So a few weeks ago I was in Ekiti state and it’s one of the craziest times I’ve ever had. It was packed solid with work, people and loads of sitting in a car and other furniture! Like I said it was pretty interesting and I’m going to share some of the details in today’s post. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it and hopefully find it totally relatable too.
We (yes I wasn’t solo but part of a team) took off on a Sunday morning and although we left later than planned we arrived amidst a mild shower. The peaceful atmosphere immediately made it seem like I’d left the country. The rolling scenery further enhanced this and all I could do was soak it all in. I was already looking forward to seeing the Ikogosi spring and generally having a nice ramble.
When I agreed to do this project there was one thing I really looked forward to. If you haven’t guessed then you’re certainly not discerning. Yes, I fully anticipated consuming copious amounts of pounded yam! With Ijesha blood running through my veins it was a foregone conclusion and inevitable.
Like I said I didn’t anticipate that when work is thrown into the scheme of things the equation doesn’t always add up. So sadly I didn’t get to visit the spring during the two nights we spent there, despite the photo shoot that took place and a modicum of ‘free’ time to do that. I ate pounded yam a record, wait for it…ONCE! The schedule was such that eating it really late wasn’t on the cards and the only we managed to find time the wait of thirty minutes wasn’t possible.
Anyway, I got to hobnob with high powered government officials i.e. commissioners and even met the first lady of the state. The best part was that not one (believe me) of them made it seem as if I was talking to high ranking power brokers. They were as real as could be and very pleasant to boot. It was pretty amazing because they were so unassuming and I almost felt like I’d fallen down the rabbit hole.
The best part though was my take from the experience i.e. you can be in such positions and be as real as you choose. Certainly sacrifices, compromises and more go into maintaining a semblance of balance but it’s totally doable. Furthermore, I also learned that the era of aloofness although not over was undergoing a major shift. It also gave me a glimpse into the work involved in public service and how tasking and thankless it can also be.
Don’t get me wrong I had major fun despite the work overload! I got to eat in two restaurants in Ekiti…free. I confess it was part of the work but to eat and write about the experience, how easy it sounded. Not as easy as when scoffing the food down, especially since I’d never done a food review and in turned out to be tougher than I first thought.
Another thing is I’ll never eve r look through the pages of a magazine and glance over the pictures. The planning, organisation and logistical nightmares that the weather can become for an outdoor photo session is something else I came to understand. The amount of time and work that goes into make-up alone is to be admired and then when the lighting, equipment etc required is also considered, it’s simply enormous. Work is work, no matter what it’s dressed up as and giving due consideration to those involved is crucial.
I’m quite happy to report that the project’s been put to bed by yours truly although not quite finished yet. It was almost hellish because for a prolonged period (seemed inordinately long) I was haunted by doing my best, finishing on time and whether it would meet the approval of the oga-at-the-top. Thankfully it was quite satisfactory and I’m as pleased as punch.