Friday evenings at Watbridge Hotels & Suites, Ibb Avenue Uyo, comes with an ambience of fun and relaxation as guests and visitors to the premium luxury hotel unwind at different points in the hospitality outfit.
Mfon sat with her friend Kemi at the poolside of the hotel, basking in the cool evening breeze and the groovy music from the Dj’s turntable. Kemi, an investment banker was visiting Uyo for the first time.
“I like this hotel, it’s cool,” Kemi said, munching on a stick of suya from the tray on the table.
“Yes, Watbridge is one of the awesome places to be in Uyo” Mfon remarked.
“I like the way the locations in the hotel are named, I checked the website and saw names like Mandela hall, Lugard Terrace, Ngugi wa thiongo Room, Shakespeare room, Muhammed Ali gym, etc! It’s a well planned place!”
“I agree, there’s even a bookshop here, I hope you saw it” Mfon replied.
“Yeah, it’s just by the reception hall. I even got a novel, Waves of the Sahara by Paul Lenga….You know I am a bookworm”.
The two ladies giggled, “You have always been reading books right from when I first met you in Lagos,” Mfon said and continued, “Do you know that there’s a book club here at Watbridge?”
“Wow! This is just perfect, are you a member?”
“Nope, a friend invited me once but I couldn’t attend because of my schedule that day. I think the book club meets once every month”.
“I get it now! Shakespeare room is where the book club meets. I wonder what happens at Luggard terrace!” Kemi exclaimed.
The two ladies drank from their bottles of wine amidst conversation. They watched a young lady nervously stepping into the swimming pool and listening to instructions from an energetic, slim and light-skinned lady, the swimming guide.
“It’s been a long time since I had a good swim, I should swim tomorrow here,” Kemi said, gazing wistfully at the pool.
There was a sudden buzz as two men walked from the Village Square Arena heading towards the exit of the poolside.
“That’s Dr Ekong Sampson, the one on a blue top. He is a bigwig and an intellectual. He is the patron of the Uyo book club” Mfon informed.
“Oh, cool, maybe he can give us more information about the book club, let’s find out from him” Kemi suggested.
“No, let’s not disturb him mbok”
“Come on, you’ve piqued my curiosity and I need to get all details,” Kemi said standing up to her feet.
“Excuse me, Sir, good evening” Kemi greeted Dr Sampson, who halted and turned around to meet her.
“My name is Kemi, I am a guest here. Please I want to find out information about the Uyo book club. My friend here, Mfon, says that you are the patron”.
“Oh, okay, what do you want to know?” he replied.
“Just the basics, I could join anytime I am in town”
“Well, we meet once a month: the last Saturday of every month here at Shakespeare room. We read, discuss and share ideas, and occasionally hold special events. You are free to join us, young people like you should be reading more”
“Thank you, Sir, I love reading, I love books!”
“That’s great, you know the book is a global citizen, living influentially across borders, hence we must tap into the wealth of books to fight insecurity and poverty and nurture values. We must use the book to heal a bleeding nation.” Dr Sampson stated.
“Wow, this is deep! Thank you sir for this insight, I will be here in Uyo for two weeks and will attend the session next week’s Saturday!” Kemi declared.
“Alright,” Dr Sampson said as he got into his car.
The driver turned the ignition and the car drove away.
“I love Watbridge hotels & suites mehn! This is the place to be!” Kemi exclaimed excitedly to Mfon.
“Let’s go finish our suya before someone snatches it from our plate!”
The two ladies giggled as they walked back to their poolside table.