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HOME #5

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“Toriola come out this minute I know you are there” Mrs Ajayi called out, “Now is not a good time to talk Nuru, can we leave that for later” Tori says to Nuru on the line, annoyed she was caught in her spy assignment, “Okay I will call you back later Miss Tori” Nuru replied on the other side of the line. Tori walked out to meet her mum and Gram-mii.

“Welcome to the Ajayi women clan, now that you know the secret you would have to keep it just like we women do” Gram-mii said winking at Tori, “I did not hear anything, I just came out this very minute” Tori lied, “Toriola, omo mii, don’t even start, I know you and I can tell when you are lying trust me don’t” Gram-mii countered, “at least you wouldn’t say I did not try, and it is Tori Gram-mii just Tori”, They all laughed and hugged.

YOU ARE WELCOME TO NAIJA SINGS, IT PROMISES TO BE AN AMAZING FEW WEEKS OF SINGING YOUR HEARTS AND SOULS OUR FOR THE CONTESTANTS THAT WILL MAKE THE FINAL CUT AND FOR VIEWERS AT HOME YOU CAN BE REST ASSURED YOU ARE IN FOR AN AMAZING TIME LISTENING TO SOME IF NOT THE BEST VOICES NAIJA AS TO OFFER, THE JUDGES FOR THIS FIRST EDITION INCLUDE; COBHAMS, KUNLE KENNY AND THE BEAUTIFUL AND GORGEOUS SHADE ADU, YES YOU HEARD IT PEOPLE SHADE IS IN NIGERIA FOR THIS SO GET READY PEOPLE FOR SOMETHING EXPLOSIVE, SOMETHING INTRIGUING, SOMETHING NEVER SEEN BEFORE. IT IS NAIJA SINGS AND I REMAIN YOUR HOST DEBBIE, TAKE IT AWAY….

It was the auditions for the Naija sing contest and everyone in the Ajayi family was happy, well not everyone though, those who knew what the Naija sing was all about and what it represented for one member of the family, it was safe to say Dr. Ajayi was not in the know about anything the ladies had planned.

“Are you ready TJ” Tori shouted for the umpteenth time, “I am trying to decide on what to wear joor”, “It is not about what you wear it is about how you sing boy, how many times would I tell you that” “Tori, appearances also play a role you know, dress the way you want to be addressed”, “please don’t bring that slogan, let your voice do the addressing that is what is most important trust me”, “Instead of acting like my tormentor in chief why don’t you get the Uber as we discussed, remember we are not taking dad’s car or letting the driver in on our plan, dad might be using him to spy”, “thanks for reminding me, it was my idea by the way” “I know Tori it is yours no complaint there”, “Good! Asking for a pickup, thankfully there is no surge so with the reduced rate we should get there on time and cheap too” “that is right sis”. “Toriola!! Babatunde!!! Awon omo yii da (where are this children) we are running late now what is the delay, come down here now!” Gram-mii screamed, she was more apprehensive than she was letting out. She knew this would cause trouble in the long run but she had to prove her son wrong on this one, she needed it also for herself and her daughter in-law, the reasons might sound selfish but they were noble to the person involved TJ. “Gram-mii we are ready just waiting for the Cab to take us for the audition”, “okay then I will try to be patient you know how restless I get while waiting though”, “what of mum though?” Tori asked approaching Gram-mii, “You know she is supposed to maintain her cover and stay at work, we don’t want her getting involved in this rebellious act” she winks and they both laugh, “Besides we have to keep their marriage intact” Gram-mii added. “of cause we have to, he cannot disown his children, or dis-mother you, we can only get grounded maybe for the rest of our lives and you sent back to the village house” Tori joked, “You are just a naughty sweetheart, I don’t know what I will do with you Toriola, you just be reminding me of me every day”, “I am nothing like you Gram-mii, I am my own woman, Tori the amazing”, “look at you, be deceiving yourself there hian”, Gram-mii replied. Tori’s phone rang just that second “Hello who is this?” “You did not save my number”, “well I would not be asking if I did now would I?” Tori replied, “It is Nuru, the guy at the football game…” “Oh Nuru, it is you, sorry I did not save your number, something came up and I totally forgot” Tori cut in, while Gram-mii looked with the curious eye, she wanted to know who it was, she already suspected it was a guy and she was winking and grinning making Tori uncomfortable, “It is fine Tori, so I don’t know if you are doing anything today I would love to see you”, “That’s bold and very direct young man, I don’t even know you what makes you think I would want to see you?” Tori countered, “Well for one I passed your test by getting your number, and secondly I don’t enjoy beating around the bush, I like being straight and blunt”, “Oh! Nice let us see how long your bluntness would last though, but today is a bad time, I have to sort of babysit my brother”, “Let me guess, he is going for Naija sing right?” “What?! How did you know that?” Well he sings and very good at that, he gushed about singing in one big competition when I collected your number from him and today is the beginning of that wonderful competition so I put two and two together and came up with it”, “I will kill TJ for giving my number so easily out” Tori faked anger, “Trust me he did not give it up easily but it was worth it”, “hmmm your way with words, smooth talker” Tori replied, “So this is what is going to happen, since I am not doing anything we will meet at the auditions for your brother, consider me a fan of TJ, and that would also give me the chance to talk to you deal?” “You drive a hard bargain Mister, besides I am guessing even if I say No that wouldn’t deter you now would it?” “No it would not Miss Tori, would see you later then”. He hung the phone and Tori knew what was about to happen with Gram-mii but she had anticipated it, “not a word Gram-mii the cab is here and we need to go”, “Smart but you cannot run away from my questioning forever Toriola omo mii, I will get my time with you” they both laugh as Tori ran upstairs to get TJ.

