Nigerians are no strangers to luxury, and the harder we work, the more we tend to revel in the spoils of our toils. No matter what social class we find ourselves in, if we can afford it, we love to splurge on nice things. We earned it. We demand some lifestyle value off of it. And we invoke our right to flaunt our success. And that’s exactly how it went down last month, when the German automaker, Porsche, launched the Porsche Centre Lagos – one of the most modern car showrooms in Sub-Saharan Africa – and also unveiled the most-anticipated new model of the revered Porsche 911.
An exclusive black tie event, with only the crème de la crème in attendance seemed naturally appropriate to herald the introduction of the ace of sports cars and announce the presence of the king of luxury car brands in the city of Lagos, where nothing but excellence deserves a nod of approval. With its finely chiseled and painstaking excellence in craftsmanship and performance, the ferocious beauty was ready to meet some very important personalities and trend-setters who have not only come to witness the veil lifted off this historical precision machinery, but to review, court, and possible take it home.
The guests had huge expectations, but then, Porsche was confident of their creation –the only worry that night, if there was any would have been more of a cosmetic concern – ‘cause it was a possibility that the guests could get so jaw-dropping awe-struck and drop their champagne flutes on their pristinely polished shoes.
Measures had to be taken to prevent this from happening, so, in came the prelude to main event, just to get everyone up to speed on what was cruising at a top speed of 330 km/hr in their direction.
While Porsche enthusiasts enjoyed the classy prelude, savoring an endless supply of champagne and a variety of finger foods from a gourmet kitchen – mingling and networking with their peers – the evening’s main entertainment and headline act was warming up for its grand entree. Like every great movie requires the skills of an accomplished music composer, this epic automobile premiere relied on the musical accomplishments of the highly gifted tattoo-faced DJ Sose to lace the mood of the occasion with the magical tunes from his turn table.
Now warmed up, two incredible dancers were unleashed on the guests to titillate their senses with a promise of what was to come. With cleverly and bravely executed acrobatic moves, the dance went from the centre-stage towards the veiled new 911 – and in one stunning routine, the dancers lifted the veil to reveal a cloud of white smoke that dissolved slowly, as the spotlight illuminated the new Porsche 911 – sparkling like the rock star of automobiles.
“Today is a very special day for the entire Porsche Centre Lagos team. We are very proud to launch the Porsche brand in the Nigerian market. From our modern facility we will be able to meet our customer’s demand for high-quality products and services”, said Julian Harding, General Manager of Porsche Centre Lagos.
If the new 911 were flesh and blood, I imagine that even the celebrities and multi-millionaires at this exclusive party would have queued up to get an autograph. Since an autograph was out of the question, everyone wanted a picture taken. It was difficult to control the impulse to be seen with, around, or inside the new Porsche Carrera 911 – its black exterior and red leather interior gave it an aggressive personality and classy presence – and when its engine purred, everyone wanted to book a test drive – who wouldn’t want to take this 7-speed ace of sports cars for a little spin?
At the end of the evening, it really wasn’t just about showing off the new 911 to a showroom-full of prospective buyers and Porsche enthusiasts – it was an introduction of a 49-year old Porsche tradition of excellent craftsmanship and unrivalled performance to Nigerians. It was the beginning of a journey into a lifestyle of sophistication, class and luxury; the testament of a global brand’s respect of our finer tastes; the need to reward one’s own hard work; a way of making a bold lifestyle statement, and of daring to declare your acquired taste for only the finest precision machinery money can buy; a panache of prestige, and a symbol of hope that one day if you find yourself in a position to make the ultimate success statement, that you could walk into the Porsche Centre here in Lagos, and drive out in a car that does all the talking and bragging for you.
Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, Kelechi Amadi-Obi, Brian Okwara, Freeze, Uti Nwachukwu, Chidinma, Tunji Abdul, Olaotan Towry-Coker, Ibrahim Yusuf, Emmy Collins and many other famous Lagos socialites and celebrities who graced the occasion may as well have made history as the first group of Nigerians to experience the classy upscale hospitality of the multi-million dollar Porsche Centre Lagos.