Are you an IJGB (I Just Got Back) who is home from Germany and has heard—rightfully—that the place to be on the third Friday of every month in Lagos is Afropolitan Vibes?
Then here is your unofficial guide, from an IJGB who syncs travel dates to coincide with AV.
Be prepared to be shocked…because punctuality
AV will feel like being in Germany for one reason only: the show is billed to start at 7pm prompt… and actually starts at 7pm PROMPT.
Nope, I don’t mean they start testing the mics at 7pm prompt o. Exactly, yes…even if Dangote planned to attend, he will have to be there at 7pm because these people have no concept of that dastardly thing called African time.
I have been wondering…maybe they are punctual because one of the fine boy co-founders of AV is half-German? Who knows if this is true? Who cares if this is true?
My own is I am happy the show starts and ends on time, before boys arrive on the 3rd Mainland bridge to slap me and collect the EU contract phone I have not finished paying for, and steal the small money I want to use to flex biko.
Try not to make the mistake of being over-dressed
Just because Afropolitan Vibes is in the open, in the grounds of Freedom Park in Ikoyi Prison and the ocean breeze should make its way there does not mean it will. The place is understandably packed with people ready to have a good time and possibly increase their body count so, be guided; all that aggro is adding to the global warming of the AV atmosphere.
This is not that secondary school meet-up where you pull out all the stops to oppress others. Just because you are an IJGB does not mean you have to wear all your baffs and bling plus ankle boots. I’m just sorry for you because coming from snowy Europe, you will produce enough sweat to rival that of the Christmas goat you bought for your parents. If you want to form that linen pantsuit, or linen tunic rubbish… know that the heat is so real that your Dolce & Gabbana perfume will turn to Eau de Perspiration before one hour is up.
Look, just don’t be that guy with a cocktail of Cockney and Mbaise accents sweating in furry Timberland boots who tried to mess with my friend’s enjoyment of Blackky’s set. And if you’ve been in AV for over 30 minutes and the only high thing about you is the heels you’re tottering about in that make you look constipated…just do not bother. AV is not for you, aunty. Try some of those VI nightclubs with weird names and weirder clientele.
Expect your country men/women to be over-dressed
Now, as an IJGB, you can expect to arrive AV and be surprised to see the dress codes of the ISDHs (I Still Dey Here).
In the same sweltering heat, you will see women in maxi or turtleneck body-con dresses and men in suits or Ankara buba and Sokoto. Even the ones that you think have sense to wear crop top and shorts? Look closely and you will see these particular types of females will wear TIGHTS underneath. As in, tights a.k.a “pop socks” in tropical weather. Many come with a full face of make-up and curled weavon, which immediately frizzes when the heat kicks in.
But by and large, most people are relaxed and dress in whatever can allow them dance, or car-fuck quickly. The others wear impractical stuff, and claim it is because they are coming from work, yet have Red cups at the ready. Go figure.
Be ready to meet long-lost folks
In a way, you can understand why the ISDH folks dress in their Sunday best on Friday that is AV; anybody can run into whoever at AV. It is the place to see and be seen, to meet and be met.
That colleague who you lost contact with 8 years ago? Expect them to tap your shoulder and join you in a squeal and a warm hug. That boss who told you “you will never amount to anything”? Expect to run into him trying to dance a few steps, while his pot-belly protests.
That subordinate who called in sick? Sure to be the fool dancing in front, and would probably be on stage gyrating if they were not afraid to end up on the ‘Gram with their cover blown.
Respect the gourd
I hear the grass is greener in AV, all pun intended. But I can confirm only two things; you will be spoilt for choice in terms of food vendors and… the gourds are worthy of respect. At AV there are two types of gourds; the filled ones – think Palmwine – and the empty ones, which are to be filled with money.
By all means, imbibe the Palmwine; it is fresh, frothy and liquid gold – finishes fast before the night has barely begun!
And when the empty gourd passes before you, forget those Ijebu genes you inherited via genetics or via poverty – give cheerfully to AV, which has struggled to always bring top talent unfailingly every month to play live for a paltry sum.
Who else could bring Blackky, Majek Fashek, Sir Shina Peters etc for less than N1000? So kindly respeck the gourd. Dip into your foreign currency-backed wallets and appreciate the organisers and backing band whose passions give you a reason to look like you have a social life.
Be ready to lose
There’s NEVER a dull moment with AV. That’s like seeing a virgin in a maternity ward. As in…NEVER.
If you are not among the bold who freely clamber on stage to give video-vixen-worthy moves, then you are likely to be cheering them on, throwing money on pneumatically-twerking buttocks… all while singing along to live music at the top of your Lagos smog-filled lungs.
Provided you are not the stuck-up IJGB forming aje butter, as you head-bop to old school music, latest hits or even Yoruba hymns…you could gain new friends and strike the odd business deal, as well as possibly re-establish contact with old pals.
Best of all? You’ll gain greater insights into the nightlife and energy of Lagos, and see the spirit that drives us as a people in real time, with real people and real music.
What do you stand to lose?
Your inhibitions, and your voice…from having such a great time.
You’ll have a voice as hoarse as Salawa Abeni’s and a high that is sure to last you until your next visit to the liveliest city in the greatest country on earth.
Uhm, you’re right.
The last 5 words of the previous sentence were made tongue in cheek.
Where’s my crowbar?
See you next week