Ace-comedian, Atuyota Akporobomeriere, a.k.a Ali Baba, shares the story of his first time combined flight with Oriental airline in 1993 Owerri/Enugu.
He wrote; “I boarded a flight for the first time in 1993… it was an Oriental Airline Owerri/Enugu combined flight… the next one was on Harka Airline to Kano that same year after MKO Abiola declared himself President elect. After the several flights that followed on a Kabo, IRS, Triax and Okada… I became emboldened to fly anywhere. I even learnt to sleep upon take off. Then one day in 1997… I got a pager message for Egbon Wale Akinboboye. I called him back and he said come to La Campaigne Tropicana, Adeniyi Jones. I got there and he asked can you perform inside a plane? He was not man that liked dancing around the issues. I said yes. Ok. Let’s go and see the MD of Nigeria Airways, Alhaji Jani Ibrahim. On the way, he told me how this was going to be revolutionary. Banjul. Brazzaville /Librevile. Dakar. Accra and Monrovia… it was a simple assignment. Get on the flight, and just as in flight refreshments were being served… the Pilot announced a surprise performance.. and my voice filtered through the overhead speakers. It was a unique experience for me and also very challenging. I stood sometimes partially hidden because the telephone handset that I used as a microphone had to be held like I was on the phone while performing. On some flights, I had to stand backing those in Business class. They liked to be called first class passengers back then. I abused shege from them. Usually it’s a 20-30 minutes performance. I remember one man complaining on one of our flights to Kano. “Sit down! Shut off! Do you think plying izza joke?” And that was when I made the classic response, that you would have heard from many. “Alhaji, that is why performing in a plane is good. If you don’t like it you can’t leave”… we became friends after the flight and he later became a deputy Governor. Why am I sharing this? Institutions need to allow great ideas grow their business. The Old marketing strategies are not going to work with these internet generations. Just watch out for what will happen with #NIPOST. You will not be forced to patronize them. You will need them. Let’s bet…”