AND MEETING ADONIS
Sunday came around and it was time to go. The others in the crew were not doing anything special so I decided to accept a friend’s invitation to breakfast at the Hilton. I left my suitcase with ‘protocol’ and told him that I would meet the crew at the airport. Protocol had gone ahead and gotten us all tickets on Aero Contractor. I was meant to be at the airport at 1pm to make it for the 2pm flight. I am enjoying breakfast and the conversation and didn’t realize when it was 12.30pm. My friend now calls the driver, who takes his sweet time to arrive and I leave at 12.45pm. Now the airport is a good 30 minutes away and considering I had already irritated protocol the night before, I was all like ‘OMG they’ll never take me anywhere, ever again.’ Isis sends me the first text, ‘Dude, where u at…I’m 10 minutes out, please stall for me….Adaure, where are you? They’ve left me here and gone inside….I am at the Virgin Counter but I don’t see you…. Gurl it is Aero come back around to the domestic side.”

I finally get there and I put on my sunglasses to hide my face, because my stunt had been a bit to diva-ish and my behind could have been left in Abuja in a heart beat. I check in by 1.30 and go into the waiting area. Eventually everyone relaxed and we were all back to having our conversation. Then ADONIS WALKS BY……. Addy’s cute guy radar antenna goes beep beep. I try to find Isis to radio toe cute-guy alert but she was not getting my signal. We then start boarding and I totally forget about Adonis because I was thinking, this dude just strolled in at like 2pm so he was not likely on my flight. Boy was I sooo wrong. When we were at the bottom of the stairs, there he was at the top, chest all cut ‘kush-kush’ like Johnny Bravo, muscles like Pop-Eye and a smile like John Smith. I alert Isis and another friend for their appraisal and approval. We all agreed he was a major piece of hotness. We get on the plane and he gets up from his seat and we are all scoping. I am trying so hard to avoid his eyes because the grin on my face was just too wide. Anyways this is where the other juvenile story comes in. Gosh, when am I gonna grow up man….27 and still behaving like a giddy 15, not even 17 year old. It can be cute sometimes but even I am beginning to get irritated by myself. Lol. Anyways through out the flight we were all contemplating how we’ld get my note from our seat 14 E to his seat 17 E inviting him to lunch. It was like Rocket Science ya’ll. I can hear some of you saying oh that’s so desperate… I know. But you have to chuck the pride sometimes, be bold and just do it like NIKE. So I try to get the attention of the air hostess, at least she would understand the need to not let this opportunity pass by. But why did the Air host answer instead. Now considering he is an African man and I am an African woman, I am not sure the host would have been pleased to be passing the note across for us. So we decide that we need to come up with another plan. So I am like hey why don’t I write his seat number and ‘pass it on’. I forgot that not every Nigerian went to a school where ‘pass it on’ was the norm, or even knew what it was. The note finally got to 17 E not before everybody on the plane knew that we were passing a note. I am telling you we were laughing so hard that tears started running down our eyes. The guys sitting next to ‘Adonis’ also got to read the note and were laughing and looking to see who was the ‘lady in pink’. LOL. I guess they were tripped we actually passed the note.

Moments later, I get a text message. HA!!! MISSION IMPOSSIBLE ACCOMPLISHED. Then when the plane stopped, Isis starts playing ‘Summer Nights’ from the Grease soundtrack and we kept laughing really laughing hard. It was my best flight in ages. Meanwhile protocol highly irritated by our typical high school chicks’ antics left us and went on the first bus. But Mr. Nigeria was gentleman enough to wait for us. We get our luggage only to find out that LASTMA had towed our protocol bus. LOL. Isis ended up taking us home. Turns out, Adonis is from Israel. Dejavu all over again. Israeli dudes must be really cute because the last dude I pulled that ‘pass it on’ stunt just last month on was from Israel as well. I am going to have to retire that M.O and find something else. Turns out that dude was a hardliner and started railing on the Palestinian and talking about how he used to be in the IDF and how Palestinians are this and that. I was like well after talking with my Palestinian friends in college, I can under stand where they are coming from and while I respect your views and opinion I’d have to say it’s probably only adding o the reason there’s no peace in the Middle East. It only recently occurred to me that could possibly be the reason I ain’t heard from the hommie after that. Ha!ha!!ha.!!! Such a trip. His loss and good riddance because I got a bit scared about his ‘previous job description’ YIKES!!. But back to Adonis, he was like he had spotted me at the airport (my laughter was carrying…just a bit loud) but he didn’t know how to come up to me because I was with my friends. Hmh...BS or not? Anyways he was like thanks for the note and blah blah blah blah blah. We’ll see what happens but ya’ll know what they say about black girls and Jewish boys. Uh Hmh!!

