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Funmi Iyanda
Lagos, Nigeria
Funmi Iyanda is a multi award-winning producer and broadcast journalist. She is the CEO of Ignite Media and Executive Director of Creation Television
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Friday, January 11, 2008

PLAY HARD

As you can perhaps tell, I am running away from the hard issues this week. It may be my superstitious Yoruba core but I refuse to start the first work week of the year dealing with those. I see and hear of it all from Kenya to Abuja but I will not process any of it yet. On that note, let me give you ideas for a "not processing any of it" weekend for the slightly vain and mighty brave.

5pm Friday, get off work early and head to Proflex to tighten the jiggly bits and strengthen the heart for the task ahead. You can book a post gym sauna and massage to get the mind and body nimble.

8pm, meet up with friends and eat dinner at Piccolo Mondo, the décor and ambience is alluring. If you have seduction in mind, ask that they put out a table for two in the garden just for you and your victim. The soft lighting, the open skies and the sheer indulgence of it all will bring most mortals to their knees. Just watch out for the bloody mosquitoes! The place also transforms into a club from midnight.

11pm, head to the palms and to people viewing central News Café. Now that is a real "ayecious" (can’t help you there, too complex to translate satisfactorily) place. It ticks all the vain glorious, ego servicing and amoral Lagosian boxes and people just love it. Its location makes it the ideal runway/drive through/market place. The gals get the runway to strut their stuff, the boys the drive through to roll a fierce car and everyone can buy and sell what they choose all in full view of the alfresco dinning patrons and the window rangers staring through the blue glass. Inside there is a good enough band, wi.fi, flats screen for football and fairly well priced drinks by the islands' standards. I advise you to just stick to the drinks.

1a.m, depending on the type of person you are or you state of mind, head for Lacasa, Legato or Valour. Heck, go from one to the other for full measure. Legato is the most democratic of the three in terms of entry. It is the old CLUB TOWER now managed by Gloria Ibru. It retains a down to earth shabbiness that can be appealing and attracts quite a number of movie and music celebs. It is the place to go if you have nothing to prove to yourself or anyone as it attracts a diverse mix of people and ages. Even the working girls here are honest to god about their business and do not bother with the pouty, I am a part time model, part time "lag" (University of Lagos), part time idiot pretence. The band is fair but the DJ is really tapping.

Lacasa is the Holy Grail for those with blinding ambition to succeed, be noticed, be beautiful, and be happening. It all started with the young, newly rich crowd coming to dance salsa, drink and mix with their type but it quickly attracted all those who want to stab them in the back and take their jobs. From the aging lothario, to the newer rich, the supermodel, the Nollywood stars, the corporate call gals and the young business turks, they all do Lacasa. It used to be that the wives came too but these days they have been scared off with only the bravest putting in an occasional appearance. Lacasa is the place to see and be seen, it does drinks well but the dance floor is small and the old school music is actually the nursing home music. Please someone tell all the clubs that ladies night and the rest of the 70s pop shebang is no longer old school for many of us. I know now that my aunty Funmi stripes are well earned as l am an "anti" but even l am a 90s kid, somebody adjust the decades please and give me some rumshaker jo!

Finally there is the new valour, managed by the beautifully mad, 'one pickin, no mumu for house" Tanya (story for another day) Don't be deceived by Tanya's "oyinbo" looks that girl is a Niaja to the core. Now Valour is appropriately named for once you are over 23 years old, it will require bravery, supreme confidence and iron will to get into and stay at valour. This is youth central and not just any kind of youth; this is rich, firm, taut, perky, beautiful, handsome, cool youth planet. I do not know how mere mortals get in, l called Tanya to reserve me seats the few times l have been and even then it is still a hassle. Inside, the space is big, the people are young, and the drinks are expensive. The music is fabulous and cutting edge jumping from new naija music to rap, dance hall, techno, and all forms of crazy mixes. You can spend the entire night dancing non-stop, that is if you recognize the music. Valour can be anything from humbling to intimidating for the old (anything above 25 baby) but that is exactly what l like about it. You see a lot of youthful bodies rubbing up against each other and a number of young couples. You also see a lot of young independent souls just doing their own thing. This is against the grain of what obtains in most other clubs except maybe the newer Bacchus. Usually you do not see open display of affection, love or lust, not because these are not present but because it is usually directed at an unavailable person, or shared with many persons. This is why downtime club game is to try guess who is with who but pretending to be with who else. Also you see a lot of weird couplings like a preponderance of the older man with very much younger gal or the really old white geezer and really young attractive black girl. Everyone to his and her own but l have always wished to see more happy, open young coupling and Valour has that. I wont be going too often though as frankly l am too old not only to be waiting at the door to be let in by Tanya, but the sheer number of people sincerely saying "hi aunty Funmi, so you come here" is just too much for my fragile ego so lacasa is it o.

5am, head home if you live on the island, head to the mainland if you are mad (if you are going to do it, avoid 3rd mainland bridge and do Apongbon western avenue, also try not to take a flash car, one with a beat up body but great engine is ideal) or check into the moorehouse for a few hours, grab a late breakfast at the hotel or at Roberts or Cactus and then head home to explain your night to your parents, wife, husband or/and kids (everybody get oga). Saturday would be beach, cinema or wedding with the family.

In all of these don't forget church on Sunday to atone all these sins and just so you can deserve next Sunday's deliverance or confession, prepare for the week ahead with Sunday evening karaoke at SWE bar. Have a great weekend.

10 comments:

Nonesuch said...

Hhhummm! If i ever want to play that hard i will like to have you come along. May this year be Fertile and bear good fruits for us all. Odun a ya bo o. Amin.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, funmi, I wish I was in lagos to do all of these.... who am I kidding.... Chris Rock is in London and I can't even get a ticket... what a shame.....

But whatever happens am going to have a great weekend, and I hope you do too...

King's kid

Som said...

Yeah i love going to Legato. I never really enojoyed hangin out till i discovered Legato about a month ago. I finally found a place that was entertaining. I go there on Sundays and listen to the band and the comedy. I've taken all my friends and friends friends there and just 2 of them like the place. The rest don't but i love Legato.

Sherri said...

hmmm, i wonder who'reading who's mind?
i too decided "not to process" o sodun tuntun.

liking lacasa
enjoy urself jare,
don't forget the ablution :)

O.E. said...

Wow, Lagosians really do know how to play hard. Wow!!

Iyaeto said...

Funmi, you sure know how to enjoy life. I'm also trying to blag a ticket for Chris Rock's show. If I'm lucky I'll get one for the Brixton date.

shola pacheco said...

lagos is the place to be ho,and i like the bit of everyone has an oga!!!!!(some explaining but when u have good fun,u wont really feel the bad part of explaining

DO said...

Brilliant stuff ma'am. You have a new fan. We seem to share interests see:http://travellingpundit.blogspot.com/

Bella Naija said...

Happy New Year!!
I luv your work hard, play hard spirit...
U just made me feel so bad for being too lazy to go to the gym, if you can muster the energy to do it after work, so can I!
Volar was fun fun fun this xmas but I dont know if all that is sustainable with their (literal) gating system. We'll see.

Oh well, have a great year!!

Ayomide said...

i realy do admire you....u inspire me o!!!
Ps...what did u study in Uni?...u have a fantastic way with words!

I love u!!!!