My friend Toyin was having a party for her parents’ joint birthday celebrations. And I had taken aso-ebi, as you do. I sent my fabric to Nigeria for sewing, but as usual, I took my time in choosing a style. In fact, Ronke, my aburo ended up sketching a design for me in exasperation at my lack of urgency. Here’s what she came up with.
Debola took my fabric to the tailor, and my outfit was finally ready the weekend before the event, which was to take place on the 31st of August.
I wasn’t unduly worried, as I figured that between my network of friends and I, we would be able to get the outfit over here in time. I asked everybody for help. I appealed on Facebook and on Twitter. I made myself a complete nuisance as I bugged everybody I knew. I asked my friends to ask everyone they knew. A skirt and blouse wouldn’t take much space, and usually people coming over here from Nigeria come with empty suitcases, and surely, someone would know someone.
The outfit was dropped off at Amina’s on Monday. I was asking around but I kept missing people. All I heard was ‘Oh I came in last night.’ ‘My friend is on a flight as we speak.’ ‘My husband arrived this morning’ ‘Someone is coming but not till Saturday morning’ and so on. It was upsetting but I remained optimistic and kept asking. And then Remi, my friend and old schoolmate came through. She had asked Gbolaga, a work colleague and another old schoolmate of ours, and he had suggested she ask Shokan, who was also their colleague.
Shokan agreed to help Remi get the clothes over. On Wednesday evening, He found someone that was travelling that night, but Amina (of Gidan Nodza) was not at home, and could not make it back in time to get the clothes to the airport. He told Remi not to worry, and that he had a family friend who worked at the airport and could help.
On Thursday afternoon Shokan gave Remi the details of the lady, she passed them on to me, and I passed them on to Amina. We weren’t given her phone number, just where she worked and her name. Amina sent her employee, Tunde, to the airport to deliver the clothes. She had also wanted to send me sugared peanuts but I explained to her that as I did not know any of the parties involved, I did not want to take liberties. There was some confusion about the lady’s name, and we did not have her phone number, so it was a while before he was able to locate her and hand over the clothes. He was panicking at this point, because he lived in an area that had a curfew, and it was getting quite late.
When I told Amina about writing this post, she said and I quote,
‘Please remember to include how Tunde ALMOST missed his curfew, how he ALMOST got mobbed by area boys, how he ALMOST got admitted to hospital, how he ALMOST lost all his teeth, how he ALMOST got dumped by the love of his life…’
It took a lot of effort to get the clothes to Rinu, the lady who worked at the airport, and we all heaved a sigh of relief that she had received them in the end after all that team effort. Over here, Remi and I held our breath waiting to discover if she had indeed been able to send them over. This was on Thursday night.
On Friday morning, Shokan confirmed that Rinu had sent them and they were in London. We were elated. We had no way of knowing the drama that was about to unfold…..or that my clothes had been taken hostage.
To be continued……
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