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A virtual slave

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Gertn, Nov 2, 2015.

  1. Gertn

    Gertn Active Member

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    I was reluctant to continue this story out of respect to my personal friend but I have decided to do some modification and update this story in no time. Grab your popcorn,lay on your couch and get set to read the mind blowing update.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2016
  2. Oluomoadebayo

    Oluomoadebayo Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm always ready!
     
  3. Gertn

    Gertn Active Member

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    Relax and watch out boss.
     
  4. Gertn

    Gertn Active Member

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    Here we go again, please don't get bored or tired to comment.

    My role in the chorus of “Trial by Jury” was just the beginning. Two very important people saw the show and for some reason they singled me out. It was not just the singing in a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta but these two very important people had also seen my miniature performance as a slave in “Antony and Cleopatra”. These two people were Stiasny, a well known conductor and director of Grand Opera, and Miss Banvard, a director of stage shows and theater restaurants.

    Maestro Stiasny had no plans to turn me into an opera star but had admired my stage technique, which it seems allowed for natural acting without interfering with the basic breathing required for singing. He wanted me to observe new young singers in his opera society and suggest to him ways they could improve their acting without interfering with their singing. He said that it would seem inappropriate for someone as young as me to be advising other performers, he was so right, but if I could pass on suggestions through him he would be so grateful. This was a real boost to my ego, which was in danger of outgrowing itself. Geoff, my hero, kept me in check and always brought me back to Earth when I sounded too high and mighty. Working with the Opera Company was a great experience for me and later I was to be invited as Drama Coach for an opera and acknowledged as such but that was a few more years down the track.

    Miss Banvard had come to offer me a job as a singing troubadour in an Elizabethan style Theater Restaurant. The new experience there was to sing while people were also busy clacking knives and forks while they ate. The music here was seen as a background entertainment so conversation among audience members was also something to get used to. The big moments were when the meal was considered over and the late evening show began. I was a troubadour to an actress playing Queen Elizabeth the First. The songs were bawdy, the dialogue even more so and the acting left little to be imagined, it was sexy. This show was such great fun and I stayed with this form of entertainment for 8 months, with a new show every six weeks. It was hard work but so enjoyable.

    Geoff, in the meantime, stayed on as Assistant Stage Manager at the Royal Theatre and we had many free tickets to see wonderful performances. I always had to go to a matinee as I was on stage myself in the evenings at the Theatre Restaurant. One show I saw and remember well was The Stratford on Avon Shakespeare Company performing “The Comedy of Errors”. I was spellbound with Shakespearean Drama and its beautifully rich language. I had been a slave in a Shakespeare play now I was a slave to mastering the art of speaking the great dramatist’s poetic language.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2016
  5. Gertn

    Gertn Active Member

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    Since I was only working in the evenings I had to find some way to occupy my days. Geoff had all the mornings free and a few afternoons, when there was no matinee. One of his free afternoons he took me to the local Radio Station and only when we were there did he show me a newspaper ad, inviting people to audition for singing roles and acting roles for radio broadcasts. I was excited but also a little annoyed that Geoff had not warned me so that I could prepare something to audition with. Geoff soothed me by reminding me that one of my talents was improvisation, something I had used a lot in the Theatre Restaurant. I offered myself for both auditions and was told by the singing panel that I would be informed of their decision later.

    The acting panel said I would be signed up immediately. I think because one of my improvisations had them all crying, men too. It was a sad piece that I made up after reading about the death of a poor child in Africa. I have always kept that piece as my dramatic monologue. Another part of the audition was to mimic other voices and sounds and I made a good impression with my lifelike imitation of a cow.

