After much delay and drama at the Egyptian Embassy in Abuja, I can finally welcome you to Egypt, hosts of the ongoing 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON2019). I have first welcomed myself with the “Egypt at last caption”, so, permit me to bring you on board too.
To be frank, this is about the time I intended to enter Egypt. When I told my Publisher, Calvin Emeka Onwuka that I was not interested in watching games such as Nigeria vs Burundi and Madagascar, he laughed out loud, but really, having watched the best of World Cup games a year ago, you can allow me to be arrogant on that basis.
However, it was a long, tortuous wait in Abuja for the past five days as the Egyptian embassy turned the visa thing to the Kingdom of heaven which only the violent should take by force. Force they wanted, force they got. A little force we displayed at the embassy at Diplomatic Drive, Central Area, Abuja on Thursday eventually yielded fruit.
My flight was scheduled for Friday at 3:00PM Nnamdi Azikwe time and there were genuine fears that I could miss it if the embassy do not make good their promise of issuing the visa (and my passport) to me by 11am on Friday.
I got it on Friday morning, in fact at about 12pm and proceeded straight to the airport, accompanied by my brother Mayowa and my flight partner Funke (whom we have kept vigil for the visa together).
Thank you if you have prayed for the success of this hard-earned visa, your prayers were answered. Special appreciation to my good friend Tobi Adepoju (OgaNlaMedia) who kept encouraging especially when I almost gave up on it on Wednesday. Also to NFF’s Head of Media and Communications, Ademola Olajire, a good man indeed and not forgetting my boss, Mr Calvin.
Well, there isn’t much activity for me in Egypt on Day 1. I typed this while I was inside the five hour flight from Abuja to Cairo, as we journey above the skies of Sudan (as revealed by the flight map).
First on my itinerary is to head straight to Alexandria on Friday night, that should be around 10pm Egyptian time. How that goes, I should report in tomorrow’s diary.
My expectations for my first time in Egypt is not much; first, the Eagles should beat Cameroon on Saturday because I’ve brought plenty luck for them, like I always do and of course, North Africans are always pleasing to the eye. Don’t let me say more than that.
See ya tomorrow Insha Allah.