A quintessential part of a British night out is the often-cheery toilet attendants who chant hilarious rhymes alluding to the fact that no one will have sex with you unless you purchase a few sprays of their perfumes – aka ‘No spray no lay’.
They’re the real heroes of the night out, having to tolerate and smile in the face of the usually insufferable and rude drunk British public.
One of these heroes, Jackson Tando, made a difficult journey from Nigeria to Newcastle, and in a bid to spread laughter and positivity, has now released a music video for his new track Freshen Up.
The main lyric of the song is ‘Freshen up for poonani’, sung to the tune of London Bridge Is Falling Down, Silent Night, and If You’re Happy and You Know It.
Here’s the incredible video:
Speaking to UNILAD, Jackson explained his gruelling journey:
The whole thing started at the age of 12 years old, and I come from a very poor background in Nigeria. I wasn’t happy so I took my life into my own hands and travelled on my own to the Ivory Coast and stayed there until I was 18. It was very hard and I had to sleep rough, but I survived.
When I was 18, I hid on a huge ship going to Europe and went to Italy where I worked as a car valet attendant for seven years until I met my lovely wife.
We both then travelled to England. I was a man on a mission looking for a better life. When we got here, I gave myself to the government and became an asylum seeker in Manchester.
My wife gave birth to my first daughter there and then the Home Office moved us to Newcastle where we have lived ever since.
Music has been a huge part of Jackson’s life, and he’s been singing for years, particularly practicing in the nightclub toilets of Newcastle’s bars.
While perched next to his collection of sprays in the men’s toilets, Jackson is always equipped with a speaker for his tunes. Whichever song happens to come on, Jackson sings ‘freshen up for poonani’ to the tune, making everyone in the toilet laugh.
Apparently it was his customers in club toilets that commended his voice, saying he should record music, so he finally did and released this song.
Speaking about being a toilet attendant in UK bars, Jackson said:
The toilet attendant job is not easy. It’s down to the individual, because the way you treat the customers is the way they’ll treat you back.
I’ve come across some racist guys who don’t like me, or because I’m working in a toilet they’ll look down on me and not talk to me nicely, but I know what I’m there for and you have to be tolerant.
All my life I’ve been hustling. I’m a hustler and I know that not everyone will like you, so even if they are not nice to me, I smile and I treat people all equal. The job works for me because I don’t let the comments and disgusting acts that people do get to me.
Since he first released his song, Jackson noticed a huge positive response and has already amassed a loyal fan base.
As for why it’s so popular, Jackson thinks it’s because everyone has heard the Freshen Up song in one way or another while on a night out, but he’s taken it to ‘a different level’ which took him years to plan.
He also believes there is an element of ‘shock’ factor because ‘people can’t believe a toilet attendant can release that kind of video’.
Jackson told us about his mission to make people happy and inspire others:
With the job I do, I meet so many people and see them at their most vulnerable. Some of them come in heartbroken, so I start singing that song to cheer him up and we’ll start laughing and loosening up.
The world we live in, everyone is so sad, so if I can make people laugh then that makes me happy.
I want my story to encourage people not to give up in life and make people think if I can do it, they can do it to. I always believe in positivity, not negativity, so that’s the reason I did this video, to spread positivity.
Jackson, who is a father of three, is keen to reassure his fans that Freshen Up is only the beginning. He has much more to come.
You can follow his YouTube Channel for more where that came from.