36 States is a weekly publication offering stories about culture, sports, music, business and politics of Nigeria. The blog aims to take its audience through a discovery of Nigeria through interviews, editorials and historical perspectives.


Hurricane season, Miami Carnival, October 2011 – I visited South Beach, Miami for the first time with two of my friends. They had been to the city for Memorial Day Weekend, but this was all our first time in Miami for Carnival. I was the last one to book my flight and arrived hours after they had already landed at Miami International. Once we all found each other we met up, we got picked up and got driven to a private residence that we rented out for the weekend. The entire weekend was booked with parties in the morning and night. On the third night we headed out on the interstate highway to a party in Fort Lauderdale with two of my friends and a mutual friend who lived in Miami – Let’s call her “Lisa”. Lisa drove us to the party since she would not be drinking and wanted us to have a good time in the city. After the party, all drunk in her car, we started heading back to South Beach. I was extremely tired, but figured I should stay up with Lisa, while the other two guys fell asleep. Lisa started playing some old school reggae and I found out she was related to Sade.

Lisa: Oh, I see you singing along, you a big fan of Reggae?

Femi: Ya, I enjoy the old school songs but I can’t name half of it but I remember when someone else is playing. (She happened to play a Barrington Levy song – My Time”

Lisa: what else do you listen to?

Femi: I listen to everything but I am mostly into Hip Hop and picked up on the Afrobeat genre, while I was in Nigeria in 2009

Lisa: Oh really, which artist do you listen to?

Femi: I am a huge fan of Nas, Biggie, Tupac, Jay Z – pretty much all the big name artist. But there’s one person noone ever expects me to say.

Lisa: Who is that?

Femi: Sade.

Lisa: Oh ya, I LOOOOVE Sade.

Femi: Me too. I always made this joke that she will sing at my wedding, if I ever have one

Lisa: **Laughing**. So what if I told you Sade is my aunty

Femi. Your aunty? – how?

Lisa: Well, not biological but she was in a relationship with my uncle and they had a baby together.

Femi: Hold on – so was that song Baby Father about your uncle?

Lisa: I think so but I am not sure,

Femi: What did your uncle do?

Lisa: He was a producer in the music industry.

Femi: So you actually met Sade?

Lisa: Yes, she used to come by my parents house and she had a house in Jamaica with my uncle – she was so humble, she would try to always help out and my mom would be like no go sit down.

Femi: what else can you say about her?

Lisa: She was such a nice woman and we used to perform for her and she would be so into it. It was pretty funny. She would go swimming in the river with us. I miss those days.

Femi: I can’t believe I am this close to Sade. This is so random.

Lisa: **Laughing Loudly”

Femi: Do you still see her, because I need you to let her know she has to be at my wedding whenever it happens.

Lisa: She and my uncle are separated now, but I talk to her daughter from time to time.

Femi: I still don’t believe this. I have to keep in touch with you.

Lisa: That’s fine. But no promises “laughing out loud”

Friend: What are you guys talking about?

Femi: Yo, I just found out she is related to Sade.