By David Meshioye and Adeboye Amosu:
No-frills Presidential convoy
President Paul Kagame was heading home on Thursday night and I hardly realised he was passing by. With just three in his convoy, the president obeyed traffic rules as his drivers carefully maneuvred between the traffic without knocking down motorbikes or causing other road users to run for cover. I stood and watched in sheer surprise as all of this unfolded. It never dawned on me it was President Kagame until I was told. What an organized society.
No Hutu, No Tutsi
In Rwanda, there is no Hutu nor Tutsi! Everyone is a Rwandese. A friend of mine Monia was asked if she was from a Hutu of Tutsi clan but her response shocked me: “I am neither Hutu nor Tutsi,” said Monia. “Why ask that question? Here we don’t know a Hutu nor Tutsi but we are all one happy family. You dare not ask that question in public or you could be heading for the gallows.”
The 1994 genocide has united the country rather than push each tribe towards different direction and ideologies. That is food for thought!
$20 Eba? No way!
For Nigerians who reside here, making a fortune from journalists and fans alike may never be realized afterall if the ridiculous prices of plates of eba and amala are anything go by. Journalists and NFF officials have resolved to make do with the local delicacies of rice and ugali rather than pay 20US dollars (what is the conversion back home?) for a plate of eba and egusi soup. Na wa o.
Don Pinnick on the keyboards
NFF president Amaju Pinnick may have resolved to spend his quiet time playing the keyboard. He was seen trying his skills on one of Serena Hotel’s (NFF base) modern pianos and I must admit he could be giving the likes of Don Jazzy and Davido a run for their money, making a fortune if he also decides to go into the music industry.
Oliseh, the multi-linguist
Super Eagles head coach, Sunday Oliseh, is the toast the local and French journalists here in Kigali. The journalists are impressed with his mastery of Frech language and always follow him around even after his mandatory pre-match conference. It took the intervention of the team’s media officer, Toyin Ibitoye, to get him into the team’s official bus after his pre-match conference on Thursday.
Oliseh and goalkeeper trainer, Alloy Agu, also speak Yoruba fluently. I was surprised when I sought his opinion on the performance of the Tunisians against Guinea and he responded in Yoruba “Aburo, jeka play Niger na. (Let’s concentrate on the game against Niger first).
Hill View Hotel staff adopt Eagles as their second team
The locals working here at the Home Eagles camp in Kigali have adopted the side as their second team. There was huge jubilation in the hotel when Nigeria beat Niger on Monday.
Most of them told Completesportsnigeria.com that they love the Nigerian side and won’t like to come up against them until the final game.
Nigerian journalists covering the African Nations Championship here in Rwanda are struggling to memorise their phone numbers. There was huge laughter at the team’ s hotel on Thursday when a reporter from the British Broadcasting Corporation requested for Super Eagles media officer Toyin Ibitoye’s number and he beckoned on his colleagues around “abeg who get my number there”.