By David Meshioye and Adeboye Amosu (pictured above) in Kigali:
Inseparable Onobi and Aggreh
Sunshine Stars duo of Paul Onobi and Prince Agreh seem inseparable. Both players share same room at the team’s Hill View Hotel and Apartments base and can hardly do without each other.
It’s difficult to see one without the other. They sit beside each other during meals and on the team bus.
They developed their friendship at Sunshine Stars where they are key members of the side and and have remained inseparable since then
Chikatara, Onyedikachi are camp comedians
Abia Warriors forward Chisom Chikatara and FC IfeanyiUbah forward, Bright Onyedikachi, are the chief comedians in the home-based Super Eagles camp.
There is never a dull moment sitting around the duo. Chikatara, who is nicknamed the Kolanut Boy, is however the funnir of the duo.
The two players are well loved by their colleageus in camp who always want to be around them.
ARRIVING IN KIGALI
Arriving at the Kigali international airport , you’re welcomed by the friendly faces of immigration officials who would not put you through a harrowing experience for being a visitor. With a free visa on arrival there is no need to prepare any complicated document; just present your passport and watch it go through checking and stamping.
When you leave the airport the first thing you notice is the clean and serene city widely shared by cars motorbikes. The presence of these motorbikes adds a sense of charm to the sprawling and bursting city. Rwanda seems to have risen successfully from the ashes of war and other rich African nations can borrow a leaf from what this tiny nation is doing.
RWADAN PEOPLE ARE DIE-HARD OPTIMISTS
Average Rwandan guys on the streets of Kigali are die-hard optimists; they believe the Amavubis are good enough to clinch the CHAN trophy ahead of Nigeria. Our tour driver Edward however dreads the Super Eagles but still feels his side would be leaning on home support to beat Nigeria should both nations cross paths in the competition.
“ Your team is good but we are not afraid of the Nigerians now that Mikel and Ighalo are not here,” he boasted.
Mr. Africa (that’s a name here) believes the West Africans won’t be posing any threat to Amavubis. The opening match was monitored by immigration officers at the Kigali international airport right on our arrival. Mr Africa posited that Rwanda’s home win over Congo DR and Cote d’Ivoire is the much needed to win the championship, He like Edward believes Nigeria will be heading home without the trophy.
“I am Mr. Africa and I can confidently tell you Nigeria is here to see the hills and have handshakes with President Paul Kagame. Amavubi defeated Cote d’Ivoire meaning that Nigeria cannot stop us from winning the trophy,” he said jokingly.
NO NIGERIAN FOOD IN SIGHT
There are no Nigerian meals in sight here in Kigali but you can as well settle for the local delicacies like Ugali, pilipili(pepper sauce) and grilled chicken, but it is nowhere compared to the Nigerian dishes. Little wonder the Rwandans are not having pot bellies.
HILLVIEW HOTEL IS TOP CLASS
Super Eagles are still making do with rice and chicken and the players seem to like it for now. Their focus is on Monday’s opener with Mena of Niger Republic and all eyes are on them to pick the three maximum points. The teams Hillview Hotel is top notch and its serene environment is rubbing off on the players who are seen beaming with smiles each time they emerge from their dining.
DOES MONEY GROW ON TREES IN ABUJA AND LAGOS?
To an average person in Rwanda, money grows on trees of Abuja and Lagos! The news about looting and corruption among Nigerian government officials is talked about here and the erroneous belief among the people of Rwanda is that Nigerians coming to Kigali are moneybags. Surprisingly, hoteliers have jacked up rents at from 50 US dollars to 70US dollars. Trying to change this notion among the locals has fallen on deaf ears. Tell them average Nigerians still live below 1 US dollar per day and they will look at you with scorn and disbelief.