My Lagos Diary: There’s no Amala like Shitta Amala

PictureThat’s me on the Africa Sport On set

Tuesday would be my last day in Lagos so I had to make the best of it.
I had arranged with Victor Ezeji that we had to make appearances at Lagos Talks, the new talk radio station in town, then I had to see Deji Tinubu, the chairman of the State Sports Commission; we also had an appointment with Mitchel Obi and Ejiro Omonede at Mastersports as well as an invitation to be on the set of Supersport’s Africa Sport On in the evening.
So it was a packed day and as early as 6:30 am we had left our Surulere hotel
heading for Keffi Street at Victoria Island (or was it Ikoyi sef?) to be on the set of Lagos Talks.
Charles Anazodo had warned us to leave that early so we beat the early morning traffic, especially at CMS.
We were there just about 7am and to my surprise, I also met Deji Omotoyimbo (one of my heroes of the profession) and Bode Oguntuyi there.
There were Segun Agbede, Joseph Faulkner and Charles Anazodo already and we spent some time before the show discussing all manner of football from the EPL to the Super Eagles game against Algeria.
Of course we talked about Jose Mourinho’s troubles at Manchester United and Antonio Conte at Chelsea.
Segun, Deji and Victor Ezeji are Manchester United fans, Charles Anazodo is a Chelsea fan and I am a Liverpool FC fan.
Somehow, Anazodo never saw anything in Chelsea’s good run of fun and it was Deji Omotoyimbo, a Manchester United fan trying to convince him that Conte was doing something right.
But the show in itself was complete madness. Between Segun Agbede, Charles Anazodo, Joseph Faulkner and Sodiq, I couldn’t tell who was closest to insanity.
They were all crazy, and I mean stark raving mad, but that’s a matter for another day.
All on live radio… but I enjoyed the show as we highlighted everything you all needed to know about the Victor Ezeji Testimonial.
Designer rice
After the show, Segun Agbede decided to drop off Victor and I at our hotel and he offered us breakfast.
As an elder which he is, he gave us a brief history of the place before we got there.
Agbede said he had been eating mama-put rice at the place for about twenty years and if my calculation served right, it meant that he started eating rice there since 1996.
The name of the place was/ is Designer rice.  Not a bad name and not a bad place and the rice was good too.
Deji Tinubu and the magic of the Lagos State Sports Commission
Next up was Deji Tinubu of the Lagos State Sports Commission.
Since he became a rich man he stopped taking my calls so we only communicate through twitter Direct Message.
But I’m sure you all know that I jest.
I just needed to speak with him because the Sports Commission had been doing lots of great things. I hear they have had close to eighty events and they have been in office just about a year and half. Less than fifteen of those events were football related.
He told me about his plans as chairman of the commission and my thinking is that if the thirty five other Sports Commissioners in Nigeria can do just twenty percent of what Deji Tinubu is doing in Lagos then Nigeria will certainly be better in sports very soon.
At Master Sports, Ejiro Omonede and Mitchel Obi spent about thirty minutes telling us how they reported sports in the early eighties and I realized one thing as we were talking.
The modern day Nigerian sports writers do not know how to write match reports.
Back in those days as a young boy growing up, I read a report from a Nigerian League game and it is so self-explanatory that I begin to think I watched the game.
That’s how well written match reports were back in the day.
I wish our new generation writers will learn how to write match reports. Right now, we either do not know how to do it or do not want to do it.
We discussed Victor Ezeji Testimonial with Mitchel and Ejiro and they gave us advise on how to do it better and offered to help us with marketing the event.
Those two are great guys every day of the week.
After Africa Sport On, we retired to our hotel and I slept watching the American elections update.
I just had a feeling Trump would win the elections. I had been saying that since the campaigns started because Donald Trump seemed like the average White American- proud, arrogant and feeling the whole world should bow at their feet.
I thought he was going to win because the number of Americans who thought and acted like him were in majority.
Game day proper
But my trip to Lagos was not all about visiting radio and television stations but first to watch the Federation Cup final between FC Ifeanyi Ubah and Nasarawa United.
So let me go back to Sunday morning, the day of the game.
I woke up on Sunday morning, the day of the game to a phone call from Queen John and Faith Oluchi who wanted to pay me a visit and in 45 minutes they were around for breakfast.
As soon as they left, I got a call from Deji Gbenro who wanted to know my hotel and my room.