    The beauty of radio shows is that they are always recorded during the day, even for evening presentations, so I was now going to be fairly busy, I hoped. I was invited to record a children’s broadcast the next week and also a play for adults was to be recorded on the same day. In the children’s show I was, yes, you guessed it, a talking cow and in the Radio Drama Club show I was a prisoner of war, not quite a slave but close. In the children’s show I was an English cow and in the Drama Club show I was a German prisoner. Time to show off my accents. I loved this new type of work, where everything had to be in the voice, all accents, all emotions, all tiny innuendos portrayed by voice alone. This was very useful training for live theatre too. Major differences? On radio you used the microphones to project your sound, in live theatre you had to use your breathing techniques to project your voice. In radio you never saw or heard audience reactions, quite unlike live theatre.

    Geoff and I were very happy indeed. Geoff loved his work and was often called on for suggestions by directors because of his natural aptitude for stage presentation. He surprised me, he surprised the managers of the Theatre Royal and I think he even surprised himself a little, when he asked the Stage Director how he would set about directing his own show. He was instructed to first present a script and Management would decide on its suitability, which meant would it earn money.

    Geoff, because of my German prisoner part on radio, chose a great comedy called “See How They Run”. In this there is a part for a German prisoner of war who had escaped. There ere also great comedy roles for good-looking young actors and more mature roles for both male and female performers. It was an easy stage setting, which meant low set-up costs and costuming was modern so nothing to be spent on fancy wardrobe. The Theatre accepted the script and offered the same salary to Geoff as all professional directors received. The big draw, of course, was the percentage of takings from ticket sales.
     
  6. Gertn

    Gertn Active Member

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    The theatre booked an open season for Geoff, three weeks in October. A while away but time for me to finish my Troubadour evenings and be free to work for my own wonderful director.

    Geoff held open auditions for his play but I knew he had already cast several parts with actors he had seen and admired. He invited a brilliant young designer to design his stage setting and after auditions were over he cast his play. He allowed auditions for all parts in the play except the German prisoner, I wonder why?

    August came and a diary of rehearsals was drawn up, I finished singing at the Theatre Restaurant, but was now singing on radio occasionally, and began studying my Prisoner of War role. It was a small part but still worthy of intense study. I met the rest of the cast and was humbled to be appearing with some of the fine actors and actresses I had seen on stage. The tabled reading, which meant we all just sat around and read our lines, was fun. Geoff had a few notes about expression but the main purpose of this reading was to get used to the voices and presentations of the cast members. The young leading actor, who everyone apparently knew was gay, made some obvious advances towards Geoff, so my hero announced that he was proudly ‘married’ to the German Prisoner of War and cleverly foiled any further attempts by anyone to try to get close to either him or me. The young, good-looking leading man was destined to become a close friend.


    Rehearsal were fun albeit hard work and when the time came to conduct our first rehearsal on stage (not in rehearsal rooms) we were all well prepared and excited. Once you move in the real stage setting, there are small distractions which always seem to make the first on stage rehearsal somewhat disappointing but you move on and the next rehearsal is usually great. There is a saying that some actors use, “A bad dress rehearsal means a good show”. Personally I think this is not true, a bad dress rehearsal just means the actors are not fully prepared. We had a great final dress rehearsal and an impressive opening night. The house was full, which is good for word of mouth advertising as long as the show goes well. Our show went exceptionally well and Geoff was a new rising star in the field of directors. Audience reaction was great and critics the next day in the Press were extremely kind to all, especially the Director. One audience member, after the show, said he thought I was really going to kill someone as my face was so cruel. Great, but I was aiming for fear not cruelty, still it worked.

    For Geoff this was a turning point and he was eager to direct more plays, especially ones with me in them. So he scouted for good scripts which had meaty roles for me. It was a grand idea for both of us and would see us working together all the time. I have been told that when you live with someone it is not such a good thing to work together too, it can make you sick of each other’s company and disagreements at work can upset your personal lives. This was not the case with Geoff and I, we supported each other in work just as we did in life.
     
