The hall was noisy and the ecstasy therein was high. Shayo looked outside through the lecture theater’s huge windows for the first time in about six hours. It was dark but there was a full moon that could aid vision, his mind was not on going home now, there were few things he had to do before departing for his hostel.
Earlier on in the day, he had boasted in his hostel and placed a bet with his friends on whom would first have a picture snap with the invited artist- P SQUARE… the first to do this gets to win N10, 000 bet. That was the reason he brought his BlackBerry to the hall…Even after winning the N10, 000, He could UPLOAD the photo as a new profile picture for his BBM… he had thought over what his personal message in his BBM would be. After so much deliberation, he settled with “hanging out with my guys- P SQUARE” … my swag will be full after that he thought.
The hall was jammed packed, he began to wonder why the Lautech community cannot facilitate an open field which would contain unlimited number of people, rather than jam pack about 6000 students in a 1200 seater capacity hall. Everyone has to stand. The first five rows were for VIPS, which means behind them are the common students. This sound appropriate for Shayo and friends for they have equal probability of accessing the stage…
P- SQUARE was rounding up with their “Thank you” track. And everyone was lost in the rhythm of the song. Shayo wasn’t. He moved forward restlessly through the mushroom crowd of joy filled students. Accessing the stage was nowhere near easy. Even in a normal lecture, getting through the crowds of student to the stage was a task reserved for the strong and determined.
Shayo held his BlackBerry tight between his right palm and fingers. On a normal ground, he wasn’t going to bring it along with him because of the much harm involved: it could be snatch from him in the hall, it could be pickpocketed, and he could be ambushed on his way home. But tonight was different; he could be N10, 000 richer. All he was to do was about speed and courage coupled with doing the almost unimaginable. He gave his BlackBerry to his most trusted friend who was to snap him when he gets on the stage.
Shayo began thoughts of the task ahead of him; fighting his way to the stage was a sure arduous task. Breaking through P-SQUARE’S stage guards was another. The last was gaining P-SQUARE attention on the stage within a short period of time before the stage guards re-approach him… in all he must beat three of his hostel mates – Dayo, Ane and Yinka whom they had all earlier bet.
As Shayo neared the stage, he could see cluster of stage guards with hefty chest which they showed with their tight body hogs, they also wore dark glasses to make them look fiery and wild.
Accessing the stage was by three means, either going through the steps on the east and west side of the stage, or climbing through the front which was somewhat impossible due to the presence of mobile police popularly called MOPOLS. The guards clustered the west step and only about three were on the east step. This is where Shayo was struck… he paused for a while and calculated his chances. Taking either step was disastrous but it’s worthy of a try, at least for N10, 000… he was still calculating his chances when an opportunity showed up…
Everyone was enjoying the karaoke until a student moved to the DJ’S stand and unplugged the speakers, he stupidly didn’t run and in a swoop the stage guards were on him. The student fought wildly and more guards went there, before long the east step was open and Shayo took his chance. Moments later he was on the stage and was running towards P-SQUARE shouting their name in the process. The guards dropped the wild student outside the hall with about two of them remaining with him and the rest went back to the stage posts.
