Connect with us


Atoke’s Monday Morning Banter: Time to Go



The weather has been incredibly beautiful in the past few weeks and staying indoors is a bit of a bummer. So, I spent the weekend with my friend. The weather forecast looked really good so she reckoned it’d be good to have her neighbours over for barbecue and cocktails. We seasoned everything that was going on the grill and by noon I started looking out of the window for when the guests would start arriving. “Calm down, I told them to come by 3pm and they’re not Nigerians so they’ll come on time“.

Truly, the first guest arrived around half past two and the others came by 3pm. It was a nice day out, and with the cocktails flowing so freely, it was very easy to chat a lot and eat more than usual. People were having fun:  the kids were going down the slides and jumping on the trampoline, the parents were helping themselves to more chicken and kebabs.

I must have had a little too much of the fancy punch because, I started feeling woozy and I needed to lie down for a bit and to check my Instagram feed for what the cool kids were getting up to. Around 7pm, the noise from the garden had reduced completely.

Ahn ahn, what happened? Did your guests all leave at the same time?

To which she responded: “I just mentioned casually that it’s past the kids’ bed time. And like I pressed the ‘Eject’ button they all left”.

It was absolutely hilarious. What? Who chases away their guests? By 8pm we had cleared the garden, cleaned the grill, cleaned the kitchen and were sitting in the living room for a nice cuppa.

Don’t you like how we’ve finished everything quickly and we’re now resting?” She asked.

Actually, I did. The week before, we’d had a similar garden party – with Nigerians. I didn’t leave the kitchen till well after 11pm. The guests didn’t arrive on time and then they lingered, and lingered, and lingered (Okay, you get my point). All sorts of subtle and not-so-subtle hints had been dropped. In fact, she had tried that “It’s a school night. I want to put the kids to bed” move the week before and nothing happened. “Nigerians have tougher skin than that. People don’t go when the booze is still flowing.

I know we have a thing about arriving late to parties, but I was wondering if there was a thing about when to leave as well. I remember some years ago at my friend’s brother’s wedding in Balmoral Events Center. The party was rocking so much that we didn’t leave. In fact, the Balmoral people had to put off the lights. At that point, the DJ had to pack up. I was truly sad. There’s really no party like an Alo party!

Someone recently told me of how he stated a Start and Stop time on the invite to his party and some people were offended that he did that. He said that he was accused of not wanting them to really enjoy themselves. I didn’t understand the correlation. If the organizer says the party ends at 6pm, for reasons best known to him, surely it shouldn’t be taken as being a slight on your own person.

Back when I was in secondary school, Owambes used to be an overnight affair with the musician playing till dawn. However, there was a saying back then that once the meat finishes, that’s the clue to know that the party has ended. So, caterers used to hide meat just so that people would go home and they could start clearing up.

Indeed, that’s really the time to go. No! Really, this is my cue to stop.

Please share your thoughts on the subject of lingering guests. Share times when you’ve been unwilling to leave a party – as a guest. As a host, do you mind when there’s a protracted stay by the guests? Would you be offended if your hosts says “There’s work tomorrow!” Or would you yourself a clue and wear your shoes?

Let’s share some fun experiences this morning.

Have a lovely week ahead. Remember to do the right thing within your area of influence. Be kind, stay happy and remain positive.

Peace, love & cupcakes.

Photo Credit:
Atoke – Writer | Lover | Noisemaker. Twitter – @atoke_

You probably wanna read a fancy bio? But first things first! Atoke published a book titled, +234 - An Awkward Guide to Being Nigerian. It's available on Amazon. ;)  Also available at Roving Heights bookstore. Okay, let's go on to the bio: With a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Swansea University, Atoke hopes to be known as more than just a retired foodie and a FitFam adherent. She can be reached for speechwriting, copywriting, letter writing, script writing, ghost writing  and book reviews by email – [email protected]. She tweets with the handle @atoke_ | Check out her Instagram page @atoke_ and visit her website for more information.


  1. Tiki

    May 26, 2014 at 11:10 am

    I don’t get offended when a host decides the party is over – I’m usually in hurry to leave by the time the party starts winding down!

