THE PARTY AT OSUN GROVEOnce again, as has been their custom over the years, Redstrat, organizers of The Future Awards took the winners of the 2011 edition on a fun trip to MicCom Golf Resort and Hotel, Adah, Osun State. It was a trip not usually restricted to the winners alone as a host of other celebrity guests usually joined and this year’s was no different as a number of them joined the traveling party that gathered at the Ojez Restaurant, National Stadium, Lagos on the morning of Friday, February 25, 2010.
Just a handful of the winners were available and they were Banky W, Sossick, Matse and Tolu…. They were joined by regular travelers in the persons of maverick Soundcity presenter, Denrele Edun, the duo of the Rooftop MCs, Sade Ladipo, MC Shakara, OC Ukeje, Kemi ‘Lalah’ Akindoju and others from the Redstrat family including Chude Jideonwo and Adebola Williams.
Two coaster buses were provided and as they gradually filled up, the stadium inhabitants took notice. They became particularly interested in the arrivals of Denrele and Banky W. The former, in his usual elements was an instant hit with the stadium boys as he greeted and re-greeted them over and over again to their delight. Banky, after greeting them adequately, got into the bus and his personal bodyguard manned the door. But one of the boys (a fierce looking man with battle scars all over him who claimed to be an Olympic champion) took an exception to this and unleashed all kinds of threats including shattering the windscreen of Banky’s bus with stones and beating up his bodyguard for refusing him entry into the bus. He and a few other boys who had joined him only subsided when Banky got down from the bus again for them and in no time we were on our way to Adah, Osun State.
THE BREAKDOWN AND DENRELE'S ANTICS
One of the buses broke down in Ibadan. This was in spite of the assurances of the company that provided the buses who had been called for reassurances when we noticed some funny sounds coming from the bus back at the National Stadium. It wasn’t the one which Banky was in but Denrele was in here and as we stepped out of the bus to stretch our legs while repairs were being done on the bus, he was immediately recognized.
FUN AT THE BREAKDOWN POINTHe was wearing a blond hair and for those who might not have recognized his face, if there were any, that and his outlandish clothes and shoes more than stood him out. The school kids who were around that time on their way back from school were enchanted together with the elders. The boys rushed to take pictures and a particular one who spotted Denrele from the school bus alighted at the next stop to rush back and meet him. Most of the girls ran away seemingly confused about his gender and one truck driver caused a traffic jam in order to get a picture with him. The bus was repaired in a while but it broke down again before we got to Oshogbo and we had to make alternative vehicular arrangements which divided the occupants of our bus into two before taking off again.
ADEBOLA, BUKOLA ADUBI & CHUDE
Our party arrived a sparkling and well-lit MicCom Golf Resort and Hotel at night. The first bus which had Banky W, the Rooftop MCs, Matse and a host of others had arrived much earlier and they had all settled down. However we were warmly welcomed by the amiable manager, Bukola Adubi, who has always happily and ably hosted all those who visit the Hotel.
MicCom is the biggest, most comfortable and most welcoming place in Osun State. There were so many spacious rooms and halls for various levels of meetings. There was high-speed internet in all the rooms, swimming pool, three different bars, restaurant and the well kept 18-hole golf course.
The hotel has played host to virtually all the major events and visitors to the state including the cast and crew of the Gulder Ultimate Search whose pictures and those of many other visitors adorned the hotel.
DINNER AND THE NIGHT PARTY
DENRELE & MC SHAKARA
Because of our late arrival, we didn’t make it to lunch but after we had checked into our rooms and freshened up, dinner was served. There were two venues for this – the restaurant and the terrace of the golf course bar. A few people made use of the restaurant while others preferred the terrace where as soon as they were done with dinner, switched into a party mode. The party included a game of Dancing “Round the Chair.” This involved contestants dancing round chairs which are one short of their number and the one without a seat when the music is stopped abruptly by the DJ is eliminated. One player and one chair goes off at the end of each round until only one player sits on the last seat.
Eight enthusiastic players which included Sokleva of the Rooftop MCs, OC Ukeje, Shade Ladipo, MC Shakara and Uche Odoh took positions while Banky W manned the DJ post and Soulsnatcha of the Rooftop MCs moderated proceedings. The prize was a sample perfume and a lap dance from the opposite sex of the winner. Shade adequately won after outsmarting all other players and displaying some sexy dance steps. She got her perfume and a lap dance from Sossick before people gradually retired to their rooms.
BREAKFAST AND TAKEOFF
The next morning started with breakfast at the same venue of the dinner. This was followed by some amateur golf sessions supervised by the caddies who willingly lectured us. Then there was a brief period of rest as a new bus was brought in from Lagos to replace the faulty one before we took off to our picnic destinations for the day.
THE OSUN GROVE
OC UKEJE, UFOMA, UCHE, ADEBOLA, KEMI
The Osun Grove was the first port of call for the picnicking party. It was a highly mystical area complete with all the gods of the Yorubas and most of their worshippers. We were led round most of the landmarks in the large forested compound by a female attendant who narrated some of the rituals and significances of most of the objects, carvings and sculptures we saw.