After a while, the remaining two stage guards also left the wild student alone to attend to the priority, but they didn’t leave him without a bruise on his lip. But they were somewhat late. Shayo was already clutching to Paul of P-SQUARE. In the process, the asked for the fans most loved requests: a photograph and an autograph…The stage guards were on the stage now and they were about pulling Shayo, but Peter of P-SQUARE told them to leave him alone “he is just one lucky fan” he said. After a photo shot and an autograph on his T-SHIRT, he requested for an opportunity to use the microphone… he then announced
THIS INFO GOES TO DAYO, ANE AND YINKA… AM SURE YOU ALL SAW THAT I DID IT FIRST…. I WON….HURRAY I AM A WINNER……
The stage guards collected the mic from him and pushed him down the stage, they did it in annoyance because they had failed in their duty to keep him away from the stage… Shayo on his own self wasn’t really concerned… he had one more step to climb… he collected his BlackBerry from his best friend whom he met with beaming smiles like that of a jackal. The BlackBerry was just some weeks old in his hands. It was a gift from his sister as a birthday gift. He wouldn’t trade it for the world, and when it comes to robbery, he would split the last drop of his blood protecting it… he pressed his right convenience key and the BBM messenger came on. He went to his profile and was quick in uploading the picture… then as he wished, he made his personal message- hanging out with my guys- P SQUARE… then he looked up to the skies and said….N10000 RICHER
Shayo had now moved into the ecstasy filled crowds. He continued to move back to his former position to meet with Seun, a guy who leaves near his hostel. Seun owned a car, and that was the haven Shayo sought would protect him from hoodlums attack on his way back home…
As he moved towards the back, he could see that Seun had moved and was going outside. Shayo hasten his steps and moved roughly through the crowds. P-SQUARE was through with their performance. Everyone was moving out of the hall. Since the walkways were jammed, some student began to climb the immobile lecture table and chairs. Shayo saw that was a quick way, so he opted for the tables. As he climbed the first chair, he could visibly see that he might lose his balance so he took every step with caution… then all of a sudden came darkness… a wild student disconnected the cables… another swift plan to steal… Shayo’s fear came to pass… he felt a sharp pain on his hind brain, and it was all over. All he saw was and darkness, darkness upon pavilion of darkness…
Later on that night, ANE, YINKA refused to accept that Shayo was the winner because it happened that DAYO didn’t make it to the show. They argued that until DAYO saw the picture, then would they agree that he was the winner. That was a simple bet rule! Until all parameters are met, you are not a winner. What they agreed on was that the first to snap a photo with P-SQUARE, ANE and YINKA might have seen him fulfilled that but DAYO also need to visually confirm it…
TWO DAYS LATER
Bola came around to ask Shayo if Dayo had arrived… the bruise on his lips which were swollen two days before was now reduced to a visible scar… Bola knew that his payment hung on the fact that- as soon as Shayo gets paid, he would get his own share………..
The world didn’t just defeat Hitler and his dreams easily during the WW11, the key to winning him was the use of allies… that was the key Shayo sought.
Bola was one of Shayo’s closest friends. He was a principled one, but he is defenseless of his principles when it comes to monetary issues. When Shayo told him of the plan to distraught the stage guards by unplugging the DJ’S speakers and a N2500 payment upon the successful completion of the task, Bola did little to convince himself otherwise… he thought, a little bruise for N2500, it’s worth it. So he took the task…. The wild student really had being Bola….
Dayo was still yet to come; he travelled home impromtly on the night of the musical show, but when Shayo called him a day before, he announced he would be home that day. Shayo couldn’t hide his excitement, especially when N10, 000 was waiting for him upon DAYO’S arrival…..
Isn’t that the student union protest March noise? Asked Gbenja, Shayo’s younger brother. Shayo nodded in affirmation as he moved to the restroom.
As Shayo entered the restroom, Gbenja picked up the unguarded BlackBerry on the bed and moved towards the moving protest.
The protest spirit was wild. The tuition fees have been increases by 400%, the student union leader shouted, we would not surrender, we would not retreat, I don’t know about you, but I will fight with the last drop of my blood for liberation….
The march had stopped because of the SUG leader’s speech; Gbenja was moved by his spirit and brought out the BlackBerry to take the moment pictures. He had snapped two pictures when an SUG member saw him, he shouted” GOVERNMENT INFORMANT”… in a swoop the crowd turned to Gbenja, he was beaten black and blue, he kept on pleading… at last they listened to his explanation that he was a FRESHER( new student) and he that he didn’t know snapping protestors was forbidden… they agreed with him, but before he was given back the BlackBerry, the guy who had seized it opened the gallery in bid to locate the pictures and delete the because pictures of such in the hands of the university senate would be a guillotine for anybody that appeared in it.
The gallery was proving difficult to see because of the colored screen, the protestors were already matching forward. To make things easier and as a punishment, in a swoop he pressed the format button to make all things equal… and down the drains went the images including the one Shayo took with P-SQUARE…… it was a GAMEOVER……………