So I got a call on November 16 from a pastor I hold in high esteem. She needed our photography services for her daughter’s birthday party scheduled for November 17. I explained to her that I was already engaged for that day and would have to send 2 of my assistants to do the job. She insisted that the people I send must have the same level of professionalism I bring to the table. I assured her that they will not fall short of her expectations. We agreed that my colleagues will get to her house by 2pm and was quick to bring to her attention the cost implications. I didn’t charge her much. I really didn’t.
November 17, 2012. My assistants were scheduled to leave the office by 1pm in order to be able to get to the client’s place by 2pm. 1pm will eventually turn to 1:40pm and my assistants were amiss. I tried calling 2 photographers I could count on to see if they could urgently fill in for me. Chinedu (Nedum Photography) wouldn’t have been able to get there earlier than 3pm and Michael Adebiyi (Michael Adebiyi Photography) wasn’t responding to his calls. I was at a crossroad.
I eventually decided to cut short the photography class I was teaching at our academy because I figured that I could easily reschedule the training for the next Saturday; the birthday coverage couldn’t be rescheduled. If my students had not given me permission to leave, I probably would not be writing this piece now; I would be recuperating from chronic depression. Thank God it was the last day of class and I had just about 3 hours of teaching left. Thank God they heeded to my plea.
1:45pm. I would set out in my wife’s BMW 318i and attempt to get to the client’s house in 30 minutes. Indeed, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. But if I was to get there by 2:15pm latest, I could not afford to drive like a gentleman. I picked my phone and with a sad heart called the client to tell her I would be 15 minutes late. She replied sternly that they would be leaving the house by 2:20pm and I should do my best.
2:15pm. After enduring a gruesome drive (of which I would not attempt again for another 5 years), I found myself entering the clients house. I got a better revelation of how beautiful heaven would be. THE MANSION WAS BEAUTIFUL. I proceeded to have the shortest photo shoot I would have in a long time. After taking a picture of dad+mum+celebrant with the cake, I was escorted outside by the client as the time had come for them to leave the house.
2:20pm. I was shocked by the level of time management that was practiced by this role-model family. If I had gotten there by 2:30pm, I would have heard the famous “Sorry, you just missed them” from smile-less BEMIL security guards. First lesson noted: always have have Ja Rule/Ashanti’s hit single at the back of your mind….ALWAYS ON TIME.
2:55pm. We got to the destined location of the “small” party and I discovered that no guest had arrived. Apparently, each guest thought it would be unAFRICAN if they got to the party at the time it was supposed to start. The client was unsurprisingly shocked. “Nigerians and African time,” she thought.
3:05pm. I quickly took a 5-minute break to ingest the 2 gala and lucozade I just got so that I would have energy for the 2-hour-turned-4-hour party that was about to start. Thank God for gala. What would the son of man do without gala, a photographer’s quick snack whose price is yet to be affected by the removal of the subsidy of petrol. Thank God for gala.
5:55pm. The father of the celebrant shows up at the party venue. I would eventually realize the reason why he wisely chose not to follow us in the first place. I discovered that this pastor that I so much revere was much more popular than I had envisioned. From the waiters in the restaurant to a few uninvited party guests, you could hear them whisper in solemn voices: “Is that not Pastor *******?”
6:06pm. I discovered that as many as had the guts to summon courage within themselves walked up to the Pastor and asked him to pray for them. It was them I realized that if this man had been with his family from 3pm, the venue would have turned to a church service where the children of God brought their prayer request to the servant of God. I found myself a little nervous in his presence also.
“Seun presently runs a photography school,” the pastor’s wife said as a way of an informal introduction. “Perhaps you should pray for him.” I hesitated and noted that I didn’t want to disturb this man that I hold in high esteem. “Common, receive grace my friend,” the wife scolded. And I found myself bowing for about 120 seconds while I was being prayed for. “God grant him FAVOUR & WISDOM……… In Jesus Name.”
It was after parting ways with the family that it occurred to me the levity of the prayer we sometimes pray.
God make me an envy to the nations….
God make me a super star….
I will be a role-model to be envied….
Nations shall hear of me…..
Prayers that I had often said without much thought. Will I be ready for the burden that comes with the answers to such prayers? Will I be ready to deal with the fact that I can’t do freely what I used to freely do? Would I be patient and humble enough to handle the weight of the restriction to my whereabouts when my fame is spread abroad? I wasn’t too sure of the answers.
As I drove home with my party pack, I was lost in thought on how things might look like when I’m made. Once again I became thankful for the people photography has brought my way; people who make me appreciate where I’m coming from, enjoy where I am & realize that I still have a long way to go.
Question is CAN I HANDLE IT?
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