It was Friday evening, and I had just gotten off work—and it wasn’t a particularly great day for me, but I had the Lagos Cocktail week to attend. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect because it was my first time.
The idea of the Lagos Cocktail Week is simple yet effective. Different cocktail booths from different liquor companies serve up cocktails. While somewhere in the background, a mixology competition would be happening.
I was given a card at the entrance, which gave me unlimited access to drinks from different booths. “This is already shaping up to be a good evening.” I thought.
My friends were still tied up at work, so I arrived first and got a drink while I waited for them. With the music playing in the background and cocktails relaxing everyone, the atmosphere was easy, and I even made conversation with some new people.
I saw a caricature artist drawing and thought, “Why not?” I posed for him, and he did an excellent caricature of me, capturing my eyes and lips perfectly. A note by the side of the drawing stuck with me: “There’s no wrong way; stay true.” It wasn’t entirely true, of course, because there can be wrong ways, but it’s always nice to be told to stay true to yourself.
My friends finally arrived, and they seemed pretty pumped to have fun. The rest of the night went by in a fast haze; we played Jenga and then cards and went around to get more drinks.
Wanni and Handi, beautiful twin female DJs, played old-school Afrobeats. They were sexy, great at spinning sounds, and even excellent dancers. With the cocktails loosening our inhibitions, my friends and I danced and danced.
We danced the night away [istockphoto]
Around the corner of my eyes, I could see so many celebrities trooping in: Whitemoney, Groovy, Lanre Da Silva Ajayi, Elozonam, “Wait, is that Timini?” It was hard to keep up, or even fangirl.
I stopped at two cocktails and drank a lot of water because I wasn’t about to get too drunk—I wouldn’t enjoy myself that way, but some of my friends were drunk, and it was interesting to hear their high-pitched laughter and the funny jokes they wouldn’t remember in the morning.
Fewer things cure depression more than being with friends and sharing cocktails. I didn’t know how much I needed to be in the company of friends, sipping cocktails, and dancing until it happened.
We all crashed at a friend’s house at the end of the evening, and by morning, we traded adulthood stories about how we were all trying to move up in life in a difficult country. We also played Ludo, which, unfortunately, I lost.
It was honestly one of the best days I’ve had in years, and it reminded me that I was not alone and that we’re young and we should have fun because it won’t always be like this. Soon, more and more of us will japa, get married or have children, and nights like that will be rare.