Encounter with a typical Naija Big Man
From the very moment I walked into the indoor sports hall, his prolonged gaze caught my attention.
At first, I didn't think much of it considering I'm used to such gaze each time I'm out in the station's branded cars or walking through streets to locate the venue of an event with the station's branded mic and cameraman.
But then, after about two minutes of continued gaze, I had to pay the whole situation some attention. Serious attention.
The gazer was a man seated at the high table. He was glamorously dressed and didn't look like one who would be startled at the sight of an ordinary reporter. From his appearance, it is certain he must have been to a number of high-profile events, hence he must be accustomed to seeing journalists all over the place.
That simple observation made his prolonged gaze all the more bemusing. The handshake, as they say, had gone past the elbow.
Out of fear and caution, I changed my position. I went into the stands where the parents were seated and settled in an empty seat at the back, where I was sure - unless he was equipped with a microscopic lens and on a mission to assassinate me - he won't be able to spot me.
Minutes turned into hours and the graduation ceremony went by really fast. Event was almost over and it was time to do the routine interviews. Parents, school staff, best graduating students and guests.
To start with, I made my way to the high table. From experience, I learned that dignitaries hardly wait for events to end before they leave noisily. So, if you want them to talk to you, it's best you do so about thirty minutes to the end of the event.
Few feet away from the high table, I asked the cameraman to wait while I do a quick scan of those seated. It's best to approach it with a defined purpose and head straight to those you want to get their thoughts.
After few seconds, I was done. Two men and two women. That's it.
As I was making my way to the first woman I had mentally noted, I felt a strong tug at my shirt from behind.
Lo and behold, folks, it was the weird man. I was scared and confused. What does this man want with me? I don't carry a 'gay' tag and to be honest, I'm not that attractive.
Before I screamed for help (because I was about to) he asked a question that even startled me more.
"Are you not going to interview me?" - he bellowed.
Fam, I was frozen. I hadn't heard or been in this sort of situation before. I didn't even know what to say.
With an air of resignation and shock, I signalled to the cameraman and he positioned himself. Quickly, as if prickled by a pin, the man sprung to his feet and started readjusting his big 'regalia'.
"Please, introduce yourself sir." I began. It was important to get his name for the chest tag or caption, if you like.
"I am DEACON ELDER ENGINEER James Omoruyi" he said amid smile and excitement.
As if he hadn't caused enough drama, he quickly added: "POLITICIAN! Make sure you add it o. POLITICIAN".
Like a man who walked into a sight of Nicki Minaj trying to pick a needle from the floor, with her full backside turned up to the sky, I stood there - startled, shocked and at a loss.
P.S: Image used isn’t mine and it has nothing to do with the character(s) mentioned in the story above. Thanks.