The Story of the Greatest. Photo. Ever.

Or the unlikely story of how I met Chimamanda

Whenever I thought of all the ways I could meet Chimamanda, I never thought “tech event at my office in Yaba”.

There’s a health meets tech hackathon at my office in conjunction with some health focused organisations. People are talking about the issues in healthcare in Nigeria and how tech can help solve some of these problems. There’s a panel. After this, five teams will break out to build a prototype of a product that meets a need and solves a problem by Sunday. They will present their prototypes, a panel of judges will select the best three, and they will receive money to continue building their product. I have to be at the hackathon to help the teams build usable products.

I’m doing other work somewhere else in the building before I head upstairs to get food, but I’m too late, food is all gone. My colleague asks if I was able to get food, I say no. She says “but did you see Chimamanda?”

“Chimamanda is here?”
“Yeah. She’s on the rooftop.”
“As in Chimamanda Adichie?”
“Yeah”
“Really?”
“I’m serious. She’s here”

I don’t remember that I don’t have lipstick on. I grab two other colleagues and head to the rooftop to find Chimamanda. All the while, I’m thinking “Chimamanda is in my office building. Aaaaaah.”

On the rooftop, I’m looking for Chimamanda. Actually, I’m looking for her hair. I can’t find her. Or her hair. Just as I’m about to go back to my floor, right by the door, I see her. She’s holding a black bag that says “WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINISTS.” She’s talking to some people. I wait for her to finish talking and then I go up to her and say:

“Hi. My name is Lade and I love you.”

She smiles.

“Can I get a picture with you?”

Right then, our in house photographer appears, I grab him and get him to take photos. I go back to my floor. Happier than a few minutes before.

I’m working on my floor. My other colleague comes to call me that in house photographer says that the pictures didn’t turn out well. Some are blurry and in others, there’s light blocking our faces.

I apply lipgloss and go back to the rooftop. She’s doing an interview. I wait for her to be done.

“Hello again.”
“Hi Lade.”
[Aaaaaaah. She remembers my name]. And then I said something along the lines of “the photographer says the pictures didn’t turn out well. Could we please retake them?”
“Did you put on lipstick?”
“Yeah. Lipgloss”
I smile
She laughs
“Then we definitely have to retake those pictures.”

And that’s the unlikely story of the Greatest. Photo. Ever.

I tell one of my friends the whole story and he goes “She’s lucky oh. She gets to have a picture with Lade.”