As soon as I told him, he was in my room in record time and revealed to me he had been upstairs.
When I asked, “upstairs doing what?” he said he had been with Mimi Iyorhe who was to be an Assistant Referee in the women final between Rivers United and Bayelsa Queens.
I was shocked because I didn’t even know Mimi was listed for the game or even at the same hotel I stayed in.
I had known Mimi for some time and I thought she would at least tell me she was around and in the same hotel as I was.
Emeka Dennar came a while later and we went to Shitta for what Shitta is best known for as a prelude to the game.
It’s a place called Olaiya and the amala is top notch. Did I eat amala? Of course I did and we went to the stadium for the game.
Did I enjoy Nigeria’s Federation Cup final? Yes I did but it was drab most of the time.
I thought Nasarawa United were slightly the better team but I also gave it to FC Ifeanyi Ubah who couldn’t feature most of the players they beefed up their team with in the 2nd round of the league because they were cup tied.
Home ward bound
My flight being 7am on Wednesday morning I left the hotel at 5 in the morning.
By the time I got to the airport, it seemed I was the first there.
Even Dana air had not opened their counter by the time I got there and had to wait until they started boarding formalities.
The Flight was delayed, as usual, this time for about 30 minutes so I spent time following the America elections results on twitter.
I was watching on TV when I woke up at 3am and it seemed Donald Trump was going to trump it and I really wanted him to.
I saw Nigerians on twitter who were not American citizens, had never been to America and may never go, praying against a Donald Trump win and I could only shudder and the amazing development.
As I got on the plane the election results were the talk of almost every one.
Trump had picked up about 240 Electoral College votes by the time the plane took
off and it was obvious he was winning this one.
The two fellows behind me were loud and I tried not to butt in and engage in their discussion but it was about the American elections.
The woman in front of me was even louder and she was cursing every American for voting Donald Trump. Maybe she was American, or a Nigerian with American citizenship, who knows?
But by the time we landed, as I picked by bag from the overhead, I interjected the light skinned fellow behind me and he asked me a tough question and I went, “my hand no dey o” and he just laughed.
Why did that guy look familiar? I thought I had seen that face before.
On the tarmac, I sighted Andy Wabali chatting with Tonte Ikiriko and Ejike Asiegbu.
Now Andy Wabali was in secondary school with me though I hadn’t seen him in about five years; Tonte Ikiriko was in primary school with me and I doubt if I had seen her in thirty years; Ejike Asiegbu was at Uni with me and I hadn’t seen him in about 20 years.
Tonte’s mother, Stella Ikiriko used to work at NTA Port Harcourt and when we were kids, we used to go there a lot.
There was the program on NTA in the late 70s and early 80s called, Kindafair where kids go to their studio and do lots of fun things including dancing to Boney M and Abba Music. Yup! That was us.
So I walked up to them and after Andy and I did the ikwerre greeting, I turned to Ejike and went, “Ejykes! E be like you don forget me?”
He turned and hugged me and went, “O boy, no vex, you know say we don dey old.”
As I brought out my phone and said to Ejike, “Let’s do a selfie. This is a Kodak moment,”
The light skinned guy on the plane was approaching and from afar he went, “O boy I dey vex for you o. so na Ejike you dey snap with and not with me?”
He came and started chatting up Ejike and still looked so familiar but I couldn’t make out who he was or where we met.
He asked Ejike about Francis Duru and some other people from the Nollywood scene. Who was this guy? Was it at uni we met or where?
I continued to bother about who the light skinned guy was and even googled Nigerian Nollywood stars of the 90s when I went home but no similar photo came up.
But I racked by brain until it hit me.
I sat with Fred Amata on the plane and did not know he was the one.
I went back to google and did his was him. Chai!
How couldn’t I have realized that was Fred Amata behind me all the time?
Well I consoled myself with two things- first was Ejike Asiegbu’s statement, we don dey old. The second was the fact that Fred Amata also lost because I am a celebrity and he too did not recognize me. He missed a chance to fraternize with me. Shikena as my in laws up north would say.


Sodiq and Joseph Faulkner from the Lagos Talks Studio

0 thoughts on “My Lagos Diary: There’s no Amala like Shitta Amala

  1. Your lagos diary sounds good and provide me a lot of information about your interests, hobbies, goals and major achievements. I am used to write down the important questions with the passage of time and focus on my work to achieve my goals.

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