The Uber finally dropped them close to the street of the auditions, the crowd was much, there was traffic and it would be easier walking the rest of the journey, so they had to end the trip, “remember to rate me well ooo madam” the Uber driver said with a big smile on his face, “Don’t worry you did good and you would get your full stars for a good job well done” Tori replied boss like, “Thank you madam and I wish you all the best in the auditions”, “thank you gentleman, thank you”. They came down from the car and headed towards the audition venue, Tori had already gotten TJ’s form for him though she pointed out he lost the bet and he owed her his pocket-money, but she was not going to go through with it. Nuru a few minutes later appeared and hooked up with them, “So this is the young man shebi Toriola” Gram-mii asked, “Gram-mii he is just a friend, drop it” Tori replied a little embarrassed, “Don’t worry I understand trust me my grandma also teases like that Tori” Nuru replied, “Good day Gram-mii it is nice meeting you I have had a lot about you from TJ”, “Oh that is good omo mii, hope he told you good things about me ooo, cause I am a very good gram-mii”, “Yes good things ma, you can be rest assured”, “I like him Tori, he is cool, I think you should invite him home so I can ask some few questions”, “Gram-mii!!!!”, “What?! What did I say wrong now tori Olohun”Gram-mii countered, “trust me you don’t want to be in the same room with her Nuru, she is better than the CIA when it comes to interrogating, you will be lucky to come out alive” Tori said to Nuru, “I heard that Toriola”, “I know you did Gram-mii I wasn’t gossiping, you taught me better than that” they all laughed.

It was finally TJ’s turn to go in for his audition after two hours, Nuru was good company and everyone tried to cheer TJ up who decided not to say a word, he did not want to lose his voice.

NUMBER 2101 PLEASE GO IN FOR YOUR AUDITION, “that is me Gram-mii” TJ said, “you will do well oko mii(my husband), just go in there and do what you do” Gram-mii replied giving him a big hug, “Hey champ I believe in you and my money is on you, no pressure just be you” Tori added, “Team TJ!!! We supporting you all the way to the final” Nuru said also. “Thanks guys you are all amazing”. He worked in with his heart racing.

“Hello introduce yourself please” Kunle Kenny said, “My..My name is Babatunde Ajayi but…but…but I go by the name TJ”, “Calm down son, just do what you do forget the lights and cameras and you will be fine, I understand how you feel but don’t let all of this get to you” Sade said with an encouraging smile, “thanks ma’am I appreciate” TJ replied. “So which song would you be singing for us TJ?” Cobhams asked, “The Vow by Timi Dakolo” TJ replied, that brought a smile on Cobham’s face “You know I had a hand in that song right?” “Yes I do and I hope I can perform it well enough to get through” TJ replied, “That is the spirit TJ” Sade added, “the floor is yours TJ, hit me with what you got” Kunle said. TJ closed his eyes, said a little prayer and started singing.

“………………..I promise to be true, to give my all to you, no matter what they say, this heart belongs to you, I thank the Lord above for giving you to me, forever just a start, forever you and me…………………………………………”

When he was done, he opened his eyes and was apprehensive, he waited for the verdict, “shakabola!!! That was something young man, I cannot keep calm, boy you got voice and heart” Kenny shouted, rising from his sit and pointing towards TJ “It is a yes for me” Kenny said, this brought a smile to TJ’s face but he needed the others verdict to scale through, “hmmmmm TJ I like you, your singing is breathtaking but your confidence level still needs working on, you closed your eyes throughout instead of connecting with us the judges, if you cannot connect with just three of us in the room, one camera and few guys with the lighting, how would you connect with thousands of people wanting to watch you sing?” “He will learn give the boy a chance” Kunle cut in, “Oh well I have been strict all day, so maybe I will let you go through but I want to see you work on that confidence in the next stage TJ is that a deal?” “Yes ma’am it is”, “Good because you are going to the next round” “Yes!!! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you” TJ screamed. “Well you don’t need my verdict then since you got two out of three but I will still say my mind” Cobhams cut in, “sorry about that, I was too excited” TJ replied, “I understand the feeling, you did great son, and I was going to be very critical of a song I know how it was created and put out, but honestly you made me proud singing that song and you can only get better if you believe in yourself and sing from your soul. It is a Yes for me also. You are going to the next round” Cobhams said, TJ couldn’t just be calm he was so excited. He ran out into the arms of Gram-mii and Tori, “you through?” “Yes you can bet I am through, did you have a doubt?” “I never for once doubted your abilities boy” Tori replied.

They all went home including Nuru. At the gate…. “Thanks Nuru for today, you didn’t have to” “but I wanted to and I enjoyed every second of it with your gram-mii, with TJ and especially with you” Nuru cut in, Tori blushed a little, “Thanks also for the ride back home” “You are welcome Toriola” Nuru added, “It is Tori” she flashed him a stern look, “My bad your royal awesomeness I was only joking” Nuru said with a hearty laugh, “I have to go inside now”, “can we see soon, just me and you?” “I thought you would never ask” Tori countered, “I was trying to be nice” Nuru said, “I thought you were all blunt, told you it wouldn’t last” Tori replied, “You got me there”, they both laughed. She gave him a hug and went inside.

“And where are you three coming back from this late?” Mr Ajayi asked not smiling at all……

Watch out for the next episode of HOME!!!

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