Meanwhile it's Wednesday and I am surprised I have not seen the story of our ordeal in the papers yet considering a number of press people were onboard. I am surprised PUNCH, whose staff also nearly fainted did not report it yet(may be it was buried in the business section). I am counting on City People not to disappoint in their May 29 edition. Hopefully they will not make it one of their 'fluff-stuff' stories and really indict and call out Chanchangi for their BS. Unfortunately this is Nigeria law suits are mere formalities and media bashing and bombardment is usually what gets the best result. However the truth is that news editors get paid off not to run stories and if we continue allowing these people get away with it, people will continue dying.

20 comments:

9ja Opeke said...

I bi d first...

9ja Opeke said...

I don dey do night vigil 2 bi d first at least fo once here...e don tey! Now I fit read d tory well well before those firster club member cum grab the spot! NO FIRST COMMENT VACANCY HERE...COME BACK LATER...!!!

naijagal said...

hmm thank goodness you were safe! oh and per Adonis! Girl you never know! maybe you will have the next van vicker? lol

note to self visit abuja!

Zena said...

lol sorry 9ja opeke, I enjoyed reading each and every moment of it, you neva know Adonis might surprise you and call.

Is Abuja that clean?but you have to remember that Lagos is a bit old and was the Land of Gold for a very long time, everyone wanted to come to the city of opportunity.

You'd think that after all the news about naija and it's aircrafts, they'd have shapened up a bit.

Kpakpando said...

OMG Adaure, u have just sealed what is already a wonderful day for me... chanchangi ke, they used to be good circa 2001... now u won't pay me to go there.

Zena, Abuja is very burriful oh, but because everyone still lives in packed like sardines Lagos, it gets to be very dry, very fast

kulutempa said...

ah ah...since when did israelis stand landing naija? please, a sista needs to get on that! this yankee is becoming very dry on the man front...and you babes in naija are getting some serious liver sha. i haven't even started living my life and i'm already old fashioned because of your newly-grown balls to aggressively toast men. abi is it because he is oyinbo? ;)

Chxta said...

Welcome to Abuja. Take note, next time around make sure to climb the Minister's Hill.

Lola said...

finally updated adaure! abuja is just too lovely i keep saying it. I feel a very personal connection to that city as the first time I went there, i didn't know anyone, anything there. Just knew I had to go to Abuja and I had to go to the Secretariat. Tha's it. After landing, that's when i ended up calling someone who'd call someone, who'd call another friend and that's how i spent the entire weekend. But it was fun. I also took a taxi there at 3am in the morning I kid you not!!!!

Try going sightseeing at night with all the lights up and everything, it's quite nice.

Darlo.com said...

Great to hear that you got out of the experience.I read about the whole episode in a newspaper, but they didn't mention dear Addy, which is good, and it was kinda funny then...but now it doesn't. If na me, I for don cancel the trip one hand..and to think they needed a directive from the MINISTER to cancel the flight...who obviously wants to avoid a plane crash during his tenure..Good to hear you had fun too..and lol at Adonis..

catwalq said...

Na wah o
u r really painting the town red.

Anonymous said...

So what do they say about black girls and jewish boys?

ada said...

ohh I read part1,2 &3..gosh I am such a blog junky and I dont even have one....anyways that was an interseting read...

Aisha said...

i knw abj is clean but gal not that clean jare.guess u went to d posh part go to kubwa then u'
ll love lagos all over again.Love ur blogg.As per local travelling it has either got to be Virgin Nigeria or ikene dilichukwu ooo.lolll

Anonymous said...

STAMPEDE ON FLIGHT 102
By ‘Nonye Iwuagwu
Published: Saturday, 26 May 2007
The much talked-about Nigeria Music Awards has finally come and gone. It was indeed spectacular, filled with fun and glamour. The event, which will remain indelible in the minds of many, attested to the reputation of Chief Tony Okoroji, the brain behind NMA, as a world class events organiser.

Skip to next paragraph

Photo File
Stars on parade: The arrival of the Soul Flight 101 train at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja

The awards were held in Abuja on Friday, May 18 and Saturday, 19 — two days hallmarked by panache and excellence in the showbiz world. But the savour of distinction was nearly marred by flight pangs experienced by travellers going to Abuja on one of the two ‘Soul Flights’ specially designated for the event.

The trouble occured on the second flight from Lagos to Abuja, tagged Flight 102.

Soul Flight 102 was scheduled to take off by 1pm on Friday, but was delayed till 3pm. Stars and journalists waited patiently. They were evidently excited that they were heading to the nation’s capital for maximum fun.

Once the flight on a Chanchangi plane was announced, all passengers proceeded to board. The aircraft was filled to capacity. Soon, its doors were shut in readiness for take-off.

There was intense heat in the aircraft because the air conditioning system was not working yet. The cabin crew appealed to passengers to exercise a little patience, saying the system would be powered as soon as the plane took off.

Five minutes. Ten minutes. Twenty minutes... The plane was still on the ground, and the air conditioning system was still not powered.

Passengers began to cry out: “We are hot.” “Could you guys please take off?” “Open this door please!” Some passengers became hysterical.

