Tips for ensuring you find your way into the best parties, uninvited
I don’t know about you but this December doesn’t seem to have the usual buzz about it. I haven’t seen a lot of lights and decorations around town and even the radio stations don’t seem to be giving Christmas songs the usual traffic. It’s like we are all just waiting for dusk and dawn, and going about our normal lives without making merry like we always do at the end of the year.
But this is Naija. No matter how bad things are, it is always party o’clock somewhere. It may not look like anyone is celebrating but if you look well, you will find a party somewhere. From large-scale owambes to house parties, beach parties and come chops, it’s happening somewhere close to you. We like to enjoy ourselves when we can and if it is on someone else’s tab, all the better!
Now, if you haven’t been invited to any parties this period, it’s probably because your character is not good in the neighbourhood (read in Yoruba) or maybe you need new friends or the invitations are still on the way. Whatever the situation is, you must not be deterred from having a dirty decemba even if it means crashing a party.
Some people are talented in gatecrashing and they do it for many reasons. Catching fun is one motivation: the thrill that comes with finding your way uninvited into the nearest party is definitely a thing. I remember leaving a wedding reception around 10pm and overhearing some guys urging their friends to come through because the party was lit and they didn’t need invitations. A friend also shared his experience on a weekend getaway with some of his friends. They found out after they’d all dispersed, that they had spent a weekend with a guy none of them knew! Talk about sheer bravado! Aren’t people afraid of the unknown in this country?
For some other people, it is about grabbing lunch and/ or dinner, sometimes as a necessity and other times, just because it’s available. I once ran into a former colleague at a birthday party held at an event hall in Unilag. He was well dressed and feasting on some delicious-looking food. I asked how he knew the celebrant and to my surprise, he said he didn’t. He just happened to come to campus to study and knowing there are always events there every weekend, he came dressed to eat. To say I was shocked would be an understatement. Now, I know students do this a lot but to find a full-grown working-class adult also indulging in “mogbo moya” was a bit surprising. To his credit though, he is a Unilag alumnus so let’s assume he was reliving his student days.
And then some crash parties just to meet the “who is who’” in society. Parties are a great means of networking and meeting potentially influential people, so I can understand why some people would plot to attend parties uninvited. I have seen people hustle for invitations to events that they weren’t invited to, just to ensure that they got the opportunity to meet someone they had always wanted to meet or even a celebrity who was billed to attend the party.
You’re probably thinking: “I’m never going to crash a party, that’s beneath me”. Well, that’s your business. Maybe you think you are too elite for such adventures but one day, you will find yourself lazing away at home and one of your more daring friends will drop by and drag you to a party you know absolutely nothing about. Even billionaires crash parties, ask Dangote, I’m sure he will know some party crashers. You need to try it once in your life, take it from someone who will probably not take his own advice!
Ok, the first thing you need to do is find an event to crash. You can talk to the socialites within your network or search through social media for event announcements. Get all the information you need. What type of event is it? Where is the venue? What time does it start? Who’s hosting it? (this may not be as important though but it may be useful to know).
Next, you need to dress up. What you wear is dependent on the type of event it is. You don’t want to overdress or underdress, or even dress inappropriately. You want to fit in with all the other guests. We are big on dressing around these parts and you don’t want to catch the side eye now and then before someone asks how you got into the party. For events where asoebi is available to guests, some have been known to buy their fabric independent of the event hosts just to fit in. If you aren’t that desperate, wearing the recommended colour code is just fine.
You have the details for the event, the next thing is to time your arrival. You don’t want to go too early, you’d be found out if your IV is requested neither do you want to go late when all the activity is winding down. For best results, ensure you arrive when most people are arriving. This could be anything from 2–4 hours after the advertised start time, depending on the type of event it is. Chances are the event security would be too overwhelmed to check everyone’s IV and you can just saunter in.
Let’s assume you arrive and the event security is requesting to see your invitation. What do you do? The most important thing you need is confidence, everything else is secondary. Stride to the door like you organised the party. Project a stern look as you approach the security and speak in measured tones. You’re cultured, you’re important, and only desperate people raise their voices. If all your entreaties fail, you may need to change your strategy. Some people have been known to grease palms, others have found a service entrance and slipped in with the waiters. Some others have lingered until the host or someone important walks in so they can go with the flow. If you are that determined, you may need to arrange a distraction so you can slip in quickly.
Once you get in, be mindful of putting your best foot forward. You must comport yourself properly and not do anything that will draw attention to you. You may have gotten in but nothing stops you from being thrown out. No need to try to greet the host unless you want to complete your cycle of deception in which case, give them a light hug and exchange a few pleasant nothings before making your way as far away from them as possible. Everyone will think you know the host and the host would be too preoccupied to wonder who you really are. Chat with a few people too, and make friends. Who knows, you may all have crashed the party!
Finally, whatever you do, don’t crash the party of someone you know well. There’s probably a good reason you weren’t invited. I remember attending a friend’s birthday party at an upscale restaurant and meeting another friend who also knew the celebrant. His name was not on the guest list and he wasn’t even wearing the stipulated dress code. He tried to send a message to the celebrant who clearly ignored it. I just thought that was one of the most belittling things one could do to oneself.
Things are tough out there but please go out and have fun, even if you have to crash a party. Follow my advice and you won’t get caught but if you do, there must be absolutely no mention of my name, deal? As always, this is the way I see things today.