By: Selorm Jay
It was the day after moving between Kay-ara’s 50/50 affair and Akan’s Akoma mu Nsɛmsɛm shows. Barely rested, I hopped on a 6am flight to Lagos; on which i got a little moment with Mr. Eazi. Being airbone for forty-five minutes wasn’t bad at all.
I got to Lagos a bit tired and grumpy; and, therefore, a nap was in order. I woke up to a message from my wife: “babe, Tunde called, and said he was going tagging at a few places and wouldn’t mind if you come along.” Hey, why not, I thought; and got my camera. Another call came: Tunde is downstairs.
On getting downstairs after descending three flights of stairs, I realise: Oh shit! He’s began tagging already! And his graffiti character had already attracted an audience – from the small taxi station just around the area where he tagged. They were having their own debates over it in Yoruba, which I clearly didn’t understand. My wife and a mutual friend who had come to visit joined the team – two guys, two girls; lets go tagging!!
We would be having random conversations and Tunde will just dash out to tag anything on whatever surface he considered a good canvas: an old van, roofing sheets used to barricade construction sites, pavements on the streets. After the first two tags, the girls were lost, and had to advise themselves. Only the strong can survive this, LOL.
My camera’s definitely a big gun, so the attention it drew when I took it out was quite expected. To divert some of the attention, I hid between cars, and, on occasion, even pretended I wasn’t with him.
Tunde sometimes had to ask if it was OK to spray his characters onto a desired canvas. Mostly, he didn’t. He would then express his uncertainty as to how people might react; which resulted in his changing his mind about tagging a particular place. All of this anxiety, i suspect, stems from the general societal perception of graffiti as a defacing activity.
People would stop to wonder what the characters were, or just look on whilst the colors from his canz realised their form. A woman asked what it all was, and Tunde replied: art.
I asked him if the characters meant anything. Nothing, he said. And added: “It’s just whatever comes to mind; so I guess it’s for the audience to interpret how it makes them feel.”I really loved the adventure and I can’t wait till I go graff tagging again – awesome !!