As an entertainment journalist, the job gets really busy in December, with a litany of music festivals, award shows, comedy events to cover. As early as October 2018, entertainers begin to roll out dates, venues and time of their concerts scheduled for December. So, it was a well-expected move on December 7 when Nigerian singer Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, better known as Wizkid, took to his Instagram handle to announce the date and venue of his two concerts: The Wizkid Exclusive VIP Experience at Eko Convention Centre on December 19, and the Made In Lagos Festival which was to hold at Eko Atlantic on December 23.
I reached out to Xchange, organisers of the two events, in order to get press pass to this event. Our request was granted, we attended the Singers First event, which was held at Eko Convention Centre. On Saturday December 22, I placed a call to the Xchange team in order to get press pass for the singers’ Made In Lagos concerts which was going to hold on Sunday 23rd. The person on the line told me there was an event, ‘Afrobeat Fest’, holding at Eko Atlantic and there were press passes for us if we would like to cover the event.
It should be recalled that Yemi Alade had tweeted: “Stop increasing your ynash in your pictures! You know you are straight like ‘I’ embrace your real self! Ahh ahh. Deceiving fans up and dan.” Few hours later, Tiwa Savage took to her Instagram page to post a series of pictures displaying her backside, which she captioned: “Flash Black Friday #ToWhomItMayF&ckingConcern” for the first photo and “Because I’m petty I get plenty more but make I no break your screen guard. Let sleeping dogs lie. A word is enough for the wise,” for the second photo. Fans did their one plus one and concluded that a very big celebrity fight was brewing.
The zeal and desire to tell every story as a Journalist and probably the opportunity to get Yemi Alade’s reaction, as she was billed to perform at the event (Afrobeat Fest), made me want to cover the event. Later in the evening, I headed to Eko Atlantic, venue of the event. Upon arrival, I noticed how scanty the place looked and how lifeless it was for a music concert. If a census was taken, those present would hardly be 100. “Maybe it is the usual African time; people will come.” I said to myself as I tried to clear my doubt that an event was indeed going to take place that night. This was how I kept consoling myself till Ephraim, a friend of my colleague, joined me at the venue. His arrival brought more regrets rather than happiness, as he was even more convinced that no concert was going to hold that night.
In the midst of all this, as we walked away from the main arena, we bumped into a group of white foreigners who were very pissed off that an event reportedly slated for 7pm was yet to start by 11pm. Determined not to rant in vain, they walked to an usher to seek explanations. Wanting to see how this was going to end, I signalled Ephraim for him to wait while I observed the situation.
After speaking with the ushers, who could not come up with concrete reason why an event billed to start by 7pm was yet to start by 11pm, the foreigners were directed by the ushers to speak with a superior official at the gate. Still visibly angry, they walked towards the gate in hope that they would get answers to all their questions.
The following conversation ensued between the foreigners and some ticketing officials at the gate:
Foreigners: We arrived at 05 past 9; we’ve been waiting for three hours; three hours, nothing! You can cut our bands off (the pass that grants access into the venue, worn on the hand). We paid N5,000 to see Femi Kuti and then what we’ having is just… it’s not funny…..the lack of communication is so bad for social growth.
Officials: We apologise.
Foreigners: Who do we speak to? Who is the manager that we can speak to?
Officials: Point towards a man not so far.
While this was going on, they approached the manager, whom they were directed to speak with. When they told him their grievances, all he did was to try to calm the angry foreigners while saying the usual customer care catchphrase: “We’re sorry for the inconvenience.”
Having expressed all their anger with the organisers, the foreigners decided to leave the concert, totally pissed. I followed them behind as they made their way out of the venue.
As they made their way to the parking lot to retrieve their vehicles, their ‘fans’, including me, kept following them. Then I eavesdropped on someone saying in Yoruba: “They have tickets to Wizkid concerts that they want to sell.”
“How much?” I asked someone beside me, who was also probably trying to purchase the tickets. I wasn’t sure. “1k” the person replied. If there is anything Nigerians chase more than they chase their dreams. definitely it’s freebies. It was then it dawned on me that these people were on the foreigners trail not for money but for tickets. At that moment, I began to observe to see if truly the tickets were going to be sold for N1,000. Like wildfire, the ticket sale story went viral. Soon, prospective buyers began to approach the foreigners. Someone tried to negotiate for N500, but the foreigners declined the offer. They knew quite well how not to be stupid on the streets of Lagos.
The foreigners stood by the road as they awaited a potential buyer. Not that they were not getting offers, these offers were not juicy. Ephraim, my friend’s colleague, walked up to one of the foreigners to strike a deal.
“How much?’ he asked. “
“1k” he replied.
“Bring it let me see”
One foreigner signalled to one of his companions to bring two tickets. Not wanting to get detected by security officials patrolling the area, knowing that sale of tickets by unauthorised persons is illegal and regarded as ‘black market’, he stylishly hid the ticket, covering it with both hands while waiting for Ephraim to seal the deal. When Ephraim saw the tickets, he reached down to his pockets for his legal tender. Money exchanged hands, tickets exchanged owners, the deal was signed, sealed and delivered. Ephraim was not the only who bought the tickets, I also bought one. The foreigners ensured they sold all their tickets before leaving.
