AFCON Diary 10: A sweating Elder is a crying one!

AFCON Diary 10: A sweating Elder is a crying one!

It was from the mouth of one of my favourite Yoruba actors Bolaji Amusan with the nom de plume Baba Latin that I heard this saying “When an Elder is sweating, he is crying,” sometimes back in 2001. I experienced this first hand on Sunday night.

Of course it was match day and having compiled stories till around 3am, I had an extended rest till about 10am. I stayed indoors till about 4pm when I set on my way to the Cairo International Stadium after downing a plate of Poundo Yam and Egusi soup. I was ready for the game between Algeria and Nigeria.

My efforts to get a Photo bib and tag was unsuccessful so I had to sit with my boss Calvin Onwuka in the Media Stand once again (after we did against South Africa). It was a tension soaked game and our interactions were quite funny. Let me let you into some.

Before the game, due to the non-access to replays in the Media Stand, we thought we could get someone to do our live tweet cast from home, we couldn’t. Mr Calvin asked, “should I do it while you do the final?” I replied: “We don enta the final fess?” We both laughed.

Make no mistakes about it, we are both very patriotic and optimistic persons. But on Sunday night, something was not in the positive in our minds. We just summoned courage and went on with the game complaining especially about the poor passes of Nigeria’s most sought-after midfielder (names withheld).

Here comes the 94th minute, and the foul on the Algerian player. Mr Onwuka screamed: “Why now? Why commit a foul there???” in his Ngwa British accent. Our minds wandered separately away during the time Daniel Akpeyi set his wall. Only the God that delivered Daniel from the Lion’s Den could deliver us (we thought separately), apparently, it was not this Daniel.

As Mahrez’s free kick nestled into the net, we (myself and Mr Onwuka) looked into each other’s eyes and faced front. Well, I had to update on the handle regardless but right after. We sat for like 120 seconds numb, speechless and emotionless.

During this period, it appeared as though the sweat meant for the whole Egyptian fans came over us as we began to sweat profusely. Yes, the weather was hot, the media stand was hot, but we had managed to keep the sweats away until Mahrez happened.

That was when the adage came back to me and I admitted to my boss that the sweat came from the inside. Another dream turns to a mare, another hope vanishes and another promise goes unfulfilled. It is well sha.

Cheers, ALOHA

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