After I learnt my last couple of lessons, I was convinced that I was ready to take on the ’ember’ month events in Lagos with renewed gusto!
I had my super bulky camera bag with all the highly unnecessary but oh-so-crucial trappings, my chill button which I tossed out the window had now thankfully been run over by a trailer and I had clothed my body accordingly. No more black on black; I rocked my “what do you take me for” outfit by YRC Nigeria… with heels too. I must catch up!
Just when I thought the white cap chiefs at Ojodu Berger have finally blessed my hustle in the centre of excellence! Just when I thought it was my time to shine!! Just when I thought I had finally arrived!!! They said NO! And who is this “they” you might wonder? Lagosians!
I was yet to learn:
THE POWER OF A FOREIGN ACCENT
Prior to this time, my friend, Tiwa, always teased me, saying I am the only person that went to the white man’s land and forgot to bring their accent back. I always said “Rubbish! Do they export the Nigerian accent when they leave here?”
If you have been like me, ignorant and blissfully unaware of how priceless a heavier tongue and a ubiquitous “R” at the end of every word is, then we have both been sleeping on the same bicycle.
Leave it to me to learn my lesson the hard way. I rolled up to the event feeling like a bag of money. I got in and set up my gear, by that time, the heels had started to hurt but that was clearly of no importance to me!
As we were all snapping away on the red carpet, there was one particular photographer who had been exhibiting signs of HankAnuku-itis all evening. Even the people who were initially fronting for red carpet were posing for this guy.
I stood in the corner snickering, wondering where he thought this accent business was going to lead him. Moments later, a very popular socialite, decked to the nines as she is popularly known for, arrived. She refused pictures totally and I was quite disappointed because I absolutely love her. Out of the corner of my eye I see foneh photographer go after her despite her refusal.
I was smugly shaking my head thinking “you gon learn today” but that smugness soon turned to depression. It happened like film trick; all I saw was his flash go off, she gave him a frontal, one side shot and another side shot. He even got a detailed shot of her statement jewelry. The guy was able to get her to stand and pose for four shots! Four whole frames!! Ha! My ancestors! Before I could wrestle my jaw off the ground and run over for a shot, she was gone! As it stands now, it’s 1-0; foneh guy 1, me 0.
This guy got the money shot while I was there speaking normal English and carrying last. To make matters worse, when the show started, he went over to an organizer and actually requested for a seat. I heard him go on about something relating to elevation.
Elevation again? Are you not a photographer, don’t you know how to adjust your gear? Before I finished flogging him in my mind for spewing such nonsense, a chair appeared out of nowhere and this guy took his seat. Ha! 2 – 0
During a break, one of the organizers came to meet him and asked if he wanted to come to the VIP area to take a few shots! What is going on!?? Do my baffs mean nothing without an accent to match? I was no longer keeping score; this was a TKO. One can only fight fire with fire.
I looked to the heavens and called upon all the foreign accents I had ever heard on both free to air and cable TV and finally chose French (it’s more sophisticated plus my French is actually passable)
So this is what it takes to get ahead in this town? Ok o, look out for me at the next event then, I will be spitting my Francais unapologetically and I expect all of you to react accordingly!
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Sanjay Deva