Dear Diary

The season’s ended with a flourish

Laying out the red carpet to honour African actors and actresses. Where? In Lagos, of course. Naija, oh. He was sitting by the side of the swimming pool having a beer. He must have had a few before we came along. It looked like he was deep in thought, contemplating the problems of the world.

A second later, literally in the blink of an eye, he was sinking to the bottom of the deep end, slowly dropping to the bottom like a sponge that was absorbing water. “Suleiman! Come quick! A man is drowning!” the pool guy yelled, catching everyone’s attention. “What’s happening? Who’s drowning?” The whole thing was causing quite a stir.

The curious ones dashed to the pool side to see for themselves, and the rest craned their necks, trying to see without being seen to see. After all, it is not in the best of taste to gaze unashamedly on another man’s demise, even with the possibility that he could be saved from his own recklessness. If the man died, it would be an absolute tragedy, made even more tragic by the fact that he had been alive just seconds before.

With a lot of effort – he looked like the type who really enjoyed his booze and barbecue – Suleiman and co, brought him to the surface and laid him on a stretcher. He was unresponsive. It might have been my imagination, but he even looked a little gray and wrinkled. The way your hands look when you’ve been in the bath tub for way longer than you should have. Huffing and puffing, several young men hoisted the stretcher upon their shoulders, and carried the man away. Unconscious as he was, he must have been dead weight.

They then performed CPR, or waved a magic wand or something, because just 10 minutes later, he staggered back to the pool and went right back in. He survived his second swim, but there may come a time when he’s not so lucky. If that’s not a cautionary tale, I don’t know what it is. If it wasn’t real, it would’ve been award winning. Truth as they say, is meaner than fiction.

And yet, there are some script writers who have captured the attention of this continent with fictional tales that have become premium fodder for Africa’s movie mill. Next Saturday in Lagos, the best of them will be honoured, along with our best actors and actresses at the Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards, 2013. The award season therefore, officially ends on African soil. And who knows, I just may have a Lagos tale of my own to tell.