  2. Cheliz

    May 26, 2014 at 11:15 am

    Nice. Come read about my personal weight loss journey on

    • madamnk

      May 27, 2014 at 12:28 pm


    • Zizie

      May 27, 2014 at 2:10 pm

      Meany… lol

    • Bibi

      May 27, 2014 at 1:49 pm

      Just discovered your blog… ettiii

  3. Mz Socially Awkward...

    May 26, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Atoke… you dis gal, you are just echoing some of the thoughts which were flitting through my mind on Saturday evening. Had a couple of friends over for dinner and it wasn’t for any particular reason, I hadn’t seen them both in a while and thought we should catch up over some catfish peppersoup and red wine (a marriage made in culinary heaven).

    So, one friend had to go for evening mass beforehand and said he’d be there after mass finished, around 8pm. I was already eyeing that time as being a tad late for supper but no wahala, told the other friend who didn’t mind adjusting her own arrival so it was well timed between 7.30pm-8pm. Na im i begin call bros from 8.20pm (because his church is a 5min drive from my crib, oh), asking “where are you?” and I got “I’m on my way, mass just finished”. That’s how he arrived around 9.15pm and I was so ticked off, who comes to visit someone at that time? And of course, you no go fit pursue person after you don invite dem like that so found I was entertaining till a bit later than planned.

    I’m not the best with time management but e get as you go need to consider the person wey dey host any kind of “come chop”. Especially since they’ll still have to clean and tidy up after you leave. When it comes down to it, as Nigerians, we definitely need to gain a lot more respect for the value of the other person’s time.

    • natty

      May 26, 2014 at 1:50 pm

      Your story just reminded me of how someone came to my house at 11pm at night no notice, no invitation… Only a call saying I am at your gate. We aren’t even close to start with. As a security conscious single female, I refused to let him in.I scolded him for his lack of etiquette and instead of feeling apologetic he started with he is yoruba and how yoruba people always open their gate to people no matter the time of the night and all sorts of BS to justify his lack of manners

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      May 26, 2014 at 3:51 pm

      11pm – are you operating a commercial beer palour from the comfort of your living room? At least as you no invite am, your refusal to open the gates would have been fully justified. When I scolded my own friend, he kept laughing and apologizing. Don’t think he believed my threat to stop letting him into my home if he’s any later than 20mins next time. The young man is just one of those rascals that you can’t stay mad at, which can be so annoying in itself. *deep sigh*

  4. TA

    May 26, 2014 at 11:26 am

    In Naija parties,folks linger because they arrived late in the first place. Yes now, imagine typical party invite that says ‘starts at 5:00pm’ does not start till 7:00pm and thats early sef. I once went to a show that was supposed to start at 6:00pm but did not start till like 9:00pm! I had to leave Eko hotel at midnight and the show was still on and guess what? It was a Sunday evening!!! If we would ditch this African time disease and arrive on time,no one would linger. Me sha,I have learned my lesosn well well,so when am hosting a party or in charge in any way,I put the start time at 2 hrs early ,say its supposed to start at 7 or 6,I say it starts at 4 or 5 because I know people would come late so if they come late, no yawa. 🙂
    Despite the depressing news from Jos and Borno (again!!!) this morning…I pray y’all have a great week.
    Thank you dear Atoke

  5. Oompa Loompa

    May 26, 2014 at 11:35 am

    I have on numerous occasions left my parties and gone to bed. I wake up the next morning to the mess and start cleaning up and many times I wake up to a clean house. I don’t leave alone so there’s no security concern with that. There was one time I even left my party. It was my 21st. Everyone was having so much fun dancing and drinking. I was tired. I left around 10:30. I heard they continued till past 1 am. Funny thing was only two people asked me where I went the next day. Nigerians sha, just give them a reason to jollificate and that’s all they need.

  6. mariam

    May 26, 2014 at 11:38 am

    U light up my Mondays *bigsmile*

  7. Bleed Blue

    May 26, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    @Oompa Loompa (lol at your name though) eya that’s not cool oh. Aside from the 2 who asked, all the other guests deserved a real tongue lashing.

    Na wa for attending a party in celebration of someone and then not even being bothered as to the person’s whereabouts.

    Bad behaviour dot com.

