Letter from Lagos 14

3 Jan 2019

Hi Folks,

2019 is finally here and I am super excited that we all made it. Let me save you the razzmatazz of the greeting and wishes.

My week was packed full of activities, from getting ready for the One Lagos fiesta, to trying to get myself to a boxing bout and watching Burna Boy perform, not forgetting talking my way into a party I was not invited to.

When Abayomi Azeez, of Nebula Pyrotechnics, called to tell me he would be managing the pyrotechnic and fireworks at the “One Lagos” fiesta, I knew the new year would usher in goodies. We spent most of the week visiting the locations where we’d be operating from, this took us on a tour of Agege, Badagry, Epe, Ikorodu and Eko Atlantic city. I’ll tell you more shortly.

Brother Rotimi Aluko, a brother whose business acumen has always inspired me, had sent me an invite to attend his daughter’s wedding ceremony. I was definitely not going to miss it, as it was the first of such from him. Saturday afternoon, in the company of my friend Dare Abatti, we hit the road, straight to the Landmark center, venue of the event to witness Ayotomiwa and Mobolurin, wed in holy matrimony. In a twist of fate or whatever it is called, we found ourselves at a totally different event. “I am the bride’s uncle so I don’t need an invitation card to be here”, I told them. It got them and we were ushered to the best table in the room. In a jiffy, our table was filled with drinks, pounded yam was my first course, there was alcohol in abundance but I settled for water, Dare got a serving of rice. As soon as we were done, the waiters showed up, cleared the table and wanted to know if we wanted another meal, which we declined.

After a while, I thought of Bisola, my niece and put a call through about locating our reserved table. She tried directing me towards the table. After going around the hall, it dawned on me, I was at the wrong venue.

I told my friend and headed out straight away. Ironically, it took the help of my brother, Jibola Ilupeju, to get the invites before we could get into the venue. We had food and there was a duo, who were roving in the hall, with their calabash laden bicycle. It turned out that they were serving palm-wine, fresh ones for that matter. It was more of a family reunion because a huge number of my family members were around too. Tunji Ilupeju, Tayo Ilupeju, Lanre Ilupeju, Bisola, Yinka and a few others. We danced, chatted and had a really good time.

New Year’s Eve was the most eventful of all the events, we were all assembled at Abayomi Azeez’s office to load materials and set out for the venue in good time. I was with the Eko Atlantic team, the mother team actually, because, all directives came from here. Setting up at one of the venues, saw me lifting a box of feeders weighing more than 50kg over a narrow ladder, everyone at the spot was on their toes as it was quite risky. We arrived Eko Atlantic City to good music from artists like, Styl Plus, Burna Boy, Olamide YBNL and others. Set up was easy here but managing the people was herculean…but we did it.

At about 3 minutes to 12am, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode was invited to do the countdown. The sky came alive at midnight, as we ushered in the year 2019. It was a proud moment seeing the effect of your efforts on other people. Keji Bickersketh, Adeolu Ojelabi, Folami Ismail, Bayo Ojikutu, Patrick, Dapo, Faitai, and others too numerous to mention.

I don’t think entering the New Year can be more satisfying. Do you have gist for us or you’d like to have us party with you, please leave a comment below.

I couldn’t make it to the boxing bout but I didn’t feel as though I missed out because Burna Boy didn’t turn up. Till next week when I write to you again, please remember to put a smile on someone’s face, wherever, whenever.

Yours,
Ilupeju B