Opinion article by Duke of Shomolu, Joseph Edgar
I had always had a deep fascination for Mr Dele Momodu, and I said as much in my column this Sunday.
I celebrated him on his 63rd birthday, said a lot of things that a lot of people liked, and he also liked them.
He reached out, and we had a long chat, which ended up in him inviting me for breakfast at his Ikoyi home.
This mid-morning after my usual early morning runs, I carried myself to his house. I was ushered in by Yusuf, who carried along as if he was trained by the same people who trained the guards at Buckingham Palace.
I smiled at him and he went out of his way to make me feel like a VIP down to opening my door and escorting me to the elevator which took me to the expansive Penthouse floor that is the abode of the Momodu’s.
The sweet aroma of well spiced meat greeted me as I was ushered toward the man himself.. as I walked towards him, I stole a glance at the huge kitchen in an attempt to see just exactly where the wickedly delicious aroma was coming from. I failed.
I was ushered in, and there he was, seated, relaxed, and very happy to see me. He stood up and said, “Duke,” and I said, “My Lord.”
Finally, a one on one with him. I had been following him from Concord, through Classic and Ovation. His politics with MKO and June 12, his failed attempts at the presidency, and recently his support of Atiku against one’s expectations.
Asiwaju is my father, Peter obi is my friend and Atiku is my Boss was how he described it to me.
He didn’t look restless for a man who lives in the sky. He was at home and seemed to have all of the time for my curiosity.
I am extremely close to Asiwaju, and we did things to try to reclaim MKOs mandate. My wife was handed over to MKO, and Kola is my brother.
So why are you not supporting Asiwaju? “I asked as the lady brought the Moi Moi, and I was asked to choose what tea I would take with it.
The aroma wafting from the moi moi momentarily distracted me.. I looked at the chef to see if there was a resemblance to Hilda Baci, the big bum chef who attempted the world record on cooking, but none.
As Uncle Dele spoke, I attacked the Moi Moi..it melted in my mouth and flowed seamlessly down my throat like you would move your tongue down the throat of a Mexican vixen.
Nduka is my boss. I was the first editor of Thisday, and I made it tough for him, but he met all of my demands.
This is the area I was really interested in. These two are the kings of networking. My aim is to overthrow them, and here was I seated with Mr Momodu staring at a wall with pictures of him and so many prominent people
On that wall, almost everybody was there – Tony Elumelu, Aliko, Herbert, MKO, Bill Clinton, Nduka himself, Osoba, Asiwaju, etc
I didn’t see Bobrisky or too many musicians or actors. I don’t know why, and I also didn’t ask why because I was waiting for the right moment. I could ask for more moi moi just before it was given to the dutiful Yusuf to go and eat.
There is no impossibility in Nigerian politics. If anybody had said June 12 would happen, I would have said no. Since then, I have come to believe that anything can happen.
This brought us to Kola Abiola. Why didn’t you support him? Remember I had declared for PDP, and he declared for PRP. I think he should have come to APC where he could have run on a compensatory platform – he explained
Then I asked , “How do you retain the relationships just as the second moi moi was coming in – the thing came with an egg and some fish inside.
It was turning my head. Its softness like the bum of an ibibio virgin and the way the thing was romancing my tongue made me wish I was a blood relation.
Build your personality, move with respect, never beg. Always maintain your dignity, he said to me.
I shook my head and asked for his help with Awo in the UK. Before I went to him, I had asked my other egbon Segun Awolowo if I could go ahead, but he hadn’t responded before I got to Uncle Dele.
Ohh why not. I don’t have to be your executive producer to support with media. I will give you publicity, and you will be amazed at what the right kind of publicity will do to your project.
I will also give you access to the right people, and you will see just how successful this would be.
I could have hugged him as I said my thanks.
As I made to leave, we exchanged books – the boy giving his master his book and the master giving the boy a trilogy of books and over 10 copies of his pioneering Ovation magazine.
As I walked out, I saw madam sitting near the kitchen. Someone must have told her that her moi moi was in danger as she sat very firmly near the kitchen and looked me straight in the eye.
Good afternoon, ma, I said, and she responded, and then Uncle Dele came and said, ” That’s the Duke of Shomolu. He is a writer, actor, and media man. He writes very beautifully, and I said, “Thank you ma, wishing she could just smile small so that I can ask for moi moi as take away.
We took pictures, and Yusuf followed me downstairs, where he opened my car door like a guard at Buckingham Palace.
I look forward to going back there not for the stories, but for the moi moi, it tasted that well, I swear.
That was a nice one, I swear,
*Duke of Shomolu*
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