This is real.This is me..This just a little part of my experience in Calabar.....
It is said” Be careful of what you wish for.It just might come true” . On the 31st of Nov 2012, I asked God to change my story(not like my story wasn't a beautiful one),Do something in my life, and It took God a day to do that..but I didn't expect my life to be jolted.lol.
I got that surprise call asking me to come over to Calabar as a scriptwriter representing Mo Abudu's new TV channel, Ebonylife TV(to be officially launched on Dstv,come April 2013). Ebonylife was commissioned to officially cover the festival for Cross-river state government. Everything relating to the festival was to be covered, scripted and produced by us. It was a huge deal..
So, I set off to Calabar on the 2nd of Dec(by flight, in case you think say na bus I enter. lol) with the perception that I'll be able to combine blogging and script writing. …(“no be to write”)I told my friends when they were concerned about me leaving for 32 days.
With a smile, I told them not to worry..As a sure gal,.I made plans for some of them to join me later…(HAD I KNOWN…)
The first day, I was treated like the star I am. Big room to myself. daily pocket allowance(Don’t ask how much) ,posh rides etc..I was balling. I got to work immediately, visiting the studios where I watched all the events that had happened.
Then time to write came...all my head was blocked with gossip ,lol. After getting hold of myself and being tutored to adjust my reportative style of writing by my able Content Director/ DOP Mr Alfred Chai,(kudos to him), I began writing "in the beautiful and serene city of calabar, history repeats itself" heheh yes CNN style . (he’d better not read this.lol)
So, our routine began. On most days, we leave the hotel at 10am,come back around 3am..no flexing, ,no partying, no boys, no girls…maybe not.. We would cover everything from the cock crowing to an ant passing as long as that ant was part of the Calabar festival(lol).
Tempers flared once in a while, tears flowed as the days progressed (I actually cried coz of the shocking pressure) . I’m a professional but sometimes, when you work with people from different backgrounds and orientations, your strength is put to the test. But, luckily for me, I was with the most amazing set of people. From the producer,director, Mr Leo,the Production Manager, Esther to the amazing cameramen down to the assistants, Makeup artiste,Gaffer, Soundman, and my presenter of life Fony and Mercy.31 of us.. Fantastic crew.
We all looked forward to three days, the 26th, 27th and 29th of dec… 2face, MI were performing on the 26th, 27th was the carnival and 29th was the day Akon, Psquare, Mayd were set to perform. Being backstage and part of the crew had its perks including getting to meet them one on one. So,I was prepared. I just had to meet Akon.
Around the same time last year, I missed out on the opportunity of meeting Akon at the Citron Launch..I was forced to choose between going to greet Linda Ikeji or running after Akon like the other groupies did. I choose the former(Linda) and trust me.it was worth it.I penned down my experience here..
So, I didn’t anticipate meeting him in such a beautiful way, alone, without interruption.
Yes! I’m so happy I finally met you Miss Petite Nigeria and I wanna take you away with me. Omg! I couldn’t believe my dreams of finally meeting Akon had come to pass. What a great way to crown my stay in Calabar ,I thought with joy. This time, I didn’t have to be just another groupie.I was alone with Akon and he came to me. He had heard about my beauty, intelligence and smile….can I get a witness? Lol so he looked for me.
I was just about to look into his eyes and say” Akon, can I have a piece of diamond”(of course he owns a mine) when I felt my face tighten..opps! I didn’t wash off my face mask..but he didn’t seem to care..Then I heard the knock on my door. Who the hell is it again, I thought angrily as I decided to ignore. The knock was persistent again.
I guess it’s that Pain in the Butt (Chimex)lol. Chimex was who I considered the most hardworking man on our 31man crew. He was originally in charge of continuity but took up the Herculean task of seeing to it that everyone was in check, did their jobs at the right time. From the camera men, our schedule, down to visiting the loo. Chimex just had to be intimated about our movements or you were in for it....Though my friend, he wasn't the favorite of many,myself inclusive as he just had a way of knocking your door when you're about to take a quick nap
Today,I wasn't going to answer him, not with Akon here. The knock was persistent” Emeh, we are leaving. It’s call time. If you aren’t here in 20 seconds, you’ll be left behind’. “Whatever” I said and turned to look at Akon who wore a disappointed demeanor.
“What is it dear”? I asked. “Emeh, If you are not up in 1 minute, you won’t see me” Akon replied “What..do you mean, you are ..here with..”I didn’t complete the sentence when I felt cold air slap against my half naked skin..Oh how I hated cold. I opened one eye and realized Nepa just restored the light..I didn’t see Akon either.”Wait! Was I asleep? WTF! I was asleep. I bolted out of the bed checked the clock and it was a few minutes past 10 am. Akon’s flight was due to land in calabar any moment from now. I was screwed.
I was the f…king scriptwriter and as was the tradition since I took on this 1 month job, I had to be there for the exclusive interviews with every major celebrity who performed at the Calabar Festival. I had to draft the questions. I rushed to the bathroom, stepped in the shower and turned on the tap.No water..Great I muttered running into my room to pick up the bottled water to use,
Using it to take a rub down, I threw on my Ebony life Tshirt, a pair of jeans and sneakers and bolted out. Of course, I had been left behind. I saw Chimex who was climbing upstairs” I knocked your door and you didn’t open right? Well, the car has left for the airport. You have to wait with the rest for the call time at 3pm.
I was speechless” You don’t get it right? I’m supposed to be there. Akon is one of my favorite musicians. I just have to be there, to take a picture. I need to know the questions he answers were written by me”. But I didn’t need to say that. I knew there was no way in hell I was going to be allowed into the airport Tarmac on my own. We were given that from the Governor’s office and it wasn’t just for me to stroll in.
Picking up my phone and dialling Fony's(my friend's) number, he confirmed my worst fear "Emeh, Akon, Psquare, Mayd are all here, we are holding the exclusive with Akon at his hotel now. Psquare is next"
|Ebonylife Tv(Content Director, Alfred Chia conducting Akon's interview)|
With a sunken spirit, I climbed back to my room..and I thought of all the celebrities I had the opportunity to interview. To hell with Akon jor.. I had Sunny Neji, Raskimono, Samsong, Niggaraw. But these weren't the only celebs that came nah? Then I recalled, 2face was too tired, Iyanya was too high with the thought of Yvonne Nelson(lol)..MayD disappeared
On a second thought..I let a tear drop.. how could I had missed Akon and Psquare on the same day, I thought while I stared at a photo I took with Raskimono.
To be continued....I'm officially back to blogging.Thank you all for your patience. You ROCK..
|Akon and our amazing presenters Mercy & Fony|
|Psquare, Fony & Mercy|
|A cross-section of the wonderful crew.spot me?|