Metropole Magazine

Today's Weather: Abuja NG: Partly Cloudy, Day 360|Night 260

06 Dec Written by  Ladi Opaluwa

Waiting for Brandy

We have come on this very hot Sunday afternoon to felicitate with Studio 24 on the opening of its flagship store, to witness the launch of its campaign against rape, and to meet Tiwa Savage and Brandy―maybe not meet exactly but to see or catch a glimpse of the musicians.

It was an outdoor event. Two luxuriantly decorated canopies were erected on either sides of the entrance to the photo studio. Tables were set with appetizers, none though was willing to immediately engage the meal. The buffets behind the canopies diffused the aroma of larger meals to come.

The banquet was ready and all was welcome, dignitaries and passersby alike. As it was a Sunday, many turned up in gorgeous attires, giving the venue an ambience of a wedding reception. Like weddings, a few were invited, all was expected. It was a free event and there were enough tables and loud music from the DJ.

Gastronomic matters soon became the main course of the event. It took pre-eminence over the launch in view. Guests queued up to choose from the array of food. It was a gamble; the more garnished dish may not necessarily taste better but at the moment of decision it is hard not to be led astray by sight.

With as little formality as is rarely seen at such occasions, CEO of Studio 24, Mr. Chris Oputa, declared the complex open and made a brief remark about his company’s Red Card to Rape project. Having hastily dispensed with the two legitimate businesses of the day, and Mr. Oputa having taken guests on a tour of the complex, we were left with one agenda, the coming of the musicians.

The MC kept assuring of the imminent arrival of the stars. She increased our agitation by saying of every car that pulled up, ‘that should be Brandy,’ and even once going out of the arena to the road and returned to say, ‘sorry I thought that was Brandy.’ The MC was Matilda Duncan.  She was adept so the episode was taken in good humour.

Time passed, still no stars in sight. There was in fact no further mention of their arrival. In compensation, more food was served and Matilda encouraged us to eat, drink, and be satisfied. We obeyed. It proved a good way to keep people waiting quietly. It is hard to murmur with bloated tommies.

There came unbidden an entertainer spinning on the tip of his index finger a stainless steel tray. Next he spun the tray on a stick stuck in a bottle perched on a stick stuck in his mouth. This must be magic, I thought. Once his tray fell. The incidence did not detract from the awesomeness of his act.

Meanwhile, some guests have left, and more came. Desert was served. The MC had disappeared, and it seemed the event was officially over but relentless seekers of social companionship lounged about. The lingering crowd comprised a couple of On Air Personalities. OAPs are famous but remain generally unfamiliar to the public. Only they are aware of their stardom. A private knowledge of his celebrity status is the fate of the unrecognisable star.

‘Why is he feeling like something?’ a friend asked, referring to an OAP with whom we shared a table.

‘He is supposed to be a star,’ I said. On the confidence of an acquaintance with AOPs in Abuja, I began to demystify them to the friend.

At the moment though we all were united in expectation. I had had doubts from the onset. I had ten reasons Brandy, or Tiwa for that matter, would not show up, three of which were: the sun was too hot; it was a free event; it was a small, outdoor event by the roadside. I should leave, but I stayed, on the off chance that eventually, something would yield. Having waited so long, it seemed rational to wait longer.

But then there comes a time in the life of a fan that she has to relinquish her hope of seeing Brandy and go home.

The next day the friend who had waited a minute longer showed me pictures of Brandy on arrival at the venue, looking flawless in black blouse, short, flayed, peach-coloured skirt and heeled boots. I punched myself on both cheeks and kept the picture as a reminder of the virtue of waiting beyond the end.