THE SAMSUNG EXPERIENCE
Departure time was said to be 8:00 am, so I brazed up early enough to get set, well it’s not going to be a long journey but I had little promptings that the journey will be stress free and eventful.
Our African attitude about time came to fore, so we had to wait, calling on the many who promised to join in the flight to Abuja where the real thing was going to happen.
What made the journey really good was the way new faces related with one another like they were friends long time ago. The jokes of Buzu and his friend…these guys were just too hilarious!
On landing at Bolingo. I was visiting the hotel for the first time and I was fascinated by its scenery…my interest was first to locate the lady whose courtesy and phone manners convinced me beyond doubt that it wasn’t scam. This was for real so before I even asked of Funmi, eze, already requested to know who she was. And she didn’t disappoint her admirers “yes we have two funmis here”. The fact that she answered, help me surmise that she was the one whose voice, I have heard over the cellphone in the past couple of weeks.
I did as others did; registration and other little details and I was handed the key to the room 421. After checking in, I showered and tried to put on the TV as I was wont to most times, a media person is always information-savvy and avid about news headlines and analysis.
The TV didn’t come on, so I tried the remote and got no response, I dropped it and decided to peruse through the guest manuals in the room, the intercom numbers, and the in-room services.
Lunch was ready at about 1 pm. I got to the dinning 25 minutes late which was intentional for two reasons; I didn’t want to be seen in a rush mode and I wanted to eat without anyone watch my mastication. I can’t even recall the order of my pick but starters collided with snacks, snacks met mixed grill, pizza and my main course was chicken plus grilled white fish. I topped it with some sweet digestible.
I collected much meat and little rice and did stomach justice to it without compassion. How can I be foolish enough to be kind at food which is meant to be macerated?  It’s ours for the eating.
While I ate on, the thought of being a lucky person in a country of 140 million, the thought of meeting new personalities from various walks of life and the thought of meeting the Celebrity raced each other in my head. It was Bello, the other guy adjacent to my table that reminded me again that there is more in case I need more content in the stomach. I smiled at his jest and looked at his table only to see a mammoth-looking blend of varieties I overlooked when I dished my own plate. I smiled again at his sense of savouring the booty. Little chops, Fries, assorted creams and fruit mix after lamb cutlets, veggies cuts, mozzarella, fish, beef, turkey and slices of plantain.
It was after all these that I returned to the room….I put on the west-point air–coolant. I placed a call through to three of my friends domiciled in kado and the other stays around mpape , but they were either far from their phones or had reasons not to pick; whatever it was, I knew it wasn’t intentional. I wanted them to share in the jolly thingy. I checked on my new friend in his room and as we chatted on the relentless Funmi came knocking. She delivered a handbag and a Chelsea blue-customised Mikel Obi top. My friend and I looked at each other with such an air of fait-accompli….a quick thought that came to mind suggested that Nigerian Eagles had no option but to win the Mozambiques’ in this World-Cup qualifier. The Eagles have not been too impressive with their draws and losses in the matches played before now and there is a general apathy and disinterest in the outcome of the game. But the fact that we were watching the Eagles live, we were at the VIP, and we were all donning a BLUE MIKEL-OBI shirt made the anticipation, more.
We got to the stadium in 4 four coaster buses, with chips and pop-corn (from silverbird) in our hands. For those who finished theirs before we got to the stadium, all they did was watch and share in the thrill; some took shots with cameras, camcorders and cellphones. A young man with whom some air of friendlily exists with me, urged that we moved closer to Mikel, because the stadium may get rowdy before the game ends. We did, but a slighted Mikel who because of his injury couldn’t be on the pitch was cursing and vexing at the reality that the Mozambique side(who conceded 3 or 4 goals against the Tunis team) was not just a walk-over as some predicted. Nsofor made the difference for the Eagles with a lucky goal a few minutes to the end. In a rare incidence, I wished I was Odemwingie…he played his heart; he was obviously the man of the match.
I took shots also with Raymond Dokpesi; one of my media heroes. He was sitting right in front of me, calmly watching the match. His disposition to the field tussle was matured like a Daddy.
After the match we all returned to Bolingo…a name that sounds close to the Hausa word, Balangu (a specially spiced delicacy of roasted beef). Buzu and I repeated that word aplenty as we enjoyed the whole treat. Pure indulgence as we were treated to a sumptuous dinner, this is probably the third time this year of my relishing food in surplus enjoyment. The coordinator of the ‘SAMSUNG /Mikel look-alike’ promo made some announcements and I heard an after-party notice for coconut beach at Sheraton….and my mind was blown-up; what other way to spoil a people with extreme jollification. We got there all excited and the band-boys, the bar attendants and service persons didn’t disappoint us.
We ate under the round small huts, shielded by the coconut trees….food was not in short supply but ladies were; so a hunting exercise emerged, the details of which I’ll rather skip. It was a grooving overdose. When I realized eating was getting much (creams, fruits, salads, drinks (I don’t do wine but it was available), chiken-berbecue, goat pepper soup and fish meals), myself and two others had to take a walk round Sheraton….what we had in short supply in coconut –beach was in carnal superfluity as we walked through halls and alleyways. My eyes were assaulted as we unknowingly bumped into the pool area. This happened at a time when a retreat will either scare the swimmers or my colleagues would think a spirit had come over me….so I walked through bashfully, avoiding intimidating jugs and fleshes.
As the night dusked further, I suggested we returned to our rooms and that was it. I had a good shower and crashed. It was this simple sleep that made all that I had enjoyed a trivial jollity considering what others relished in the night while I snored away. Anyway it was mega fun.
After breakfast the next day, which was Monday 12th October, there was so much exchange of contacts, banters and goodbyes….the Lagos group were taken to the airport and we returned through the route we took earlier. I chatted up Charity, she was the only female in our midst; she was really friendly and open.
In all….I didn’t spend a penny to enter and access the promo; I knew that if not for SAMSUNG, I wouldn’t be opportune to watch Nig/Mozamb- (from where the stadium- live) I am not a soccermaniac. I wouldn’t spend two days in Bolingo Hotel for just the fun of it-that would cost me my salary, I may not meet the aircraft Engineer Mr Ayo; the mechanic egg-head from Ekiti, I may not be able to draw an informed conclusion that not all ‘free things’ in Nigeria are scams, I may not be able to measure the pantying that holds sway in the business district area of Nigeria’s capital, or the deep material dichotomy that exist in a geographical contradiction called Nigeria. May I formally request from you to name my unborn daughter Samsung? Samsung you made my weekend!

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