L-R Faith Oluchi, Chibuogwu Nnadiegbulam and Jessica Amadi
By Chibuogwu
Nnadiegbulam
Since
coming into to Cameroon, I have seen billboards showcasing their women national
team, the Indomitable Lionesses, and not only that, they have been hailed in
almost every cab we’ve entered, while their male counterparts are whipped with
words.
This
explains how much the title would mean to them if they eventually win it. Many
of them are even looking forward to a Cameroon vs Nigeria final.
My
Sunday morning was used to write stories ahead of the Nigeria versus Mali
match, do a report for Today 95.1 FM, while we monitored the Falconets’ 2-1
victory over Spain at the U20 Women’s World Cup in Papua New Guinea.
Then
at about 12:15, Jessica Amadi called me to break the cheering news that she had
gotten her confirmation letter from CAF.
Immediately,
Faith Oluchi checked and saw hers. But there was no new message in my inbox.
Jessica
and Faith told me to be patient that mine was coming. I left my email open, and
at 12:20 I got my own confirmation letter. My leap for joy was unexpected.
I
just could not imagine how I could write match reports and all, sitting in the
spectators area with my laptop on my laps (that is, if I would actually dare to
bring it out). What would have been the need to come all the way from Nigeria,
if I can’t attend Press Conferences or go to the mixed zone?
Now
that Faith, Jessica and I had our letters, we needed to get our tags, but
first, how do we get into the stadium? I will get to that.
Mr.
Moses, Sam, Faith, Carine, her brother and I, went to Limbe in a bus that had
been hired by the Mayor of Kumba 2 for Nigerian fans headed for the stadium. We
were lucky to meet the bus as soon as we walked to Mile 17 junction from the
house. And we were allowed to join them since we were also going to the
stadium.
It
was a noisy journey, but it was worth it. A bus filled with songs, chants and
whistles. One fan sported the Nigerian jersey, while some others had the
Nigerian flag or a muffler. They were ready.
When
we alighted at the stadium, the conductor of the bus started asking us for
money, saying that it is only those that entered from Kumba that will not pay.
We were not told anything of that sort from the start, so we didn’t understand
why this guy wanted to make extra change off us.
Anyway,
getting our tags was priority at this point. Jessica called me on the phone
about three times on our way. Remember, she stays in Limbe already. So the plan
was to meet at the stadium.
Sam
had his tag already, so Faith and I tagged along. We showed our ID cards where
we needed to and eventually made our way into the stadium from a different
gate. This was not the gate where Jessica was waiting for us. We did not even
know until today that there was more than one gate to the Limbe Omnisport
Stadium.
At
the other gate, Jessica had showed them every necessary document that tells she
is an accredited journalist, but the officers there insisted that without her
tag, she cannot enter, unless she buys a ticket, or calls someone that will
come and identify her. She contacted the Media Officer of the Super Falcons,
Remi Sulola who helped in that regard.
Meanwhile,
Faith and I went straight for our accreditation tags, and it was a huge relief
when we could finally hang it on our necks. Afterwards, we located the media
tribune in the stadium and got settled at about 15 minutes to kick off. Jessica
later joined us, then Tobi and Busayo too.
Tracy,
my Cameroonian friend, who was also at the Jordan 2016 AIPS Young Reporters
Programme, sighted me from a distance before the match between Nigeria and Mali
started, and I was so happy to see her.
The
match started slowly and soon the goals began to pour in for the Super Falcons,
while their goalkeeper, Jonathan Alaba was on holiday. Asisat Oshoala displayed
intimidating pace, left right and centre, scoring four goals in the process.
Fans of both teams were represented, but the deafening noise from Nigerian fans
made it seem like they were the only ones around.
As
I watched Nigeria beat Mali 6-0, I also admired the sea from where I sat. And
the breeze was amazing.
After
the Nigeria versus Mali match, was the Ghana versus Kenya match. It seemed like
most of the spectators were in support of Kenya. They scored the first goal but
eventually lost 3-1 to the Black Queens.

We
came back home at about 11pm, hungry and tired. Mr. Moses and Carine went out
to look for what we will eat, but they could only return with bread and
sardine. One Sardine, CFA 500. Well, we ate and slept.

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