The next day was really busy for us. It started with us taking our baths, eating breakfasts and making ourselves up to look good. By the time we were done, there was a taxi cab waiting at the entrance of the hotel to pick all of us. Seven of us all had to squeeze into the cab and lap ourselves, which was very embarrassing.
The cab took us to Aso Rock estate, where the Presidential banquet was going to hold at the villa. After much scrutiny and checkpoints, the cab was finally allowed to enter the estate. It drove and stopped us in front of the Presidential villa. We all scrambled out of the little cab, grateful to be able to breathe fresh air once again.
Standing in front of the villa and looking really glamorous was Lady T. She was wearing a long, red lace gown, which showed part of her breasts. Her hairdo was really neat, and her make-up looked really professional. Her bodyguards were no way in sight, probably somewhere waiting for instructions.
She welcomed us with a smile, as she scrutinized us one by one. When it reached my turn, she squeezed her beautiful, chubby face slightly as she looked at my gown.
“Young lady, that gown looks old. Are you sure you shopped for a new one?”
I was shaking inside, scared that I would lose my job for disobeying orders. Luckily for me, before I could answer, a tall man, dark complexioned in dark blue suit, came and whispered something in Lady T’s ear. She widened at what he told her, and she waved us to follow her.
The event was divided into two. The first one was in the morning, and it was a summit, while the second was kept for the evening time, and that was the banquet.
We worked tirelessly in both part of the events.
In the first part, we shared programmes among the top business men and politicians who attended the summits, guided people to their right seats, since each seat was tagged already with names and numbers. We also shared chops and pastries with various exotic drinks at the events. As the ushers, we stood for the long five hours the summit was held. When the summit was over, it was our job to help the decorators to re-arrange the seats in a round table form for the banquet and also to decorate the hall to help the caterers bring in the food and drinks that would be served at the banquet. The work was really tiring.
The banquet service was 6 p.m. on the programme. People started arriving even before that six o’clock, because once the President enters the hall, the doors of the hall are closed.
The hall was really massive, and could contain about 500 people. We also guided the big men to their seats. In my mind, I looked at the people of high places in the country who could help the people of the country out of the recession, but instead they choose to swindle and keep the money for themselves and their families. I looked at them in their expensive agbadas, evening gowns and suits, traditional attires, and other wears. I looked at the way they shook hands amongst themselves, laughing out loud, with glasses of wine in their hands, not caring or minding the situation we faced in the country.
Various artistes performed at the banquet. There was also comedy, dance and other entertainment at the event. The President came in much later with his entourage. Everyone stood up for him, until he took his seat. He gave a speech, and opened the banquet celebration.
We, the ushers, guided the people to where they could pick the plates and cutleries and serve themselves. Those who felt too big to go and serve themselves, called the ushers around them, and told them the choice of food they wanted.
We walked tirelessly throughout the evening till the banquet was over. After everyone had left the hall, we had to help re-arrange the hall back to its former position, and to clean the hall. We also helped the caterers to pack the plates and cutleries and load them into coolers.
After that, we were escorted out of the villa, and led to a SUV car, which took us back to our hotel rooms.
To be continued