Singer turned writer Etcetera writes this article again…very interesting!
‘Hi, Uche or Etcetera or coma or whatever that singer called you the last time. Guest what?’‘Guest what? At this time of the day? Chudi, in case you didn’t notice, it is still 2am in naija and you are calling me to guest what?‘Hey Chudi, you guest what?’I’m hanging up this phone now and am going back to sleep. Mscheeew. Effing diasporans with no respect for time difference.’
‘Uche, you are dead when I get to that house if you dare hang up the phone on me.’
‘If you get to what house? Chudi what are you talking about? I thought you quit doing drugs?’
‘I don’t do drugs Uche, I only smoke marijuana which is legal where I reside in America and I haven’t smoke in hours since I boarded my flight to Nigeria. I’m right at the airport in Lagos now. Can you please come get me from this place?’
‘Chudi, please I don’t have time for this madness. It is too early for your pranks.’
‘Chudi, I swear I’m in Nigeria for real, I’m at the airport. We just landed’
‘Seriously? Chudi, but you should have informed me before coming na. Ok, I am on my way. Give me about 30 minutes, I’ll be there.’
So that’s how I picked up my fave cousin at the airport and after the hugging and few minutes of catching up, he asked if we could make a stop at the shrine on our way home. He said he’s heard so much about it and would love to see what it really looks like.
‘Chudi, what did you hear about the shrine that you are so eager to see at this time of the morning? Or you’ve been told they smoke igbo there and you think you can blackmail me with the things you claim to have bought for me to take you there right? For you info, as a personal rule, I only go to the shrine when I am scheduled to perform. However, if you want us to make a stop at St. Leo’s Catholic Church for the morning mass, that would be fine.’
‘Please spare me the sermon Uche. I only want to visit the shrine like every other tourist.’
‘You mean visit like every other igbo smoker? Chudi, I will take you there at the appropriate time for your so-called tourist visit. On a second thought, I could take you there on my way to the radio station this evening and pick you up later when I am done. Apparently, Femi is rehearsing this evening.’
‘Fantastic. Seems I’ll be enjoying a combo of live afrobeat music and scooshi and some pure naija marijuana tonight. What a way to hit the sky.’
Upon our arrival at the shrine that evening, I was greeted by a chant from some people around who recognised me. Three guys looking stoned as hell walked up to us shouting ‘Etc baba, haa! Our own don better today. Baba Etc, how far naa? How many wraps you want? We dey sell rizla too. Na your broda be dis? Una resemble oo.’
My cousin was already taken with their lingo. He was really fascinated by one among them, who looked like one of the zombies in Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video. He was gawking at the black nylon bag which this individual was carrying. We didn’t need to inspect the bag to know that it contained igbo. So they didn’t get it twisted, I quickly told them that I didn’t smoke. They just look at each other and laughed like hyenas. With one of them saying, “Baba, talk another tin. With this your hair? Abeg you dey smoke. You wey be musician?
“Baba, e no get any naija entertainer wey no dey smoke igbo. Even sef, na the girls smoke pass. I no dey talk about Tonto oo, everybody already know say dat one na mama nla igbolabi.
But how una take dey know female entertainers wey dey smoke and the ones wey no dey smoke?
‘Baba Etc, no let their pink lips deceive you oo. Dem dey do pink lips for Ikeja under-bridge. We know sey dem dey smoke because we dey supply most of dem igbo for their house and others dey come choco for here direct.
Baba, I know say you no go beleive because dey no dey do am for public but we wey dey supply the tin no say she dey choco wella. We fit even give you names of female entertainers wey smoke igbo pass Baba Fela.
‘Oh my God, these are our role models and you are saying they all smoke igbo?’
‘Hahaha, Baba Etc, we dey tell you say dem smoke pass Fela, you dey say dem be role models. Role models ko, rolling models ni.’
‘What about the male entertainers, una no talk their own?’
‘Bros Etc, why you wan waste our time? Those ones dey smoke anything wey enter their mouth. Una dey talk say naija music don spoil finish. So una no know say na igbo dey cause am? All their music dey sound the same way because all igbo smokers dey think the same way.’
‘Ok guys, make I waka before I late for my radio show. Chudi, see you later ok?’