  8. Whocares

    May 26, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    LOOL. Usually, I dont overstay my welcome. My friend invited me to a babyshower on Saturday. It was timed from 1-5pm. I got there very late at 4(mostly because I got lost on the way there), and at 5pm, I carried my bag and left. My friend explained to me that they started things a bit late at 2.30,but I had assumed by 5-5:30pm they would be winding things down, and I didn’t want to make it awkward. I am that person who will leave a party promptly no matter the fun I am having… That said, boy do I know people who wont leave until they see you are about to go to bed. I have an uncle who will drop by unannounced, 11.00pm, he is still there, and he has the guts to inquire in yoruba “are you going to bed?” when he sees you milling about in your dressing gown. lool.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      May 26, 2014 at 3:58 pm

      Dead @ “are you going to bed”? And I can imagine the perplexed look which accompanies the question. 🙂


    May 26, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    I keep to time extremely, but waiting on my friends to finish dressing up and drawing their maps eventually puts me in the African time zone on arrival. I already don’t like being among the last set of people to leave party venues, so I would never need a stylish reminder from the host before leaving. But I won’t be able to tell my guests to live if I’m hosting.

  10. damola sanyaolu

    May 26, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Lol…I like the clue part. I am not usually ashamed to tell people its time to go, and if they don’t leave, I simply go in my room and retire for the day.
    Rude I know, but what can I do?

  11. Vicky

    May 26, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Nice piece on knowing when to leave a party. i for one prefer to leave early cos i jst luuuv the comfort of my home. However for arriving late to an event i am so guilty of this. I think am one of those who have been bitten by the African time bug, but come to think of it though, some party organizers don’t get to start their parties on tym. A party fixed for 2.00pm by the host might nt get to start until 3.00 or 4.00pm; and it might nt be for the lack of guests so it is a two way thing. The guest might get the felling that being a Naija party it might nt start on tym.

  12. Uby

    May 26, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    So far, everyone that has commented keeps to time…
    Where are the ones that dont?
    I am here 🙂

  13. Fabulicious

    May 26, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    My cousin and hubby just did their child dedication last week and the reception was in a hall.It was supposed to start at 12 and end at 5.Couple got there by to 12 oooo, did all the normal celebrations necessary with early comets and when it was 5.15, my cousin’s hubby jejely carried my cousin and baby and started going home ooooo.I didn’t blame him at all biko.The number of people without party etiquette are becoming numerous.

  14. Blue

    May 26, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    @Uby….You’re too correct jare!

  15. Debs

    May 26, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    I am overly sensitive so I grab hints quickly. I am from a part of Nigeria that does not mind parties ending quickly so i try not to exhaust myself when I am entertaining.

  16. Sassy

    May 26, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    I do not usually go to events on time because I hate to spend too much time at a place. I love to “breeze in and breeze out”, (makes me feel super-important). But I once refused to leave a housewarming ceremony because the DJ was fantastic and the hosts put on a magnificent display of fireworks. Boy! Do I love to dance!

  17. Doo

    May 27, 2014 at 5:08 am

    Atoke, where do you get these your topics from? Nothing like an Alo party? You need to come back to Lagos to hang with your dear friend. For me, I get to parties very late and typically leave late. Look forward to having you at the wedding in a couple of months. At that wedding, rest assured that we will be the last guests at the wedding

  18. lala

    May 31, 2014 at 7:57 am

    Nice topic as usual Atoke,naija people naturally lik arriving and leaving late.
    on my wedding day,hubby is not d party type but due to satisfying all family he agreed anto ve one but eveything must end by 5 so we agreed dis with dj and the hall manager and by quarter to 5 -musicwent off and we and our parent are already leaving d hall and hall antedant off d gen and stat dismantling stuff ,come see vex dt what do we think we re doing ending wedding party by 5 – you won’t believe someguest are just coming by 5 even some of our own frds when we ve informed all close family members to tell their guest eveerything end by 5-see complain na so dey started renting chairs and table and arrranging stuff in the hall Compound as dey ve started cleaning d hall lunckily for them food still rmain so caterer were able to serve.
    some of my siblings friends and families complained tiredly.I was feeeling bad bcos of d ranting and told hubby may b we should wait to say hi to them he said No we ve agreed all parties end by 5 and party after 5 did not need our prsensc moreover our parent is also leaving d venue already dts ow we left them .
    Some hail us for our action and some complain bitterly dt 5 is too early to finish a wedding party.d one I find most annoying is some of our closed friend dt was complained dt dey got to our wedding and were informed that we ve gone for some I just said sorry and move on but for some especially the closed friend I raked for them dt ow can u b coming to my weedding for 6 p.m as if u re attending my great grandpa burial.
    hosting a party is a big task and now dealing with guest dt come so late and leave. So late is not easy at all

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Tangerine Africa
Sign up on Netflix

Star Features