A Gentleman, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, is 90 Years

“Duke, I will be celebrating my 90th at the Metropolitan Club. Where can I send your invite? I felt humbled. This was Chief Emeka Anyaoku and not Dino Melaye o inviting me to his 90th at the elitist bastion known as the Metropolitan Club.

I said, “Sir, you will see me,” and he responded “Ok. I will send your Invite.”

I wanted to ask if they will serve Afang. I will not hold it against them if they don’t, it’s just so that I can make alternative arrangements just in case. I cannot shout.

Anyways, the day came and I totally forgot. Then my new egbon ‘Shex’ , former MD at Lisabi Mills called, “Duke, are you here?” I shouted and jumped and ran to the venue.

As I walked in, I saw ‘past power’. People we used to watch on NTA news. They were plenty, old and distinguished. Well-kept and beautiful. I recognised plenty o. I saw General Danjuma and his ever beautiful wife, Daisy. I saw Fola Adeola, Subomi Balogun, Bode Emmanuel, Gen. Ike Nwachukwu, Mutiu Sunmonu, my Oga, Nduka Obaigbena and my best friend in this world, Asue Ighodalo

Chief Osunkeye was there and my favourite Yoruba man Chief Olusegun Osoba was there looking very resplendent in his white agbada and then the President was represented by Gambari, and then I saw my favourite aunty Titi Adebiyi seated beside Uncle Yemi Ogunbiyi.

Then former President Obasanjo waltzed in and the hall went into a frenzy. His charisma undeniable  and grabbing everyone’s attention and moving up and down the hall to go and grab Mrs. Anyaoku who was seated at the back of the hall and moving her to the high table where His Excellency, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu was elegantly seated with his super sweet wife.

You see, the problem with Chief Obasanjo is that he is too ‘forward’. Mrs. Anyaoku was well positioned to catch any side chic that would enter; that was how Chief Obasanjo went and blew her cover. Thankfully, at 90 and with his pedigree, there will not be any side chics today.

I also saw Chief Ojora and his Queen Erelu. Kai, old money and pedigree all seated in one room at the Metropolitan Club all in honour of one of the greatest ever Nigerian.

Chief Anyaoku remains an enigma. An internationally respected statesman. I cannot come and be writing his achievements and pedigree. Please go to Wikipedia for that one, me I no get time for that one. For me, this is one of the few remaining in that class. When you talk about astuteness, strong principled-led life and adhering to the ethos that builds not only man but society, then you will begin to understand why Chief Anyaoku is a rarity and a living colossus. Almost our own Mandela type figure without the prison. Kai.

Oya, let me talk the one that concerns me. As I was seeing the menu, I was not seeing Afang, so I called Jevnik, the restaurant nearby, that they should prepare an emergency Afang. What I am seeing here is making me hungry. The food was sumptuous and delicious judging from the way my brother Nicholas Okoye was going at it but as no Afang, I decided to leave after walking the room and greeting everybody that I knew and knew of me.

Then I walked to the most powerful table in the room to greet the celebrant Chief Anyaoku. As I got to him, he jumped up and waved and was genuinely happy to see me. “Duke of Shomolu,”  he screamed and Chief Obasanjo – remember I did his play ‘Aremu’ also jumped up and the waiters were looking at me with surprise.Those ones were thinking I was their mate because I didn’t comb my hair. Then Chief Anyaouku wanted to start explaining me to Chief Obasanjo. “He is a brilliant writer and he does plays …. And Chief Obasanjo said, “Emeka, I know Duke o.” I hugged both of them and then I looked at His Excellency.

Now His Excellency Babajide is a very handsome man and was looking very neat and sweet with his white agbada but I no happy with am sha. He knew why and as the sharp man that he is, thought to himself ‘before this crazy boy will go and yab me in front of my madam,’ quickly said, “Duke, Segun mentioned, don’t worry I have your number, I will call you.”

I said call me o. Excellency, call me o, otherwise I will tell madam o. He looked at me, winked that kind abeg, abeg wink and I said ok. You na my paddy. Great guy.

Happy birthday, Chief Anyaoku. You have lived the life most of us can only dream of and you have made a great mark. Please be inviting me to all of your birthdays going forward as I really had fun but next time, please let there be Afang o because I really do not understand where the caterer go learn her own work. Kai.

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