Nobody does a grown folk relaxed gathering like Ayo Sonoiki, and yesterday’s #TAWAchillout, the fifth in the series, organised to raise money for the very worthy charity Domestic Violence UK was no different.
TAWA – an acronym for Thinking Aloud With Ayo – is the brainchild of the multi-talented Ayo Sonoiki, an initiative she set up that aims to celebrate everything honorable and great about our country Nigeria.
Starting as a radio show, the movement grew to include these chillout sessions, a safe haven where adults can get together and be silly, let their hair down of a Sunday evening without fear of being judged by pesky kids rolling their eyes talking about “What is this dance mummy thinks she’s doing??”
And what an evening of silliness it was! There was karaoke, fun games, and serious laughter. Mazi Abe Idris, a great friend of our house, Viva Naija was on hand to bring the quick jokes as he did a short skit, and the general air was light and friendly.
There was, of course, some serious content. Domestic Violence UK (www.domesticviolenceuk.org) is a serious topic, and this platform only served to take it out of the shadows of taboo. We heard spoken word, a poem about triumph and overcoming hurt from Ade Onilogbo, herself a victor over the dreaded sickle cell disease and a survivor in every sense of the word.
Councillor Yemi Ogunfemi, a councillor for Medway council was also on hand to urge Nigerians to be more involved in our communities as we were paving the way for our children’s future. It nearly degenerated into a debate about politics for a minute, but thank the Lord DJ Abass was on hand with his trusted mixer and speakers to keep us dancing and light on our feet.
DJ Abass on fleek!!! With one of the guests
And fooooooood! Oh gosh, the food! Laredo’s Suya and Grill came through and spoilt us all! There was grilled fish and dodo, suya, barbecue chicken, fried yam….I put on weight just looking at it all, but I said lemme eat small so that it won’t look like I was angry or nothing, you understand!
The night ended with the raffle draw and it was amazeballs, not least because I won something for the very first time in my life! Yummmm!
An awesome night – both for the grown Nigerian folk in diaspora and for the awesome survivors of domestic violence.
Well done, Ms Sonoiki!
See more pictures here, courtesy Bayo Oyekan
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