This illegal trade would not have taken place if the event organisers kicked off the event at the scheduled time or intimated concert goers on why the concert was yet to start. Had the foreigners enjoyed their money’s worth, there would have been no need to sell their tickets. The Nigerian entertainment is a fast-growing industry but that growth must now extend to timeliness. No more African time, please!
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Lekki Shooting: ‘I took a lot of gunshot victims to the hospital’ – Ideh Chukwuma
Ideh Chukwuma has shared his experience at the Lekki tollgate protest ground. The Nigerian filmmaker revealed that he took, at least, 13 endSARS protesters cum victims to the hospital.
Chukwuma made this known in an exclusive interview with Premium Times, an online newspaper based in Abuja. He, however, noted that he never saw any dead body at the massacre scene.
What I will say is, I have been hearing people say “Lekki massacre, Lekki massacre.” I have to be honest with you if you Google the term “massacre,” massacre is a situation where a group of people were being killed by rebels or the military and going by that particular point, I would have been able to tell you that I saw a lot of dead bodies, this is how they killed them, there were a lot of dead bodies and so it was a massacre.
“But from the time I came, I didn’t see any dead bodies but I can certainly tell you that there was a shooting, an unauthorised shooting. I will call it a raid, I will call it assault. I am going to term it assault and raid. That is what I would use. It was an assault and I and I may be wrong but because I didn’t see those bodies, and I have not seen a family member that has come to cry and say one two or three persons have died.
If DJ Switch had seen that, she’s in the best position to say that because she was there. I cannot say she’s wrong. I was out of that circle. I was a few meters away. They were at the toll gate and I was a few meters away from them. I wasn’t there, I was at Lekki Phase 1. I can’t tell you what the military’s approach on their arrival was. So, I wouldn’t be able to tell you that they shot one, two, three, four, or five people. But I can certainly tell you that I took a lot of gunshot victims to the hospital.
If I took about 13 people to the hospital myself, minus the ones that the governor confirmed that were injured, he said about thirty, that is forty-something, DJ Switch might not be wrong. I took 13 to the hospital. So, if DJ Switch said she saw 15 dead people, by her own records, because she was there so she can speak on that part. I can’t speak on that and none of the thirteen people that I took to the hospital has died. They are still alive and some of them have been discharged.
He also recounted how the soldiers tried stopping him from helping victims of the shooting. One Soul added;
For the record, I was not at the protest ground with the crowd protesting when the military came around so I cannot tell you what guns they were shooting. But I knew I heard gunshots and people were running. So, what could have happened when I was not there, while I was in my car, I don’t know. It was when I came back I realised everyone was running helter-skelter and I saw people falling down. I saw blood, people being shot and it was all looking bad so I decided to keep going (driving) and I could see clearly this time that the army had surrounded the protesters.
“They were gathered together into a circle and the army surrounded them with their guns and they were still singing the national pledge while they were surrounded. They saw my car coming and I was waving the flag and one of the military guys was shouting “ Go back, go back” and I wouldn’t go back and I was like I want to check up on my friends and they shouted that I should “ Go back now!” and then I saw a lady that was shot on the leg and another guy who was shot in the hand.
Yes, and they saw me carry wounded people in my car. I saw another guy who was shot in the hand but the bullet did not go into his arm but bruised him so I carried the three of them and drove to Ajah. They rejected them. I got to the government hospital and they said it was only for mother and child. Then Doren Hospital, Ajah, accepted them and I was happy. I told the Director that I was coming back and I then I drove back to tollgate and they were still shooting and I came down from the car raising my hand up and the guy kept shooting and I told them I wanted to help people that were wounded and he said No I should go back and I said, ‘‘Sir, I cannot go back I have to check the wounded people, and he refused then I took off my clothes and I said “ Sir, you have to shoot me” then he cocked a gun and aimed it at me and I was like I will not leave if you don’t allow me to rescue these people. While he aimed his gun at me, his colleague brushed me and hissed then I walked in there and rescued four other people and rushed them to the hospital.
When I was coming back the third time, I came with an ambulance to rescue more people. While I was there, one of the guys told me that the military was keeping the wounded or dead people in their trucks. So what I was told was that the military took some people and that they thought they were taking them to the military hospital. I don’t know if it is possible that it is true or I don’t know. When I came back again, I told the man (soldier) that I wanted to carry more people in the ambulance and I helped more people in the ambulance and they were taken to the hospital.
— Akpraise (@AkpraiseMedia) October 24, 2020
Hoodlums reportedly attack Actor Clem Ohameze in Uyo
Clem Ohameze, popular Nollywood actor was on Thursday reportedly attacked by hoodlums in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state capital.
This was made known by a Twitter user who revealed that the actor was robbed of his personal belongings during the attack.
Veteran Nollywood actor Clem Ohameze was attacked in Uyo on Thursday by hoodlums. They injured him, took his money and phones. Quick recovery sir.
Hoodlums storm Senator’s residence in Ibadan; cart away 300 motorcycles (Video)
Hoodlums have paid a visit to Nigerian senator Teslim Folarin at his Oluyole residence in Ibadan, Oyo state capital.
It was gathered that the hoodlums made away with 300 new motorcycles, deep freezers, and other household items.
Senator Folarin is not the only politician who has suffered attack in recent times.
Information Nigeria recalls hoodlums, on Saturday, raided houses of senators in Enugu and Calabar.
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