Monday, February 28, 2011

A story of an African bash/party in the Bay Area

It's an understatement for me to say that I had been looking forward to the "I am African" bash that happened in the Bay Area this Saturday. Friends of mine had invited me more than 4 months prior and messages hit my Facebook inbox every now and then. I was so giddy for this African party like I was in Las Gidi. Las Gidi is appropriate because the party was being thrown by mostly Nigerians and mostly Nigerians would be attending. Well, Ayooluwaato Eze would be there live and square too. Even for $20. Hey, most parties cost that, nothing new here. Besides, I wanted to be amongst my African people. Win-win situation. All my reservations about how African parties/clubs, etc were organized were thrown out the window. And then they resurfaced during that moment when we were leaving it. Let's recount. Tori o!

Firstly, this was going to be some bash. Tickets were sold online at http://iamafricanbash.eventbrite.com. Now, did you see that some tickets were being sold at $200? Yes, VIP Bottle Service tickets. Well, I don't drink or need alcohol to have a jolly good time so thank God and more blessings to my pocket. Besides, why the heck will I pay $200 to party? Not in any lifetime. If I am that important, someone else should pay. We arrived at the party and the bouncer asked if we had VIP tickets. I gave him a nice smirk. We saw the folks going through the VIP line, most of them some smartly dressed ladies who wore dresses the price of that ticket. I will bet my last kobo they were attending the party for free and their $200 went towards the dresses they were wearing. If I am wrong, deny it right here. The guys in the line? Oh, they wanted to make it rain. Not like rain rain, because water get enemy for this party. I mean, like "rain money".

Like many Africans, I like to be fashionably late to social events. I don't know why. I had been warned that it would cost me more than $20 if I arrived on Sunday instead of Saturday. Besides, if I was 'late', I was going to have some of my connects ensure me and my friends paid just $20. Yes, I have connections, erm, no, I mean 'network'. So we enter the club, barely before 12 midnight. Illusions. I know this joint. In fact, the last party this same crew threw for Naija's 50th birthday was here. One area where folks could sit and hang-out away from the blazing music was blocked off. So I thought, "Hmm, where is the VIP section? let me see if I am missing out". If that whole area was no-go, then where's the VIP exclusivity? Oh, the VIP section must be on the stage. Ah, see boys and girls living life to the fullest! Back to this point in a moment.

So I go around looking for my friends who are attending the Bash and scoping the keles. I keep on wondering to myself if all these ladies are really over 21. But then again, who cares, the more the merrier. I wondered where all these women were from since I hadn't seen a lot of them before. Nice marketing by Eche and crew. Folks came from as far as Tracy to party. I've already spoken about the dresses right? I was impressed with the African-type attires on display, major props to all the ladies and gents who were rocking them. Wear those on Friday too, aight? I am not going to bother talking about the dances I had, because, really, do you want to hear about them and you think I want to share that information? See me in chambers.

The music. Folks who know me know I am a music man. Not Kojo Antwi the maestro, but an African music man. It beats me like an angry Nigerian mother to wonder why African parties don't play next to exclusive African music. Is that not what is setting them apart? No, I didn't come to listen to 'return of the mark' even if I would be macking tonight. I certainly didn't come to listen to 'my way' if I had 'my way'. The DJ played Oleku, MI's Number one, and erm.... I forget. If Mr. Endowed was played, then I truly missed out. If I have to come and ask you to play African music at an African party, then you the DJ is doing something wrong. Unless, you are not from Africa, then you the organizer is doing something wrong. Because, I will really come and ask you. Watch out for me.

The best part of the night was when this drunk dude approached me, telling me about how he is spiritual and we should all help each other. "Let me buy you a drink", he said. Helping each other for rizzle. I really wanted to leave him to go and dance but the guy was looking around to make sure I was still standing there. Thank God it was dark so he couldn't see me having a good laugh. I don't even know what he bought me but it sure did taste good. $20-$7 makes a lucky 13 of a night for me. Oooooooshe!

The Facebook event said the bash will end at 3am while the Eventbrite said 2am. Since I know Illusions, I knew better to figure out it would be 2am, but I hoped for a 3am close. Well, around 1:55am, some jagajaga started and folks were scatter scatter. A fight broke out in the VIP section; erm, wait, these guys paid how much again? What? The bottle service was bad? They served ogogoro and palm wine instead of 'margaritas' and 'adios'. Well, it was 'adios' to the partygoers as the party poopers pooped all over our happiness. As if that wasn't enough, another fight broke out and then another, this time on the dancefloor with the $20 ticket holders. Let me guess. Some guy tried to mack/sweet-talk/dance with some girl, the girl wouldn't budge and the guy flipped, the girl flopped and used her pepper spray on him or her bestest boyfriend came to her defence. Yeap, if you were at the party and you were choking like me, you would go with the pepper spray story. Unless the police came to disperse the fighters and the rest of us with 'teargas'. Sooo not party 101. Turns out none of these fighters were arrested but one soul decided to take a swing at a law enforcer and was taken for a ride in a police car. That's all the police would tell me. Of course, I am a citizen journalist. When people are going home, I am looking for stories. :-) And so you have the story.

The party was thrown by ROYAL ENTERTAINMENT. Look them up. Tell them to come read this. Major props to them for holding down the fort and organizing these bashes. Then again, the October party disappointed me and many folks I knew who had attended so I should have known better. But that won't stop me from attending them. I support African activities and want to see better. African parties must really be better. Or I will enter the party promotion business just to show everyone how it is done. Test me.
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