Komole is a Yoruba term, which literally means “bend down low.” It is the name given to a dance move that is popular in Nigeria where a person (usually a woman) progressively drops, while dancing until she is crouching low in a graceful manner, without actually hitting the ground. And now for the story.
DJ Blaze must have been reading my mind, for all of a sudden, while we were all alingo-ing, etighi-ing and azonto-ing to P-Square’s Alingo, he suddenly switched the music.
“Bobo no go die, unless to ba d’arugbo! Bobo, Bobo, Bobo, Bobo, Bobo no go die unless to ba d’arugbo!”
Our reaction to King Wasiu Ayinde Marshall (KWAM 1)’s popular ’90s Fuji song, Consolidation, was automatic. We all screamed in delight and then rapidly did the komole. The other people in the club continued dancing, but they remained upright, while we all crouched down low. I mean, really really low. If you had stood on an elevated surface looking down at us doing the komole, we would have looked like kids playing Ring-a-Ring of roses at the “A-ti-shoo, we all fall down” part. I could make out DJ Blaze’s grin. He was clearly enjoying himself too.
This delightful surprise lasted only about one minute as he quickly switched to another popular American song. Five minutes later, without warning again, he switched to another well-known section of a popular KWAM 1 song:
” … Shokolokobangoshe!”
We all lost it at that point and began to komole with a vengeance. As soon as I heard “Shokoloko …,” without even waiting for the musician to finish, I went down. As I did, I heard two sounds within seconds of each other: the first was the sound of shattering glass, and the second was the sound of something whizzing past me. It sounded like it had flown right over my head. I was clueless and assumed that it was part of the music. Plus, my friends were still digging it, and did not seem bothered in the least.
Almost immediately, I saw DJ Blaze raise one hand in the air, with the other hand clutching his chest. He fell backwards. At first, nobody did anything. We just assumed he had temporarily lost his balance and would get up. The music kept playing, an American song, this time around. DJ Blaze was still on the floor. I think a full five minutes must have passed before one of the people on the dance floor ventured to the DJ’s station to find out what was going on. Slowly everyone stopped dancing as we watched the man disappear behind the table housing the turntables and other equipment.
A few seconds later, he began to shout. Initially, we could not make head or tail of what he was shouting about. But, he finally cut the music, and that was when we heard him shout clearly:
“Call an ambulance. The DJ’s been shot in the chest!”
We were all stunned. It all seemed surreal. Then, people began to ask each other questions: How could the DJ have been shot? Where was the shooter? Why was he shot? But still, nobody had called the cops. The managers and even the bartender were nowhere to be found. It was just the club patrons. Even the bouncers had disappeared. What was going on?
It was Josephine, the logical one, who whipped out her cell phone and dialed 911, asking the police to come quickly. As she dialed the number, we all huddled together in a corner, afraid to leave, since we did not know who the gunman was and how the DJ was shot. In fact, it was not until minutes later, when the police finally arrived at the scene, that we finally understood what had just happened.
Apparently, DJ Blaze was right: the owners of the Red Flame were the same people who owned Dance Fever. They were neck-deep into gang-related activities, and had transferred their base from the closed-down night club to this one. Not long after we entered the club, the manager and other employees got a tip-off that a rival gang was heading to that particular night club. They had not bothered to warn the guests of the impending danger, and had absconded through the backdoor. The bouncers who were positioned at the front entrance, did not get the memo, and were there when five armed men came to the club. The bouncers denied them access and in the scuffle that ensued, one of the guns misfired. A stray bullet went flying through the glass and hit an innocent man: the DJ. Both bouncers and one of the gang members were seriously injured and lay outside the door until the police arrived. The other gang members absconded, abandoning their mission.
As I heard the ambulance approach, I wondered at just how illogical death was, for it was the man who had assured us of the safety of this club that had lost his life that night. He was the victim of a stray bullet. And as I gave the police my statement of the events I had witnessed, I suddenly realized that the whizzing sound I had heard of an object flying over my head, must have been that bullet. If I had stood still and not done that last komole, I would have died. It was not until I saw the police take his body away in a black bag, that I came to terms with the fact that our new friend was gone. That was when I remembered the Pastor’s prayer just hours before.
“… And Lord may we always be at the right place at the right time.”
For the first time that night, I said “Amen.”
-THE END –