We were led through the journey of both Orunmila and the virgin priestess who worships on Osun Oshogbo Day. Then we saw the effigies of Orunmila, Ogun, Susan Wenger and her dog and husband in that order, the god of chicken pox, Ogun and the river which she told us was a healing concoction. So many beautiful monkeys also inhabited the area and they happily jumped about to our delight.
SHADE & ADEBOLA
SOME HOT MESSAGESThe Erin Ijesha waterfall was the next destination and Denrele again caused quite a stir among picnicking students from the University of Ibadan and Ladoke Akintola University of Technology. It was also fun galore and may stripped to their underwears to savour fresh waterfalls on their bare skin. Many others climbed the mountain to visit another front of the water. Our stay here lasted far into the evening and our journey back was disturbed by occupants of the first bus who diverted to buy palmwine. We got back to the hotel at night for a short rest before the dinner and after party.
DINNER PARTY AND FAILED AFTER DINNER PARTY
BANKY W SINGS FOR DINNER
This took place far into the night of Saturday, February 26. It was originally meant to be a very formal occasion with proper dinner and evening dresses but just a few adhered to the dress code as having stayed and played together for more than a day had taken down all formal and unfamiliar airs around us. But it was still a very successful event as Banky W and Sistasoul serenaded the guests with music while they ate. MC Shakara provided comedy while Kemi ‘Lalah’ Akindoju acted out a double sequence of the Vagina Monologues. Gifts were also presented the available winners of the awards while the others had their representatives receive theirs.
There was a concerted effort to hold an after party for the event in one of the hotel rooms but it wasn’t very successful as the available music provider was just the room’s TV and that couldn’t serve the purpose. Everyone was already tired by this time and gradually retired to their rooms.
BREAKFAST, SWIMMING AND THE JOURNEY BACK
SNATCHA DA SNIPEROur last day in Osun State was Sunday, February 27 and it once again started with breakfast. Interested swimmers then got into the pool for a short while before getting ready for departure which was put at 1pm. We then bade bye to the hotel after filling out their various forms and feedback requests.
The journey back was faster and hitches free. We only stopped at a market in Ibadan to buy fruits and some foodstuffs which were cheaper than in Lagos before continuing our journey. Both buses were together and Denrele kept making faces at surprised passengers of other cars till we got into Lagos.
SAMMY & ANINO WERE...
I talked with a couple of the winners and this was what they had to say...
TOLU IRUOYETOLULOPE IRUOYE was the winner of the Best Use of Technology at the 2011 awards. He is involved in the design and construction of electronic gadgets, hardware, alternative energy solutions, security systems and control systems and has developed a unique tool called the Magic Box which allows you to control electricity and mobilize or immobilize cars from anywhere in the world with the aid of a mobile phone. He was a first time traveler to Osun State and had these answers to my questions:
How was the whole experience to Osun State?
I was very enjoyable. I totally enjoyed myself, especially the waterfall and Sunday, February 27 was my birthday.
What did you have to leave behind for the journey?
I had already cleared my schedule and was very free to enjoy myself. I don’t work for anybody.
Did you meet people and make new friends?
Yes. I made friends with Sossick the producer and a couple of other people.
How has winning The Future Award changed or contributed to your life?
It has given me a lot of publicity and has encouraged me to do more. The Magic Box was like a play thing for me but winning an award with it has made me take my work seriously. It has encouraged me to believe in myself.
In what ways do you intend to use your award and your position to contribute to the country?
I am working on a magazine that would contribute to the growth of technology among the youths and the country as a whole.
CHILEE & SOSSICKSOSSICK (Esosa Douglas Osemwengie) was this year’s Music Producer of the Year at The Future Awards. Amongst most of his numerous works was that of the late Dagrin and he said these:
How was the experience?
It was my first time in Osun State and I enjoyed myself a lot. I enjoyed the food and the hospitality of the people of Osun State. That was the most fun I’ve had in my life because I’m always locked up in my studio. The trip has made me want to win the award again in order to be able to go on such trips.
What did you leave behind for the journey?
I left my studio and my hustle for it but I didn’t miss them one bit. I really needed the break because I was really saturated. I would have broken down if something like that hadn’t come along.
Did you meet new people and make friends?
I met a lot of new people and made friends that I would love to hang out with more often. I met so many other professionals.
How much has winning The Future Awards contributed to your career or changed your life?
It has sealed my name as a producer to reckon with in this country. I has exposed me to know more of my worth and people also take me more serious and treat me with more respect. It has increased my financial ratings and changed my packaging coming on the heels of other awards I’ve won recently.
How do you intend to use your award and your position to contribute to the country?
I am not from a rich home or a well-to-do family but I’ve been able to use my skills and handwork and with God as my pillar I have got to where I am today. I will like to encourage others like me to go for the best and aim to the top and there’s no limit to where they can get to. With hard work, God and challenges, they can get to wherever they want to in life.