“Congratulations! You’ve just won two million Naira”. Those were the exact words of Frank Edoho to me on the Independence Edition of the TV show ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ held on Friday, 30th September 2005.My joy knew no bounds; this was a dream come true. A teenage millionaire!
The following morning, I left home very early so I could cash my cheque since the few banks that work on Saturdays usually close earlier than usual. I deposited the money into my account. On leaving the bank, I headed straight for the Silverbird Galleria at Victoria Island to see a movie. Since its opening in July 2004, I had always longed to be there so, it was another dream-come-true.
After the movie, I was famished. So, I dropped by at the nearest UAC restaurant. The whole vicinity had a shade of green – a green carpet led to the entrance door while the doors and window were adorned with ribbons and balloons (green and white colours). I walked gently across the green carpet to the entrance door, which was immediately opened for me and I stepped in. I was flabbergasted. Everyone in the room (including the attendants) was clothed in green and white; the tables were adorned with green and white table-clothes; even the bottles of drinks were all green. I looked above the counter and saw a banner with the inscription: “Green Day! Naija@45”.
It was then it dawned on me that it was a celebration of Nigeria’s Independence Day. It skipped my mind because it was a weekend and aside that, I had never been part of a real celebration on Independence Day. Since the place was congested, I was about to take my leave but was intercepted by a young tall handsome man (the type I usually dreamt of) who convinced me to dine with them. We got chatting and exchanged phone numbers before departing. Due to the terrific traffic jam in the Lagos metropolis, I arrived home at 8:12pm.
Furthermore, it is pertinent to state that I got several phone calls that day and they were mostly from ‘great’ people like: the guy I met at the restaurant, my friends at school, my parents, my siblings (who were checking on their ‘two-million-dollar’ sister), and a host of others. The peak of these calls came in at about 9:05pm. It was from Frank Edoho – the presenter of the popular TV show ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire’ – inviting me to be a guest in their one year Anniversary Edition which was coming up on the 7th of October 2005.
What a memorable day! I had to find my 2005 diary and flipped through empty pages until I got to ‘October 1’ and beneath it, I wrote: “Today, Nigeria celebrates her 45th Independence Day Celebration; a day in which I felt really ‘independent’. Being the first day of the month of October and having created a lasting impression on me, I call it ‘the lasting first’.”