  7. Gertn

    Gertn Active Member

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    It was at this time that I wanted to change my name for the stage. Geoff thought it was such a good idea that he wanted to change his name too. He also suggested we take the same surname, since we were not allowed to marry in those days. I was so happy with the idea. Finding a good surname took weeks. Finally we settled on Mann. There was a private joke involved with this choice. Geoff would use his full Christian name and be Geoffrey Mann and I would be Georgie Mann. Only we knew that this meant we were both G Men. A silly enough joke but it helped us decide. Of course, you can adopt any name you like as a stage name but we wanted it to be legal that we both had the same surname. The first step was to advertise out intentions in the local newspapers, advise interested parties and wait. It took 8 months before the Deed Polls were signed and Geoffrey and I became The Manns. It was as good as we were going to get towards marriage so we celebrated in style with many friends from radio and theatre coming along to wish us well. It was a wonderful day and in keeping with tradition, I cried at my own ‘wedding’.

    Geoff, still just Geoff to me, had found several scripts he was eager to direct and they all had very good roles for me. Geoff was very ambitious and wanted to hire a theatre and not only direct but produce his own show. If successful he would get the lion’s share of the profits. Good comedy theatre was always popular, people wanted to laugh but Geoff had his mind set on a drama, a story of a white man who was quite racist but who, when helped in times of need by a black man, learned to love all his fellow men. The play was called “Take My Coward’s Hand” and in it I would be playing the white guy, in a wheelchair. My first entrance on stage would be in the chair and within minutes I would be expected to break down and cry. It was a great vehicle for me and Geoff gave me such excellent direction. That, along with the support of a truly talented cast, led to an award for me and a huge profit for Geoff, because every session of that play sold out. Geoff was now a name to be recognised in theatre and he was absolutely bitten now with the bug — he wanted to be producer and director of many more shows. He also confessed he was no longer limiting himself to scripts that featured me in a leading role. I was more than happy to play minor roles or even not be included in the cast, this was Geoff’s dream and I was a slave to his love. My job was to encourage, support and, if necessary, criticise this man and his decisions. When it was necessary to offer criticism or suggestions, Geoff always considered my offerings very carefully, sometimes making changes and sometimes sticking to his own ideas. It was all good.

    Was it stress? Was it just too much hard work? Was it too many busy days followed by late evenings after rehearsals? Who knows if it was just one of those or a combination of them all but I was called at home one afternoon to go immediately to the hospital where Geoff had been taken. He had just collapsed at an afternoon technical rehearsal and the theatre stage manager had called an ambulance.

    I went as fast as I could to the hospital and discovered my Geoff, sitting up in bed and smiling. I wanted to hug him, I wanted slap him, I wanted to kiss him, I wanted to shout but what I did was typically me, I cried. Geoff reached out for me and held me close to his chest, I could feel and hear his heart beating so fast. Once the sick man had calmed the visitor, me, we spoke and Geoff explained that the doctor had said he had just been doing too much. He had advised a week of complete rest and prescribed some pills to help Geoff relax and sleep peacefully. Geoff was always complaining about his sleep, it seems he had trouble switching his mind off. I was going to keep the week free myself, either rescheduling or cancelling appointments on radio. I would be a slave once more, kitchen slave, bedroom slave, nursing slave - I would be all the slaves my man needed to get him back to health. Naturally, a big worry was the heart but the doctor had assured me Geoff’s heart was remarkably strong and this was his brain giving him a signal to slow down.

    Out of all bad things something good always emerges. There were rehearsals planned for the next production and Geoff asked if I would attend and take notes for him. Of course, I was happy to do this but was concerned about leaving Geoff alone. Enter Larry, the young actor who had a crush on Geoff at one stage, who volunteered to stay with Geoff while I was away. He was now a close friend and happily matched with a charming singer from the opera company.

    I went to rehearsals, observed and took notes. I recorded questions from actors which I then relayed to the Director, when I got home, together with cards, flowers and well wishes from the entire cast and crew. On some of the notes I offered suggestions of my own and Geoff said I should honestly consider being his Assistant Director. He meant it, he said my ideas were good. He asked me to give the cast my ideas, saying they came from Geoff, and assessing their reactions. They accepted everything I had suggested and were delighted with all the ideas. I was ecstatic and wanted to tell them they were my ideas but I could not do that. Geoff was our Director, Producer, Leader and Friend. Total respect for him was paramount.

