Bodun – Day 3
The luxury continued on day three of Bodun’s 50th birthday celebration. We booked the ladies into Langaro Lifestyle Centre for a morning of pampering and relaxing. This award-winning spa customised beauty packages for each guest. The ladies raved about the quality to such an extent, that the ‘birthday boy’ treated himself to a facial later that day; one he described as ‘divine’.
For the men, we arranged a 4-ball round of golf. We chose The River Club in Mowbray as it offers Mashie golf; a 9-hole, 3-par round which is quicker, and loads of fun. For those who hadn’t played before, pro golfers we hired to offer insider tips on swings and putts. They loved it!
We then turned our attention to the kids.
The Bay Hotel, where the guests had been staying, allowed us to organise a wide variety of events to suit an age group from two to 17 years old. The silent disco was the biggest hit for all ages, especially for the other hotel guests who did not hear a thing. Air hockey made for much laughter while professional kids’ entertainers played games and created balloon art for the younger ones. Décor included squishy bean bags for those who needed to relax after all the fun, and of course, the ones who chilled on their phones. No judgement from us as safe, happy kids were our priority. Lunch was a no-brainer. I mean who doesn’t love pizza?
While all guests were soaking up luxury and fun from 9:00am to noon, we turned our attention to the birthday finale. For the gala dinner in the Rotunda at the Bay Hotel, we created a masculine feel in blue, white and gold. Colourful floral arrangements softened the look to provide a balanced aesthetic for all to enjoy.
The Rotunda is a large, high domed space, and with only 70 guests, it had the potential to feel hollow. We created two lounging areas in white, blue and shades of grey for a modern masculine feel which filled the space beautifully. Blue lighting throughout pulled the areas together to create a soft ambience.
A Nigerian-style dinner party was new to us yet exciting to arrange. Numerous phone and Skype calls with our client beforehand, ensured we got it just right. So, pull up a chair and take notes in case you need to do it one day.
Nigerians love music! Played by Bodun’s own DJ, formed the backdrop to the entire evening. On arrival, guests were greeted by Daisy, a well-known MC who Bodun also flew in. Wine, Appletiser, bubbly and canapes were served as they mingled and then took to their seats.
As a special song played, Bodun ceremoniously arrived with his gorgeous wife and three beautiful sons. A prayer was said, a gospel singer and band performed, followed by representatives at each table sharing a 5-minute long anecdote or special memory about their host.
A traditional meal was prepared by Bodun’s chef and served at 9:30pm. Dinner was followed by heartfelt speeches by his sons, and a cake cutting ceremony by the whole family. Then the dance floor opened up, and probably shut way after pumpkin time. Like we said, Nigerians love music.
This celebration taught us so much about Nigerian culture and the limitations of a lavish 3-day event. It took us a year to plan and we used venues and suppliers which provided as much equipment and services as possible. We learned that Nigerian dinners are served very late so avoid serving souffle. Above all, we learned the value of community so men and women, family and friends all need to be catered to.