Falz in UI a second time. I enjoyed the last time so much yet, I’m skeptical about this time. Perhaps it’s because we’ve walked from Idia to SUB and there were still no cabs in sight. We definitely can’t trek to ICC. Then again, after one quick look around, it seems like everyone is walking towards there. We keep walking, Temitope and I. We’ve decided we’d at least get to ’gate’ there’d definitely be cabs there.
”…UI resuscitation. Queens. Mellanby. Tedder. Kuti. Bello…” The names of the other hostels go on in that terrible attempt at music – the postgraduate hostels not excluded.
Dear Jesus, I cannot stand that noise! There is a moving crowd right in front of us. A posse. It seems their destination is Queen Elizabeth II Hall.
”Guyyyy! You don’t think they’re overdoing this thing?” Temitope says as her pace increased.
”You know what’s funny? How much noise they make. They are legit everywhere doing everything but cannot hold a stimulating conversation.” I say after a chuckle. ”Plus, why are you walking so fast, guy?”
”We have to overtake them. It always looks like they have so much energy but if you’re stuck behind them, that’s the end bro.” She laughs. ”So much noise yet there’s so much hesitation with them.”
”Guyyyyyyyyyyy!” I drawl, excited.
That she has noticed is one of the biggest reliefs for me. I had thought myself petty for so long. Should I? No. It would be to extra to say. I go against my reluctance anyway.
”Did you notice that my nigga is so hesitant that he doesn’t actually do anything himself? Not even introduce himself. It always goes something like him stretching out his hand for a handshake and he has a mouthpiece that does all the talking for him…” I pause and giggle a bit. ”…there’s even always some mini citation. Then some clowns back at Awo will come on the group and be saying he’s down to earth because he says hi to passersby. I laugh in Korean.”
”Wait, what do you mean by he never says anything by himself?” She looks at me weird and I feel convinced that I have overstepped boundaries.
As if the world seeks to back me up, I’m interrupted by the candidate and members of his Posse, half of which I’d definitely term ’Marlian’ and not just because two of them didn’t have a belt on.
I can never remember the full name because honestly, I can’t be bothered. I know who I’m rooting for.
He stretches his hand out to shake while one of his posse members does the norm as I had just explained to Tope. It plays out exactly as I had put into words and I can see Tope trying so hard to stifle a smile. That makes me want to smile too. We both just nod as the person talks while I silently pray that the citation and all everything else he has to say end as soon as possible.
”…I hope you agree that he is the best candidate for the job.” He finishes.
My grin widens as I realize it is finally over. Despite the fact that I have heard this thing over and over, I am honestly surprised at how I have failed at retaining anything they ever say.
As they leave, a keke stops right in front of Queens’ bus stop and Tope notices it just as I did. We sprint toward it.
”Drop! Drop!” We’re both yelling simultaneously.
He obviously hears us because he doesn’t drive off. We get to the keke and we tell him where we’re headed. He refuses to go and we ask why.
”Na there I just dey come from. Nobody dey there wey I go bring back.” He explains in pidgin. I understand his plight but I can’t say it feels good to know that we’ll have to wait or actually get to gate before getting transport to the concert.
It’s bad enough that I’m having second thoughts about going to this concert but now it’s also such a hassle to go.
”You know what? Let’s just…” I’m about to tell Tope that we should just head back to our hostels when she interrupts and offers the man twice the amount that we would normally pay.
The look on his face shows he’s considering it and after a moment of thought, he says yes and we get in. As we get in, Tope starts to tap me.
”Guyyyyy. It just happened as you said!” she says, excitement and disbelief evident in her voice.
”I know, guy.” I laugh. ”That’s the person that is down to earth. Clowns. All of them.”
I whip out my phone to show her the conversation on our hostel group chat. While she speaks.
”He’s not even in power yet and he already has spokesperson. Mad o!” We both laugh.
I find the conversation and show it to her.
”He campaigns himself? Haha.” She laughs sarcastically. ”I wonder if he’s paying these people.”
I just laugh.
”Mad o!” she says as she keeps scrolling. ”Guy they even had to lock the group at one point with all the stickers they were sending.”
”Honestly. I was so happy when they did. Make noise in real life still come and make noise online.” I shake my head.
”Enu o se, enu o se o. Ariwo ko ni music o.” She starts to bob her head to the Adekunle Gold song she’s singing and I laugh so hard knowing where she’s going with it.
”Emti barrel lo ma n pariwo!” I join her in singing.
We both burst into laughter.
”Plus, I think the only reason they ask how we are is because they have to make small talk. They have no actual conversation to make. Nothing feasible to discuss.” I add after our laughter dies down.
”Yé!” She exclaims. ”Jesus! Guy na.” She starts to laugh.
The lights from the lit up ICC meets our eyes through the windscreen of the vehicle we’re in and we get ready to alight. Tope passes him the money.
” You’re giving me the other half of the money guy.” She whispers in my ear although loud enough that I would have heard her whether or not she leaned in.
”In your dreams guy.” I laugh and alight the keke while she follows behind me.
”Enough about all this Hessytant noise, jare.” She puns.
”Mad o!” I laugh and make a ’doff my hat gesture’ as I understand her pun.
We’re walking toward the ICC with the concert on our minds while I pray silently that I won’t regret going to this concert.