When you get a group of like-minded adults together for mingling and chilling out, and you tie it in with a good cause, you would be right in thinking “Sure, that sounds like it could be fun.”
But nothing can prepare you for the squeals, the laughter, the dance steps and the general hilarity of a TAWA Chillout event with Ayo Sonoiki
The event is the brilliant brainchild of Ms Sonoiki – the media force behind Thinking Aloud With Ayo (TAWA). She is an on-air personality with a radio show with the same name, as well as a voice for many events involving the Nigerian community on the London scene. Her entire ethos is lifting and celebrating everything that is great about Nigeria, and if it weren’t for people like her and her tireless focus on the positivity of Nigeria, there might have never been a Viva Naija.
It is this same ethos that drives Ms Sonoiki to make every effort to support and embrace the African community: from the restaurant cuisine, to the gifts raffled and won, to the outfit she wore herself on the day! Every single consideration is given to the Nigerian community and for that conscious decision alone, I applaud her.
Yesterday’s event is the third in the series, and they just seem to get better and better. On a Sunday evening each month, friends, supporters and – let’s face it, people who have heard of the successes of the previous events – will gather in a lovely bar or restaurant, eat, drink, join in with party games and fun, and will all buy raffle tickets or simply donate to support a worthy cause.
We had on hand one of London’s finest DJs, DJ Abass to bring the tunes and the fun. When he’s in the house, you know you can count on a good time!
The charity is Domestic Violence UK; a charity that is very close to the host’s heart as she sits on the advisory board. Championing the slogan ‘Love doesn’t hurt‘, Domestic Violence UK works tirelessly to give victims of abuse and violence information, support and options, while increasing awareness and offering information to friends and family as to how they might help a loved one in a vulnerable position.
The event started with the host reading a letter from one of the survivors of domestic violence – a lady who was helped to find her feet and her voice after experiencing harrowing abuse. It is so wonderful to see the outcome of the amazing work that this charity does.
After this sober moment, the real fun started! Starting with Nigerian charades, the laughter came in fast and thick. You have not known hilarity until you try to get someone to guess “kabu kabu” without saying the words!
Next up was karaoke – we went from Amy Winehouse’s Rehab to Sister Sledge’s Frankie. It was all so civilised until….out came King Wasiu Ayinde Marshal and Shina Peters. Kai, come and see boogie-down! Everybody got in the spirit, the whole room got bitten by the Fuji bug, and it was a beautiful thing to see.
It was all we could do to restrain some members from everlasting “judi-cious tinz” and move on with the rest of the day’s activities, but we had prizes to win! There were some lucky winners, but the real winners are the survivors of domestic abuse, so we all went home happy bunnies.
A fabulous night!
All pictures courtesy Michael Tubes of Michael Tubes Creations
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