    The week seemed to fly and I wanted Geoff to rest longer but he insisted on going back to work. I did all I could to ensure Geoff had proper rest breaks and as early nights as possible. There is nothing I would not do for this man and I know if situations were reversed he would do the same for me. In a few years, that theory of mine would be put well and truly to the test.

    Rehearsal went well, a theatre was hired once again, publicity started and resting on the laurels of his previous success, Geoff mounted another brilliant, successful production. This second big success gave us enough money to seriously consider buying our own home. We had decided that here was where we would like to stay. We planned a house big enough for my Mother too but she insisted that we should have our privacy and in any case she was happy and had many good friends at the guest house.
    We looked at several homes for sale but were not impressed, there was always something missing or something not really needed. Geoff asked a great set designer of stage settings if he had ever designed a house. He had not but was prepared to try, if we gave him exactly what we had in mind. His design was a brilliant stage set but one that could never have been built as a home in today’s society. His ideas, however, were exciting and when we gave these ideas to a registered home designer we received plans and outlines that kept the very best of the pseudo stage setting in a modern classic house design. We were thrilled and bought land near the beach and set the house designer to work looking for construction teams. It took 7 months for the project to be completed and it was such a beautiful and original design that every paper and magazine wanted photos and articles about its origins. Naturally, because of our names it was called The Mannsion, yes two ns in the middle.

    We were setting here, we had a home and two very promising careers ahead. I was, however, forced by circumstances to leave Geoff and pursue a road on my own.
     
  8. Oluomoadebayo

    Oluomoadebayo Moderator Staff Member

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    What took you so long when you have this kind of stuff for us, anyway the updates worth the wait. The slave yesterday is becoming a star today. Good Job!
     
  9. Rain

    Rain Active Member

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    Yaaaay! A lengthy update. I am soo not dissapointed. Way to go Gertn..kudos
     
  10. Gertn

    Gertn Active Member

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    Thanks!
     
  11. jenjut

    jenjut Active Member

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    Thanks for this powerful update.
     
  12. trammet

    trammet Active Member

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    Update anytime soon? I don't believe I read everything at a go, thank you for this deep story.
     
  13. Oluomoadebayo

    Oluomoadebayo Moderator Staff Member

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    Any update soon?
     
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  14. Rain

    Rain Active Member

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    @ Gertn please, just try and finish this story
     
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  15. Gertn

    Gertn Active Member

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    Ongoing!
     
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  16. Gertn

    Gertn Active Member

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    Yes boss man.
     
  17. Gertn

    Gertn Active Member

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    Here we go my Afritalks family.
    *****************************************
    My singing was drawing me further and further into the realms of music and musical comedy. Geoff had his heart set on being Director and Producer of good Drama. Our paths were separating but thank goodness, at the end of each day we would still curl up together in bed and talk of our day before drifting off into a deep sleep. Yes, even Geoff was sleeping well now. Why not his work was very demanding, mainly intellectual but occasionally physical, when he insisted on demonstrating what he wanted done. He would also help with stage settings to make sure all was just as he wanted. He was not a perfectionist but very close to it.


    I had entered a singing competition and won, that is I won the heat for my town. Now came semi-finals competing against singers from nearby towns to decide which artists would go to the capital city and compete in the finals. There would be ten finalists and I was lucky enough to be one of them.


    Three days before the finals were to be staged I left for the big city. I wanted to acquaint myself with the city but more importantly with the venue where the finals would be staged. In any case I had to be there at least one day ahead as there would be staging for the finals and each singer was given their own special stage setting. My setting was very easy, a park bench against a backdrop of trees and gardens. I would be singing “Time After Time” a love song and I was to choose one of the other contestants to sing it to. Of course, my first choice, a very good-looking young man, was not appropriate so I selected a very beautiful young lady and she graciously agreed to stand in for my solo. I later learned she was camera hungry and wanted just to be seen as much as possible on the Finals Night, which was to be filmed. I have to admit though, she did a great job reacting to my song without deflecting too much attention from me. I was grateful.


