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A hall, a large hall shaking its head to a notoriously overblown human reactions and smelling like a conflated Chinese bouquet spoiled by a rain of stinkingly rich Hausa perfumes; oh goodness me, only God knows what that will taste like on the human’s sensitive ears. People, a lot of people having a loud yet ludicrously alluring sound feasting on the sensitivities of their earlobes; are here from far and near to witness the Kamu, a Hausa traditional pre-wedding event, of Farid and Farida.
In the midst of it all, a guy; a fairly tall, and what ladies refer to as “chocolate in complexion” guy stands, like a lone wolf shining like a group of stars seen from a well-polished magnifying glass. Salim Suleiman is a household name in Northern Nigeria. He is an MC per excellence, collecting millions to perform at events and earning a great youthful followership that has bought to his idea and that of his childhood friend Jay, a musician, of a “Pussy, Money, Weed” and a “Young, Wild and Free” life.
“… And now with the clock ticking and only a closing prayer from concluding what has been a wonderful time with y’all!”
“This wonderful time is about to get even more wonderful for all the beautiful single ladies here today…”
The youths in the hall cheer without being asked to while the older people look in amusement; this difference of ideals between the young and the older generation is mostly seen whenever Slim, as he is widely called, is performing.
“To all the young ladies here today that want to have a similarly interesting wedding as this one… This is your moment, this is your time to give dem boys a wow moment, this is your time to make a mark on this event, this is your time to get on this floor and make it shine… Let’s make it shine, ladies! Come up here, crème de la crème. Come up here… Let’s do something for the gram!”
His eyes ferry his controlled spirit to the East and then to the South, then to the West and to the North like an overconfident General moving an overambitious pawn too far away into enemy territory in a game of chess, but out the girls came, almost as if in competition with one another.
“Fine boys like us, we no too dey follow women…”
“Na dem dey rush us! Na dem dey rush us!” The guys in the hall completed his sentence.
They arrange themselves in a curvy line with their backs facing the seated bride and groom and faces smiling to what a younger Salim would say “the scanners below my Eyebrows.” The fair, the not so fair, the dark, the not so dark, they came and surely, they will dazzle him or the crowd, or both.
“Ladies and gentlemen! I present to you a Rolls Royce of the finest works of nature, a Rolls Royce of sumptuous beings, a Rolls Royce of Ladies… with me as the driver, of course! We are next in line in doing the getting married thing” he laughs cheekily.
A loud shout of “Kunji direban mata” is heard from among a section of boys seated in the crowd and the hall erupts with laughter and confusion as to what Slim is going to do with the girls.
He sends a dark-skinned girl with a flat chest away then calls her back immediately after she turns and he sees her hips. “Wasa nake miki” he said in an accent that will make you believe he is a white man over-confidently trying to speak a foreign language in the hope of wooing a woman, this is followed by a sheepish grin that depicts a man buried in the gaiety of the moment.
“There is something about females that despite my elephantine experience with them, I still cannot fathom, They came out here on my request and without my help they have managed to form the kind of sight I was praying we will avoid; a rainbow, the kind of which dreams are made of… sparkling and nerve calming.”
With his Arab-like face making its way to the centre of this delicacy.
“They are like the physical embodiment of the Nursery Rhyme ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ and guys, Farid has gotten his twinkling star, when are we going to get ours? What are you doing with our lives? Why have you let Slim to carry all the girls even though I don’t feel like I can marry them all”
The last few seconds of his speech brought more laughs than necessary from the young people; they always laugh at what he says and thus, fueling his fire or better put, the elixir of immortality his activities need to keep sprouting.
A selfie stick, the colour of which girls have always loved since the beginning of time; pink! he brings out along with his phone, with the two gadgets having to now shamelessly continue their long and boring mating process in the eyes of the world. Slim puts his microphone-holding left arm around the same girl he sent away earlier, oh how fortunes change rapidly in this cussed world! They lead the group to a promised land of up to six pictures; with the ladies changing from one undignified pose to another after every shot.
He gaits forward effortlessly, more Leonardo Di Caprio than Napoleon from Animal Farm, albeit with the intention being more or less same with the George Orwell’s character than winning the Oscar.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for coming here for Farid and Farida. You have certainly made their wedding event a memorable one. May Allah bless you all and I wish you all journey mercies back home.”
He goes straight out of the hall without even caring to drop the mic. He receives a standing ovation, as if he is a football cult hero playing his last game in front of his fans. The groom, however, gazes at him furiously, having endured more than two hours of what he sees as Salim’s narcissism. Marriage events are about the bride and groom, this wasn’t.
The groom’s only solace being that his marriage won’t be seen as boring. He turns to his left and sees the embarrassing glee on his wife’s face; “a hailer” he should have called her, a title that has become rather synonymous with blind followers of a person in Nigeria. The Groom can only stare at his bride in disbelief.