Decency was damned. Guys started undressing. Many pulled off their shirts. Ladies who wore jackets pulled them off immediately. It was that bad!

Thirty minutes... Forty minutes... Fifty minuets... The plane was still on the ground and the air conditioning system was still not powered. Passengers kept screaming.

Suddenly, the worst happened. Adaora Achumba of Silverbird Television and ‘Nonye Iwuagwu of Punch Newspapers (that is, my very humble self) collapsed and had to be revived with oxygen.

Another passenger did not have that ‘luxury.’ He too gasped, almost choking to death. It was clearly visible that his condition was degenerating. When he couldn’t take it any longer, he started banging at the cockpit and went hysterical.

Few passengers who were in better shape tried to placate the guy, but he couldn’t be calmed. He was like a drowning man desperately clutching onto something or somebody. Unfortunately, the person he held on to was Marvelous Benjy, a musician. He tore Benjy’s shirt to shreds.

That was when ‘yawa gas’. Marvelous looked at himself, he couldn’t believe that his well-ironed linen shirt, which he obviously wanted to ‘pose’ with in Abuja, had been torn to shreds. He was dazed! “Na my shirt bi dis?” He asked rhetorically.

As if the crew of the Chanchangi flight suspected that the worst was about to happen, they flung open the aircraft. Everybody rushed out.

Waoh! What a sweet relief!

But while others were savouring their freedom and sucking in fresh air, thanking God for not allowing them to suffocate, Marvelous Benjy ran after the guy who tore his shirt. He had to show the guy that he is an Ajegunle citizen.

Before anyone could say Jack, Benjy picked up a stout bottle at the bar of MMA terminal building, broke it on his own head and ran after the guy who tore his shirt.

Hell broke loose. Commotion reigned supreme. Within a twinkling of the eye, policemen, MMA officials and even Customs officials were everywhere.

Howbeit, the commotion eventually died down. Around 10pm, the flight was again announced and passengers who managed to stay behind boarded the plane. Zakky Adzee used the public address system and prayed for a smooth flight.

And indeed, it was a smooth flight thereafter. Many of the passenger soon forgot the stress they earlier went through. Virtually everybody was in high spirit, looking forward to the grand return of NMA.

But the story was pleasantly different for the other flight, Flight 101. The flight, scheduled to take off by 10am, was delayed only for a little while and it was a smooth trip all the way.

Those on board that flight said they had a swell time. In fact, the passengers forgot they were air borne as many stars entertained on board.

It was jokes galore. AY and Mandy were the anchor persons.

Elegant Stallion, Onyeka Onwenu, Stella Damasus-Aboderin and Benita Okojie performed on board that flight. It was fun galore.

Soul Flight NMA 101 was reported to be the first flight to be operated by Chanchangi from the ultra–modern new domestic terminal in Lagos.

On arrival in Abuja, the NMA guests and accompanying journalists were driven in a convoy led by special marshals into the city of Abuja. These did not even have to pick up their baggage at the airport. They were delivered to them at Le Meridien, where they were treated to one grand event after another before the NMA main gala that took place at the Africa Hall of Abuja International Conference Centre. Those who flew Flight 101, one of the Soul Flights to the Grand Return of the Nigeria Music Awards, say they will not forget the experience in a hurry.

The award events proper wre equally memorable. The International Conference Centre where the event took place was filled to capacity. Who wasn’t there? All the mega and superstars in the country were there. It was breathtaking.

Paparazzi had a great time while guests were thrilled.

Performances by Chief Zebrudaya, Zulezoo, Muma Gee, Mandy and Sammie Okposo, Stella Damasus – Aboderin and Segun Arinze added spice to the event.

A the end of the day, musicians like Infinity, P-Square, Weird MC, Yinka Davies and Tu face Idibia were among winners of some of the awards.

Other musicians that went home with awards included Dan Maraya Jos, King Sunny Ade and Chris Okotie.

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The Last King Of Scotland said...

your blog is spot on, enjoyed ur trials and tribulations in camp after relocating.lol. abuja is the lick. when i move back home i wouldnt mind staying there at all. i love my peace of mind. if i miss the bustle of lagos, no be to fly??? nice post

Adaure said...

@ANON 12:46 -WOW!!! Thanks for posting that article - i could not find it in the papers

mystoriesmytestimonies said...

lol...
i love naija ....
adaure .....
please update more with pictures..
still waiting for the pic from the village story ..... lol
great post...

please do not faint again...abeg

Anonymous said...

kindly educate me, what is said about black girls and jewish guys

damsel in the desert said...

LOL... Abeg dat is some trip. In fact as I dey type dis thing so, I am on my knees thanking God that he saved you from the evil of ChanChangi... I go forward dis your blog to everyone make dem know to avoid ChanChangi... Wow, na wa oh...

Anonymous said...

Great trip report!

". . .but ya’ll know what they say about black girls and Jewish boys."

What do they say exactly . . . ?

Have you ever heard the Igbo referred to as the Jews of Nigeria?