    The Finals came and went, I did not win or even get placed in the top three but I did get noticed by an agent who had actually gone to see the girl who had supported me. He wanted me to make audition tapes with a view to setting up a recording session. A chance to make and, therefore, sell my own records. It was a very tempting offer but it meant I would have to be away from Geoff and practically live in the big city whilst recording sessions were under way. I thought about it, I phoned Geoff, who was all for the idea and then I made my own decision. I remembered the times when I had been hurt or when Geoff had been sick and I knew life together with Geoff was important. I returned home and I knew Geoff was delighted with my choice.


    I did go once more into the city to audition for a Concert that was being put together by a large music company. It was to be a stage spectacular and it would tour many towns and cities, giving all the performers exposure to audiences and, more importantly, agents all over the country.


    There were some truly gifted people auditioning and I was especially impressed by a tall, strong black man who had the deepest voice I had heard, at least up to that time. I was mesmerised by his amazing voice and by his incredibly handsome face and physique. I was quite astonished and, to be honest, a little shy when he approached me and complimented me on my voice and choice of song. We chatted for a while and I learned a lot about this man, his country, Nigeria, and his own personal escape from slavery.


    His name was Agu, at least that is what he told me. Agu was 6 feet tall and beneath his tight t-shirt you could see he was all muscle. He had been living here for 6 years, having run away from a Nigerian village with the girl who was now his wife. Agu was fairer skinned than many Africans I had seen and he explained that his tribe, the Igbo tribe, were usually lighter than others. Agu was a handsome man, with piercing dark eyes and a smile that would light a darkened room, I thought.

    After rehearsal for our staging we had a break before a staged rehearsal of our numbers with all the settings. Both Agu and I had been told to report back, which meant we were at least being considered for the tour. During the break Agu asked me to go with him for a coffee. As we left the rehearsal hall Agu took me by the hand. He laughed when I pulled away.

    “Oho, you have been brainwashed I see,” he said.


    “What do you mean?” I asked.


    “You think to hold a man’s hand makes you look gay. Not where I come from. All men hold hands when walking together, there is much affection between men in my country and they are not gay, well none that I know of.” He took my hand again. “Be not afraid, my friend, I will not let harm come to you.”


    I knew he meant it and I felt safe, safe to walk hand in hand with a friend.


    We had coffee and he told me more about his people. He said they were the second largest tribe in Nigeria and he said they had once tried to gain independence as a tribe but had been overwhelmed and absorbed back into Nigeria as a whole. Agu came from a small place called Akoko. I laughed at this and explained that for me a cocoa meant a hot chocolate kind of drink. Agu then told me about his family, how his parents had suffered and died and how, when he felt no longer safe being alone, he left Nigeria and went first to Kano, a city in the middle of the desert. He had convinced the girl he loved, Ndidiamaka, to flee with him. Didi, as he called his now wife, was a very beautiful woman from his tribe and he proved his point by showing me her photo. He wanted me to meet her and asked me to go to his home but we had no time for this.


    After coffee we walked back, hand in hand, to the rehearsal hall. Along the way we did attract unwanted attention from a small group of teenagers, who commented loudly on the gay black and white couple. I was very angry and also very embarrassed. Mostly because I knew Agu was not gay. Agu turned and frowned at the group and, seeing his stature, they melted into the distance.


    “You have to feel sorry for them, my new friend, because they do not know of life in the world outside their own small experiences. They know not about love of a fellow man.” Agu often spoke like a sort of preacher. I learned he was indeed very religious and had been taught his English by Catholic missionaries. I was proud to walk with this man and my early notions of fantasising about him possibly being gay had vanished, I had a new friend and I was going to value that friendship more and more as we grew closer together on the tour. Yes, we had both been chosen.


