The title of today’s post sounds like one for a thriller (movie or novel) and some of you may wonder, but fear not! It’s just a recounting of the events that went down at the anniversary event of my favourite collection of poets, musicians, actors, actresses, artistic and creative people that meet every fortnight at Bogobiri in the pulsating city of Lagos.
Taruwa (Hausa for gathering) has become synonymous with a time of poetry, spoken word, music, singing, acting, artistes and much more! On the 30th of August the hundredth edition took place. Four years and one hundred shows! No mean feat and so it was a time of celebration and people doing what they know, how they know it, to the best of their ability.
The gathering for that day had clan members (regulars that could be tagged ‘family’); their ease with the proceedings, host and every other thing was palpable. Newbies were more obvious with their loudly whispered conversations about the celebrities spotted, pleasure or discontent at performers, performances and other random gushing. The celebs in attendance added more colour and looked more or less like ‘regular’ folks.
As always it was a time of novices and novel appearances! Jade a twelve year-old graced the stage and helped by the audience found her voice and sang a Justin Bieber song. Her mother was also on hand to give her moral support and once she got going, she obviously had fun and rocked the audience in the process.
As usual friends of the house and various individuals from the entertainment and fashion industry were in the house. Ouch! Gave a rousing performance and displayed another side of his creativity. The brother did not disgrace himself and took the stage wearing Capri shorts, comfortable slippers and a simple shirt…tres chic!
Ese Peters quietly impressed yet again, whilst spoken word was delivered by Jeffrey Plumbline, Kenzo, Sheila and the host Snatcha of the Rooftop MCs delivered his poem…all one line of it! Soulsnatcha as the night’s host, managed the artistes that took to the stage and kept the crowd engaged with his jokes and droll observations of the Nigerian music scene. He made certain performers did not bore by reeling out a litany of what inspired their pieces and other related stories, thus audience attention was retained and time optimised.
Bebe took us down memory lane and read her original composition of Taruwa Boy. This is a rendition of her crush on a regular Taruwa attendee whose name (apparently!) she didn’t know. A second verse was recently added, in which she almost gave away his identity, but not quite! Interestingly she had spotted him that evening but alas for the curious (yours included) she didn’t let the cat out of the bag!
The only acting that night was a sobering sketch by Lala Akindoju. She chose this piece over the favourite Sister Esther from the Vagina Monologues. It reminded us that abuse is real and that it happens in various guises, furthermore that we should not readily discount stories from victims as false or rumours when brought to our attention.
Lydia Idakula-Sobogun (Lyd as she’s fondly called) took to the stage and gave thanks for the celebration that night. As the brain behind the event she was not shy to let rip in song and the house sang gustily along. She later sang a duet with Ibiyemi, who thrilled us with her velvety notes and soulful songs. Other performances by Wura Samba, Niyi Eko, Christine, Ranti and much more made it a memorable occasion.
The closing act was our very own Bez! He was welcomed to the stage by regulars with the chant, ’We love you Bez!’ it was a pleasure to watch him do his thing with his band and rouse the crowd with music. Taruwa and Bez’s journey are intertwined because of the familial relationship with Lydia…big sister no less! The house had pestered him countless times for their favourite, Zuciya Daya and so his return was the more moving because of shared history!
A worthwhile time indeed you’ll agree. Just in case you require confirmation…check out these photos below!
Kemi ‘Lala’ Akindoju & Snatcha of the Rooftop MCs
The Host for the 100th edition – Kunle Adeyoola
Snatcha of the Rooftop MCs
Snatcha & Kemi ‘Lala’ Akindoju
The Lyd (Lydia Idakula-Sobogun)
Seyi Olanihun & Bez Idakula