On a rain drenched Lagos night, and despite the traffic snarl which made movement almost impossible, the full cream of the entertainment world, especially the Comedy wing still gathered at Villa Medicci, an urbane restaurant at Victoria Island, with a secret mission: to pay one of their own a big surprise party.
Basorge Tariah, the lover boy in the Do Good comedy series on television had four days earlier turned the corner, washed his chubby hands and trimmed his now greying beard, and joined the elders class, which begins at 50.
Transport minister, Rotimi Amaechi, was the brain behind one of the best kept secret surprised party.
He coopted Okey Bakassi, who eventually coordinated, ringing up close friends to swim their way to the eatery known for its famous guests which often includes Mike Adenuga, the recluse owner of Globacom.
Fifty top of the range comedians, actors/actresses, musicians and so forth were cornered into the secret pact. The Ajegunle music maestro, Daddy Showkey had flown in with Basorge from Portharcourt that morning and kept a monitoring eye on him without giving out any hint.
Former Rivers state Governor, Amaechi, flew in from Abuja and managed to sequester Basorge in his room at the Signature wing of Eko L’Meridien. Along with TheNewsGuru.com publisher, Mideno Bayagbon, Basorge who came in with a mutual friend, was kept engaged.
The message was simple: a friend was organising a dinner for Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi and the ex Governor decided to invite some friends to come along with him. Basorge fell for it.
Julius Agwu and his very beautiful wife along with their son and daughter, kept the co-conspirators waiting even as the rain flogged the twilight out of Lagos and coated it with an anxious, expectant hue. Amaechi was restless.
He does not want to keep invited guests waiting. Dressed in a suit he has owned for three years, the anxiously stubborn ex Governor, became restless. For him, it is indecorous to keep guests waiting for no reason. At his prompting, the train then all troop down, and by some stroke of coincidence, voila, Julius Agwu surfaces and the short trip to Villa Medicci begins.
Lagos drivers stewing in the crawling traffic, simply ignored the blaring siren and a three minutes journey stretched into fifteen, and that with some manoeuvring. Victoria Island, Ikoyi and other areas of Lagos were on a lock down.
Surprise, surprise! The venue was empty, to the shock of all on the minister’s train. Save for Daddy Showkey, Okey Bakassi and a few other guests, there was no opportunity to shout Surprise! Happy birthday Basorge.
A big problem. How do you keep a now anxious Basorge, who looks around and sees a cake marked 50 from getting on the know? He moves around, accosts Daddy Showkey: “ol’ boy what is going on” he asked. He moves to TheNewsGuru.com publisher, then Okey Bakassi, with the same question.
But then the stream began, the indomitable Mayor Akinpelu strolls in, so did Bovi. Kate Henshaw who was practically forced and arm-twisted by Rotimi Amaechi to put aside her steamingly hot quarrel and seeming enmity, with her best friend, Basorge, got all eyes turned when she walks in, in a beautifully designed dress that exposes all of those her shapely long legs on heels. And she did walk the walk!
Her smile lights up the room and soon that her peculiar laughter also rings the room. But that was before the tears! began. Another story that ends well.
The night was off to an excellent roll and the rain hammering the roofs and streets outside, with the annoying traffic jam became a distant memory.