    There was a week’s break for all the chosen artists to return to their homes, make plans and report back for a week’s solid rehearsal before the tour proper began. I went home excited by the prospect of touring and Geoff, as usual, was totally supportive. He cooked for me, did my laundry and insisted that I spend as much time as possible rehearsing my number and, he suggested, I should have an encore ready.


    “I know,” he said, “ my sweet love will wow the audiences, everywhere he goes.”


    The week was up and I left, a little uneasy and a little worried about Geoff. Geoff reminded me that he was a big boy and could take are of himself.


    “And you,” he said, “ already have a big boy ready to look after you.” He was teasing me about Agu who, of course, I had told Geoff about.


    We had to report early in the morning at the rehearsal hall. Not for rehearsals but to be given our allotted rooms in a nearby hotel, all paid for by the music company, which was very nice. We did not have the luxury of private rooms but all had to share. When they called Agu’s name, he spoke up and said, “Agu and Georgie.” the clerk dealing with the allocation of rooms gave Agu a funny look, scribbled some notes on his pad and then repeated, “Agu and Georgie.”


    Agu collected the slips and off we went to unpack in our room, shower, relax and prepare for the first rehearsal that afternoon. After unpacking and showering we both lay on our beds and talked about the tour. We also talked about the ones we loved that we had been forced to leave for a while. I was misty eyed talking about Geoff and Agu said, very politely, “So, you are gay. I thought so.”
     
  18. Gertn

    Gertn Active Member

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    “Do you want to change rooms, “ I asked.


    “Why?”


    “Now you know I am gay,” I said.


    “I think I always knew. But did you not understand what I said about men in my country? We love each other like brothers, we hold hands and hug. You have just gone a step further but it is still love, that is all that matters. Come here,” he said patting the side of his bed.


    I moved over not quite knowing what to expect. He waited for me to sit and then his strong arms pulled me down and turning me away from him, he hugged me, tight.


    “You see I can hug you and love you as a friend, a brother if you wish, but anything more is impossible because I am not like you. I am happy to give you a hug when you need it but that is all. Do not be afraid of love Georgie, take it and be happy.“ He laughed out loud and added, “But if you get other ideas go quickly to your own bed, Ok?”


    “Okay,” I said and snuggled into the warmth of my new friend.


    We chatted for a while and then I went back to my bed. Not because I had any ideas about Agu but because I was tired. We had a couple hours in which we could nap before reporting for rehearsals. I felt better in many ways. I had a friend to talk to, a friend who had already demonstrated that he would look after me if needed and an honest critic. Agu gave me some really good advice about the presentation of my song.


    The rehearsal had a few hitches but mostly technical and all the artists were in top form. Lucky for us this was not a competition but I am sure Agu would have won if it was. Maybe I was a little bit biased. We are told to rest the next day and another full rehearsal would be called for the following day, giving technicians time to iron out the glitches. Everyone was too excited to go home to bed so it was planned, since we had the next day to rest, to all go dancing. Someone knew of a great disco and accepting their recommendation we all flopped into three taxis and off we went.


    It was an amazing place and the music was, as expected, very loud. This curbed any attempt at conversation and everyone just drank and danced. At one point Agu had found a sweet young African girl and they were dancing crazily on the floor. Everyone stopped just to look at their incredible moves.


    Agu had told me that his name meant leopard, meaning he was agile and strong. His moves on that dance floor proved it. He was in top form and the girl he danced with matched him move for move. Their moves were very sexual and I learned later from Agu that was what he and his fellow Nigerians called Highlife. It was both mesmerising and contagious and before long there were many people on the floor trying to copy the Highlife way of dancing. I was stunned when Agu grabbed me and pulled me on to the floor. He, the girl and I danced a lot together that evening. I tried to be tactful and suggested I could probably bunk in some other room if Agu wanted to invite the girl back to his room.


    Agu pulled me close and said in my ear, “ I truly love my wife and would never even think of that and in any case I am sleeping with you tonight, Georgie.”


    The evening came to an end, people left at different times according to their degree of fatigue. Agu

    said a fond farewell to his lovely African girl and then he grabbed me by the hand and strode out into the night and hailed a taxi.

