Events are a thing I nearly always look forward to. A fact I may not have known if my first and best therapist, had not said:
"Afam, you are so delightful that you must share your spirit with the world. It would be a crime against all that is good if you only attended your solitary pity parties."
And even if that wasn't true, I've discovered that I have a profound attraction to drinks I do not pay for myself. It is the only way to really enjoy outings in these difficult economic times. Everytime I have a drink that comes without a corresponding line in my bank statement, I do a little shimmy much like the one Hillary Clinton did in her first presidential debate.
I received the invitation to the Heineken Lagos Fashion and Design Week press day with great joy. The moment it arrived in my phone's inbox, I called up Avenger 2, and we decided that we would go together. When the working day was done, we made our way to the Heineken establishment in Ikoyi to do them the honour of depleting their stock. Heineken tastes as good as champagne when it has nothing to do with your money.
That's what the place looked like from the great outdoors. Look at it, sticking out like a leprechaun in the Lagos night. But that's what happens when the good people at Heineken happen to a place. It will flash blue, then red, then green, forever and ever and ever. Amen.
When we walked in we were stunned because we were expecting a cocktail party, not a series of lectures. As someone who has only just come out of education, it is not a format I enjoy.
I downed the beer I was handed like the champion of the drinking game Arise Oh Compatriots, and worked the room, abandoning Avenger 2 in the corner.
The drinking game Arise Oh Compatriots is the finest example of Weekend Patriotism you're ever likely to find. You must finish your big bottle of Star or Heineken in the time that it takes to sing the first verse of Nigeria's national anthem or less.
Also how stylish is the man in front of me. He's the sort of person that would make Papa Afam have an aneurysm and die on the spot. This is the main reason why I do not allow Papa Afam accompany me to all the events I go to. If you're ever invited to my house for a birthday or a random Sunday night barbecue, google posh public school boy and come like that. You are not allowed to kill my father, who I love dearly.
As I made my way around the room, I bumped into these four. On the extreme left we have Noble. I don't know what sort of look that is, but I'll say a prayer for him so that the next time he sees me, he'll look like he's genuinely happy to see me. Next to him is Mai Atafo. That is the face you make when anyone asks you how you're coping with the recession. And then there's Zinna. This is how I know I've really fallen to the bottom of the barrel, I almost want to beg her to give say Heineken and smile but I'm far too broke to beg for anything but money. Last but not least is Tosin of Ebony life fame, doing his best impression of the Ibo fine boy pose.
I learned a very important thing from them:
That if not smiling and looking away are the things that cool people do, then I shall do them with so much aplomb that my face and neck are never be same again.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that I was in great need of a drink after that unfortunate encounter. I found the nearest Heineken girl and demanded that she hand me a brew.
Above is Omoyemi Akerele, the founder and artistic director of Style House Files, a creative and development agency for African designers. That night, one rather interesting character called her the Anna Wintour of Lagos. I hate that he said that. I hate it when we feel the need to equate the stars of our local industries to Westerners. What's wrong with being Omoyemi Akerele, the woman behind Lagos Fashion and Design Week? Would anyone call Wizkid, Nigeria's Chris Brown. Wizkid is Wizkid just as Omoyemi is Omoyemi.
And here we've got Bolanle Olukanni. The magnitude of her smile reveals the truth about her. She's one of the best people in Nigeria's entertainment indusry. I like her so much that even the unnatural blondeness of her hair is adorable. The tree that is my affection for her casts no shade and its leaves brew no tea.
Now we've got Bayo Oke-Lawal, the Orange Culture man. I have it on good authority that his shirt is an Orange Culture shirt, which is lovely because I get panic attacks when designers don't wear the clothes they make. I have a theory about this. It's called the if you can't wear your own shit, how can you expect anyone else to theory. It's one of the reasons why I will some day hopefully own something that he's made. In fact I had thoughts about buying the jacket below.
Here we've got Bidemi Zakariyau. It was rather difficult to get this picture. She wasn't very thrilled by the prospect of taking a picture next to a portrait of herself but I wore her down with my charming smile and we're all the better for it. She looks lovely doesn't she?
This is Akin Faminu. He's a blogger and a medical student. I would say that he's studying the wrong thing but I could never be that rude. I mean the combination he's got on is so astounding that it would be a crime to hide it underneath a doctor's scrub which is essentially a poorly tailored bed sheet.
I do not quite understand how my iphone managed to take this picture. When I saw it on my phone's screen, I looked to the sky and asked the Lord if his ancestors had sent spiritual people after him.
On the left we've got Funmi Daniel, and on the right we've got Ivie Omenai. Ivie is the human equivalent of jollof rice. She's spicy, sweet, and there's something about her that makes you feel like you should be drinking coke. Apart from all that, she's got entrepreneurship in her veins. Would you believe it if I told you that she's the CEO of four companies? The first is Raya Sanarti, a company that provides original art deco jewellery with semi precious stones. The second is the Weave Hat company. That one does what it says. If you've got a weave and you can't find a hat that can accommodate the Brazilian head of hair you've added to yours then look no further than the weave hat company. And then she's got Beach Bum, swim and beach wear for the West African Market. If you'd like to get in touch, drop an email here:email@example.com, and visit her website, theweavehatcompany.com
You won't regret it, Ninety-nine and three-quarters per cent guaranteed. Everything her hand touches is golden.
If you didn't like this one, then bear with me for I haven't done a post like this in years and years. As Lagos Fashion and Design Week starts tomorrow (the 26th) and goes on till the 29th (Saturday), I'm sure I will be a pro at the end.