|High Chief Arala of Benin Kingdom, Prince S.B. Omo Lawal Osula|
The Arala had come out, dressed in a salmon-pink suit and red mocassins, to welcome us personally as we arrived and parked next to the marquees. He is a man of small stature but fit and lively for his age (he is in his mid seventies). The Arala runs an NGO to help international organisations fund rural education projects. He spares them to interface directly with the government and he helps making sure the funds are not vanishing into unintended pockets. He had invited our group because one of us, a western diplomat, was to receive an award for an existing or future collaboration. The lady, heading the NGO, followed him to greet us.
|Austin singing "to lay good foundation, earlier the better, in the nearer future we'll be one of the leaders, so we pray, Amen..."|
The Arala made his official entrance, wearing an emerald-coloured agbada. He was sporting sunglasses too. He said, in his introduction speech, that he had been in the entertainment business for fifty-six years and a half. This was, I reflected, a strong enough justification to wear sunglasses as a famous music artist (Victor Uwaifo too is wearing some while receiving guests in his living room). Kola nuts were brought and presented to the guests, some Seaman gin was shared among senior people.
|the Priestess dancing, married to the Arala|
|the largest family band on Earth has been successfully appreciated|
He dropped his robe and the mini-concert started on a highlife mood. He then playfully danced separately with each of his wives according to various themes that all reminded us that at some point a man and a woman are made to "bump" into each other.
|martial dance, wait a minute|