Je bekijkt de reis...
Reisverslag Party galore
4 februari 2009
While I’m writing this, a band is performing on the neighbouring compound. Loudly. There’s a lot of “Jesus” and “Hallelujah” in the songs, the dancers are woodenly shaking from left to right, and the voice of the singers isn’t quite in tone. And they don’t sing at the same speed. I know that my landlord sometimes has to bribe the NEPA officials to get electricity and I fear that my neighbours have done the same thing to have this party-cum-life-band, so all I can do is pray the bribe wasn’t high enough... If I wouldn’t risk electrocuting myself, I would now cut the cables to their compound.
Partying is quite something here anyway. It is very important, and it requires a lot of organisation and cooking, but at the end of the day most parties are quite the same. Same format I mean. There are speeches, there is a high table for all the important people, there are speeches, there is item number 7 (food & drinks), there HAS to be an MC (and of course a hideously squeaking microphone and deafening volume), there is a chairman, chairlady, sponsor, there are speeches, prayers, speeches, there is clapping, oh, and some speeching/praying/singing. At the end of the party you get a goody bag full of gifts. If it’s a wedding, you normally end up with a calendar/mug/bag/fan/plate/notebook/serviette with the name and photo of the couple printed on it. My house is littered with stuff like that...
The attentive reader may have noticed that I mentioned speeches above? Well, if singing, dancing, elephants and calmness are not typical Nigerian trades, then at least speeching is. And, by force, I have become a qualified speecher myself. Nothing more entertaining than to force the microphone onto the oyibo who thinks that she actually has to PREPARE a speech. How silly. Give the mic to a 2-yr old Nigerian and you’ll have a professional speech. Possibly because a lot of people here are not easily embarrassed?
And that’s how we get to the bottom of the fun: people just have it. Not self-consciously as in Europe, but whole-heartedly and laughingly. There is always enjoyment here, and if something turns difficult, the average Nigerian will ‘gist’ his way out of the situation. People here are, to me, an example of how to LIVE –even though most people here would say they are too busy to survive. We have no such excuse, but seem to live less. Perhaps that’s why, despite all the wahala, I can’t help but love this place.
Next door they’ve started a prayer-with-musical-intermezzos. Jolly. Even the drum has a will of its own! This must be the first time in over 2 years that I DON’T want electricity... Hallelujah! And please pass me the ear plugs.
PS only later did I find out that my neighbours were in fact having a funeral celebration.
PPS despite the above, most Nigerians do of course still dance & sing waaaaay better than us oyibos
PPPS there was electricity throughout the night…
4 februari 2009 08:21 | Door: Esther
Prachtig verhaal weer! En n vrolijke begrafenis begrijp ik ;)
4 februari 2009 15:46 | Door: OYIBO Roald
Misschien liet de overledene wel een grote erfenis achter (lesboekjes speechen en dansen wellicht) en dat moet gevierd worden!
5 februari 2009 06:33 | Door: Kevin
One of the wedding goody bags I got contained not only a N20 bag of Omo (useful seeing as I'd spilled egusi on myself earlier) but also a handkerchief printed with the names of the couple.
"Every time I blow my nose I think of your wedding" ...
6 februari 2009 10:11 | Door: Siji
Nice stories about Nigeria. I like the way you put it down. As a Nigerian, I had to laugh about how things go on there.
Maar ik denk twee jaar in Nigerian ben jezelf bijna een Nigeriaan.
Groetjes van Apeldoorn