Thursday, 28 December 2017


People get invited to parties because of all kinds of reasons

The first set of invitees, are people who must by virtue of their relationship with celebrants be invited to the party. These ones are as constant as the Northern star!

There are however some special breed of invitees.

Those who get invited because they are confirmed celebrities so the people throwing the parties can say with a sense of pride; Rita Dominic was there, Genevieve was there.

I remember how in the annual praise jams that just ended; the cameras kept flashing to us, the faces of well-known Nigerians to show us that they graced the occasion as if that was all that was needed to give the praise night; validity.

I even heard celebrities get paid to attend events! Aren’t they lucky? This is a serious source of income for them if you ask me.

Some get invited because they are rich and are givers. They come with gifts and sometimes contribute financially or otherwise to the success of the parties. A lot of them in this category may not be interested in the food or drink. They are rich and can afford better meals. The people throwing the parties sometimes literally have to force them to do takeaways.

Sometimes organisers of parties decide it will not be a bad idea to extend invites to those who are hardworking and humble and will not mind being unofficial and unpaid PAs (Personal Assistants). These ones are like errand boys and girls. They usually run around the party to give situational reports and deliver messages to the organisers on what needs to be done.

Some people are invited because they will provide the needed help in serving the guests and in clearing and cleaning up. They can be mistaken as humble. They are not always rich. They are committed religious folk sold to God or their contribution to the party is in terms of the help they are rendering. They are ready to wash plates and meet the needs of guests. Their rewards are in form of food to take home to their ‘hungry’ children, gifts or transport money which is usually more that they need!

Some people are invited because they are the souls of party. They are ready to dance and shout and comport themselves in a way to show that when they set out from their houses, they had one goal in mind which was to enjoy themselves.

When I was in the university studying for my first degree, there are these people who loved dancing and eager to display latest dance steps. If they were not invited to your party, know the party was sure to fail somehow. They danced from the first song till the organisers began to pack up the music equipment- an indication that the party was over. They don’t like being toasted in the parties because they don’t want according to them, ‘for the music to waste.’ That will be an abomination lol. They always had one thing in mind; to dance their hearts out. That was usually how their names got into the list of invitees.

Some people are invited because they can ‘shack’ (consume alcohol). They drink like fishes. When the party is over, they are the ones who remain behind to drink and shout and discuss sports or politics. They are the soul of the after party, party that takes place after almost everybody was gone. Lol. Because of this, the best wine is usually reserved for them. The nickname given to them is ‘fish.’ ‘Old boy, that guy is a fish. He can ‘shack’ for Africa and still stand on his feet.’

I guess some people get invited for the religious contribution they will make. They are invited usually because they will give the opening and closing prayer or if there is a gift to be presented like a car, they are the ones that will do the prayer stating, ‘evil eyes shall not see the car’ and ‘the car will not be a coffin but continue to be a useful means of transportation for the owner.’ Most importantly, ‘that the car will be used to serve humanity.’ (like it was the whole humanity that bought it.)

Now this is the one that concerns me and people in my category! I am getting invited now as unofficial and unpaid MC. So I show up in events where there is no hired MC and someone whispers to me, ‘please just stand up do something; in short please do some of those your jokes that will get people to laugh. Abeg, help us keep the place lively.’

In my mind I go, ‘what the hell. In exchange of what? Drinks my dietician warned me about not to take? Or food that I am no longer to eat; salad with cream, foreign rice, pounded yam and his sisters, meat and even when it is chicken, I must eat it without the skin.’

So I toy with the idea of not obliging their request. ‘Haba if they were to officially invite me, will they not pay for this service. What they want is for me to entertain them with this mouth that I ought to be making millions with. I have now become what you call ‘filler.’ As filler, I was supposed to be impromptu, clownish and on top of my game. It is irrelevant if I was not told even before the party. Thank God for a few of these people who now give me honorarium after I have made people to laugh though they are still in a tiny minority.

I am sure if I told my children, I know one of them who will ask me in a very irritated tone, ‘why did you then agree?’

I can imagine my answers, ‘look my reputation was at stake. I had to prove before a lot of these strangers that truly I was what they called me – MC and comedian. Secondly from free things you can get same people or fellow invited guests to hire you this time officially!’

I can imagine her replying; ‘if you say so Mummy; everyone knows there is no free lunch in freetown.’

And I was likely to respond, ‘you don’t know anything. Just wait till you grow up!’

So what is my drift, considering that food and drinks are not enough compensation for yours truly, can you make some honorarium available when you want me to do these informal MC and comedy. At least it will take care of the clothes or shoes I wore to your event! Lol.

Okay back to you the reader, which group do you belong? Do not be shy. Let us know. Or did I miss your group?

Had fun writing this.
@chinyere obi-obasi

No comments: