I was checking my e-mail for the fifth time this morning, and it was only 10am. Whenever my daughter, Laje, is off to school I get exceedingly bored and stayed glued to my email…hoping for some action in my inbox. As I hit the ‘refresh’ button, I saw what I had been waiting for. It was an email from Kunmi; an invitation to the Fancyful Awards. Let me tell you a little bit about Lagos state..... there are a million award shows and red carpets each year. Every event is an opportunity to appear on a ‘red carpet’, and every ‘red carpet’ appearance is an opportunity to appear on justnaija.com (a fashion and entertainment blogazine). And except for the 10% of young lagos women like my friend, Remi, everyone else wants to be on Just Naija. The email from Kunmi was for the TNW (The Nigerian Woman) Magazine awards…one of the fashion magazines in the already over-saturated market.
“You are cordially invited to the inaugural issue of the Awards
Date: February 11
Venue: Lodale Hotel 45 Adeola Odeku, V.I.
Time: Red Carpet starts at 6pm; Launch starts at 8pm
Dress Code: Black Tie
Invitation admits two”
I couldn’t help the excitement that took over my body. Finally, I had an opportunity to rock the sexy sequined-out dress Kunmi (C.E.O. House of Kunmi) had gifted me for my birthday (on Monday). I immediately got on the phone to Kunmi:
Fela: Hey Kunmi! I just got your email. Do you think the sequined dress you gave me for my birthday is appropriate for the TNW awards?
Kunmi: Hey love! No, you gotta do better than that.
Fela: What? I mean the black entirely sequined out dress you gave me!
Kunmi: If you’re going to be my plus 1, you’re going to need something way more glamorous than that. Why don’t you stop by the boutique and we’ll discuss?
Fela: Fine! See you in an hour or so!
I popped into “House of Kunmi” only thirty minutes after the phone conversation. An hour and
N250,000 later, I burst out of the boutique realizing that I was late to pick up my three year old daughter, Laje, from preschool. Rolla Preschool was one of those ‘pick your child up at 12noon or pay a N10,000 fine, even if you’re only ten minutes late' schools. I dashed into my car, and sped like a maniac out of Victoria Island, and into Ikoyi. Unfortunately for me, I ran a ‘not so red’ light and the eagles aka LASTMA (Lagos Transport Management Authority) got in front of my car before I could escape.
Fela: Good afternoon officer, is there a problem?
LASTMA Guy #1: No madam, there’s no problem. But you just drove across a
red light back there.
Fela: Which red light? I didn’t see any red light oh! Is the light even working?
I didn’t see any light at all!
LASTMA Guy #2: Ehn, no problem! Just follow us to the LASTMA office. Your
fine is only
Fela: WHY? Because I’m driving BMW abi? Do you even know who I am? Is it
because I stopped for you? I could have hit you with my car even as you were
standing in front of me. But out of respect I stopped, and you want to loot me
abi? No problem. Just hold on oh.
I brought my phone to call my husband. You see, my husband, Gbenga Olulojulo, is one of the most powerful men in Lagos. I met Gbenga in S.S.3 (the 12th grade). He owns and runs one of the most successful oil servicing firms in the country, Lulo Oil. Never mind that I'm the seventh wife, and he is still married to the other six wives. He set me up nicely in a serviced flat in Ikoyi, and every month like clockwork, I get my deposit of N_000 000 (you guess!). With this, I'm okay with seeing him once a week (make that twice a month during busy months at work). The phone rang and rang and rang, until it cut off. Who knows if he was actually at work, or with one of my 'iyales' (older wives). I checked the time, it was already 12:30pm. I didn’t even care about the late fee anymore. Poor Laje would probably be cranky by the time I got there. Left with no choice, I let one of the LASTMA guys into the car and agreed to go to their office in Victoria Island.
As soon as MR. LASTMA got in the car, I hit the ‘full lock’ feature on my fancy new BMW so he couldn’t open the door himself no matter whether he was inside the car or outside the car. Instead of turning around to the Ikoyi Bridge in order to get back to VI, I put my foot to the pedal and sped all the way to Laje’s school. The entire time, the LASTMA guy kept shouting, “Madam! Turn around. This isn’t the way to our office. Mama. Turn around please…” I drowned out his voice in my new gospel CD and pretended I was alone in the car. When I got to Rolla Preschool, I hurried out of the car and locked Mr. LASTMA in the car. By now his authoritative voice had turned into a begging one..."Madam please now. Madam, e jo ma. Madam no do like this…” I ignored him. I ran to the ‘late room’ to find Laje; the poor thing was the only child left to be picked up.
Fela: Lala darling, I’m so sorry I’m late again. I promise this is the last time!
Laje: Mummy you said that yesterday
Fela: Okay, let me make it up to you. Let’s go get icecream
Laje: Icecream makes you fat. Mummy fat.
Well then! Even my three year old could see all the weight I've gained in the last two months. FML! Time to hit the gym!