“What?” she asks, realizing there is more to the awkward look than meets the eye. “The lady that marries him would be so lucky!” she adds, giving the Groom a reason to boycott her room on their first night, probably.
As he ponders on the answer to give her, Slim reenters the hall and with it, tantrums from the crowd. Alongside him is Jay, real name Jamil Idris. Slim’s childhood friend and the biggest music talent in Africa since Wizkid in 2011. Perhaps, on the path to being more successful than Wizkid as he became the First African to see his album go platinum in 2021 and already has more followers on social network than the former musician. Unnoticed is J-Lo, Slim’s manager and bestie, with each holding a mic.
The Governor of the state, Zulkifil Salis, is sitting in his personal living room at the Government House, Kaduna. Alongside him is the Deputy Governor and three aids, Musa, Abdul and Ayomide.
They are watching NTA International and discussing the path to take at the end of the Governor’s tenure as the 2023 elections is less than eight months away.
“It is a fucking circus, our party. A lot of people with unbridled ambition are out to confuse the delegates and we have to assume the worse now. We have to!” The Governor, looking a bit concerned says.
“We should keep pushing, boss!” says Ayomide, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Governor, probably irking the Governor who is expecting a smart response from his well-paid aids.
“Ay, we wouldn’t have been in this mess if our goddamn plan is working. We have to think outside the box now as we are in the endgame now not the fucking nascence we left your mind in, alone, not thinking straight and certainly on the verge of being deluded… We cannot afford to lobby by being nice, the endgame comes with a degree of terror… We have to be the hunter and not the hunted… Now wake the fuck up and give me some goddamn ideas!!!” For which Ayomide nods.
“So, yes, we shall keep pushing but Aso Rock has been known to offer shelter to those who don’t deserve it, we simply cannot let that happen again…”
The Governor continues, making a defiant gesture with his finger.
“we need to find the right place, apply the right pressure at the right fucking time and get ourselves a winner. The drug pusher and wheelbarrow pusher are both pushing something but certainly only one is benefiting from pushing. I want every dickhead aspiring for the presidency to retreat to his shell with his tail between his legs when my campaign train come grinding all the eggs lying on my way”
“And surely, we will crush even the female aspirants trying to fetch water from the fountain of men, boss” Ayomide, continuing with his trademark input.
“Our party has Governors in only six states in the north, thereby making a collective control of the northern delegates a hard nut to crack… Certainly, every Northern Dick and Harry, sorry dignitary, would be seen in the coming days assuming he has a say on how and when we should stage our convention…” The Deputy Governor, speaking for the first time pauses and looks into the eyes of the Governor for tacit approval which he believes he has gotten, then continues.
“Like you, the other five Governors are in their final tenure but unlike you, they are going to either the senate or political obscurity as they have already gone over their boundaries by becoming Governors… and we should fear such people, people that lack ambition, Your Excellency… erh, for a start, none of them has shown the willingness to support us or to go against us…”
“Cos they are probably waiting for the guy with an offer not worth refusing… You see…” Ayomide cuts in before a rapidly dangerous stare from the Deputy Governor grapples the naval of his mouth into submission.
“We need to bring the influential persons close to us and those not close to us close” They all sip a strikingly stupefying dose of silence after Musa’s surprising contribution even though it turns out to be unsurprisingly irrelevant.
“Tell me, Musa… Who is the most influential person in the South-South?” The Deputy Governor asks him.
“The Governor of Rivers!”
“He has even made himself the King of their unofficial forum” Ayomide adds.
“You see, Mr Ayo, great leaders don’t put themselves in power, the people put them. The Kaduna people gave us this blessed leader, the same way man made the Peacock the King of all the domestic animals and the same way the people of Nigeria want to see him in Aso Rock”
The Deputy Governor’s lips have barely closed when Ayomide decides to chip in once again.
“… only if their dreams would come true”
“And we would make that dream a reality for them, His Excellency has made the decision to make Moses Alabo his running mate when we win the primaries.” The Deputy Governor explains and the Governor endorses it with a warm nod.
“Such a person would rather go for a second term next year and then give the presidency a shot in 2027, don’t you think?”
“Five years with His Excellency and you still question his impeccable judgment, Ayomide?” Abdul says, after finally getting the kind of condition in which he thrives. Mr Ayomide opens his mouth to explain when the Governor starts talking.
“The tiger doesn’t wait to completely devour his prey before he goes out hunting again… You don’t expect an ambitious person like Alabo to remain hidden in Rivers for so long, the stage is poised for him to enter the limelight he deserves”
“The Vice Presidency is like a bird in hand then and his own presidential ambition is the proverbial two birds in the bush then?” Ayo, finally getting to grips with the plan, asks.
“You are so good at tapping from the abyss that is His Excellency’s wisdom.” Abdul quickly replies Mr Ayo.
Tell me what you think of it please, I haven’t written anything in a while… I am afraid my pen has become rather rusty.
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