The Vicissitudes of City Life in Nigeria (Master DJ)

Before I left Nigeria for my foundation course, the house beside mine served as a bakery. I just had to go to my neighbours’ to get freshly baked bread and I miss those bakers dearly.  Now, it doubles as a Church on Sundays and a location for hosting various events during the rest of the week. They are not worthy to be called my neighbours and for that reason, I shall not refer to them as such. Also, I no longer eat bread.

Last Saturday as I lay in bed, I could hear a song from the Lion King soundtrack, which I can’t remember now. I thought I was dreaming and I remember picturing some scenes from the movie in my head. However, another song I had never heard in my life started to play and it was at this point that I realised that this was no dream. I am a huge fan of the Lion King so it’s easy to understand why I thought I was dreaming at first. It turns out a party was being hosted at the Church/Event Venue next door. It was about 10.30 am. The first thought that crossed my mind was why anyone would leave his or her home that early to come for a ‘party’. Parties in Nigeria usually begin by midday or later. I was also perplexed by this particular DJ’s taste in music and his choice of songs -the Lion King, Old School, Gospel, Afro-beats, Dancehall. Nothing was off limits. At some point, he played some songs in my language, which was rather surprising. I didn’t know of anyone that listened to Igala songs besides Igala people. Perhaps this DJ was Igala. No offence to Igala artistes out there. Keep doing your thing.

The problem, however, was that I was trying to catch up on episodes of The Spot on Ebony Life TV that I had missed during the week and the loud annoying music was not letting me do this. Why hadn’t any of my other neighbours gone to complain about this air pollution? Surely, they could not be enjoying this DJ’s disconcerting tunes. When I was certain this was not going to stop unless something was done, I decided to go pay a visit to Mr DJ. I wasn’t going to enter the compound of course. I was just bluffing. I wasn’t bold enough. I was going to stop at the gate, wait for some seconds and then go back home. At least that was what I thought. As I got to the gate however, things did not go as I had initially planned. I found myself inside. There was no going back now. I was already in. I wasn’t prepared for what I saw when I got in; the few old women and little children there were practically half asleep. Some had managed to turn to see who had just come in, probably anticipating another guest. They must have been disappointed on seeing me; this sleep deprived young woman who had come to their party in her slippers and pink animal print pyjama trousers. Luckily for them, I was not there for their party. I had come for Mr DJ, who was also half asleep. When I saw Mr DJ half asleep, oblivious to the havoc he was wreaking on the poor residents of that part of the Estate, I got angry. With as much restraint as I could garner, I asked Mr DJ to please turn down the volume of his music. I explained that I lived just next door and his music was disturbing the peace. People had started to look at this point. Without saying a word or even looking at me, Mr DJ barely touched the volume dial and went back into his state of oblivion. He had just turned down the volume in his mind, I'm guessing.

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Of course I was asking for too much. What did I expect? Who was I to barge in on their party in my slippers and pink trousers and expect to be taken seriously? I was just a small, probably spoiled, brat to them. Didn’t I know that people had to eat? That it was Mr DJ’s noise that was paying his bills? Perhaps if I were a pot bellied big man or a ‘big madam’ with an elaborate gele (head-tie), he would have listened to me but I wasn’t.

When it was clear that there was nothing I could do about this situation, I headed back home, telling anyone who cared or didn’t care to listen what had just happened. I complained about how the DJ was sleeping and how the place was practically empty. But that was all I could do -complain. Of course I had placed all sorts of curses on the DJ and beaten him up in my head.

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This is obviously a serious situation and one that should have been given the appropriate attention it deserved. It’s just sad that in Nigeria, things such as this are pushed to the side and the behaviour of miscreants of the society such as Master DJ is condoned. As much as I understand that there are many problems that need attention, something has to be done about situations such as this and about people such as Mr DJ. I really hope people don’t become immune to such situations.

Love and regular blog posts.