    He did sleep with me, all night, and I never once had any thoughts of a sexual nature about this man hugging me as we slept. He was indeed my friend and as close to a brother as I could ever have wished for. I can honestly say I loved Agu in the same wonderful way he had described love between men in his own country. If only the whole world were as crazy, as happy and as wonderful as that.


    The next day we all relaxed, most of us by the hotel swimming pool. At least we all tried to relax but when Kennedy, one of the artists brought out his guitar, we all wanted to sing. All the numbers of all the artists on the tour. We soon had a captive audience, as people left dining rooms, coffee shops or whatever to come sit by the pool and enjoy a free concert. Agu was in a pair of black swimming trunks and when he sang the world seemed to hold its breath. The response from the audience was astonishing, they clapped cheered and many young ladies begged for an autograph. The response to all this from the rest of us on the tour was to throw him in the pool. Were we jealous?Of course we were, he was handsome, had a magnificent body and his voice was outstanding.


    It is worth noting that both Agu and I sang songs about slavery. Agu, with his wonderful bass/baritone voice sang “Ol’ Man River’ from Showboat, a song about Slavery in America. I sang “Slave to Love” an old Bryan Ferry song. Singing songs about slavery was not planned it was just coincidence but a vey happy coincidence.


    I was quite happy with the reaction to my song too, because all the young people just got up to dance. After we all cooled off in the pool we really did go and relax. Agu, as wonderful as ever, treated me to a massage and we had two very strong lady masseurs treat us royally in the health centre within the hotel.


    The next day we all displayed just the right amount of nerves. If we were too nervous we might spoil our performance but a few nerves got the adrenalin pumping and was a boon to many artists. The final dress rehearsal was a complete success. This had a few people worried and they were heard to mouth off the old wives’ tale about a bad dress rehearsal meaning a good opening night. This, many of them thought , also meant a good dress rehearsal could mean a bad first night. They were wrong.


    The next night was our first real show. Every seat had been sold, or given away as publicity to well-known theatre addicts and critics. The MC walked on stage to announce the first performer. Of course he had to do all the usual thank you bits first, acknowledging publicity firms, costume suppliers, stage props providers and many more. Finally, Kennedy, the guitarist was introduced and his rendition of “For Once in my Life” was an emotional and beautiful start to a fantastic concert.


    Agu sang his solo just before the interval and we thought the audience would never leave the theatre. They just stood there for ages applauding this incredible man. Agu stood there for quite a while after the curtains finally closed on his fourth or fifth curtain call. I went to him to see if he was Ok. He could not leave the stage because he did not want people to see his tears. This big, strong leopard was crying but oh, they were tears of such joy. His talent had been recognised and acknowledged by hundreds of people. This time I took him by the hand and led him to the dressing room.


    My performance was very pleasantly received but overshadowing Agu was impossible. The audience reaction for other artist never compared to the reception given to Agu so it was no surprise when management decided that in future shows Agu would be the last act on the bill. He would be what he always should have been, the star performer. I was so proud to be his friend.


    The tour was a really wonderful experience and many singers got offers from various agents. I was happy to receive one offer but turned it down. I missed my Geoff and wanted to get back to be with him.



    When the tour finally ended I had two thoughts only. First I wanted to get back home to my beloved. My second thought was when would I see Agu again, if ever? He had so many offers and had not decided which one to accept until he had spoken to his beloved Didi. Of course, we would stay in touch hat was absolutely certain. But would we ever meet again? If so, when, where? I asked Agu these questions and he gave me the best answer ever.


    “ Georgie, I promise we will meet again and not too far off either. I have dreamed of it and my old grandmother taught me a thing or two about interpreting dreams. We will hold hands again my friend, my little white brother.”
     
  19. Rain

    Rain Active Member

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    Nice...an update after how many years?! Welldone
     
  20. Oluomoadebayo

    Oluomoadebayo Moderator Staff Member

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    Nice one for the introduction of Agu but Kano is still part of Nigeria though.
     

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