Thursday, March 24, 2011

NIGERIA vs ETHIOPIA Match Tickets Go On Sale

Tickets for Sunday’s 2012 African Cup of Nations qualifier between Nigeria and Ethiopia will be on sale throughout the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on Thursday.

Assistant General Secretary (Marketing) of the Nigeria Football Federation, Mr. Idris Adama said on Wednesday that tickets for the crucial game will be available at the NFF, Durumi, Kubwa, Old Parade Ground, Maitama, Ceddi Plaza, Nyanya and Garki.

Tickets for the Upper and Lower terraces will go for N300 each, with State Box Extension to be sold for N5,000 each and the Corporate Suites are to go for the sum of N200,000 each.

Nigeria, with three points and second behind six-pointer Guinea on the Group B table of the 2012 African Cup of Nations qualifying series, take on Ethiopia at the National Stadium, Abuja on Sunday, March 27, starting from 7pm.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Samson Siasia, coach of the Super Eagles is not taking anything for granted ahead of the crucial Africa Nations Cup qualifier match against Ethiopia. Recently, the Eagles coach emphasized that he would not condone lateness to the training camp from any of the Eagles players. “We should have our first full training on Tuesday evening and anybody not part of that training should rule himself out of the match against Ethiopia,” warned Siasia, who wants to ensure more discipline in his team.  The match, slated for the Abuja National Stadium on March 27, would be his first competitive match in charge of the Eagles.

And his players seem to have got the message clear as they also have expressed their desire to give their best for the country.  First choice goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama, is bent on forever banishing the painful memories of a disappointing World Cup by ensuring he helped the Eagles to not only qualify, but also win the 2012 Nations’ Cup to be co-hosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. While cautioning Nigerians not to put too much pressure on the Eagles in terms of expectations, Enyeama is confident that the team would make the country proud. “We all did very badly at the World Cup…we know what is important and at stake this time. Nigerians should just keep supporting the team for every game,” said the goalkeeper.

For Kalu Uche, qualifying for the Africa Nations Cup is a must for the Eagles team. The Almeria of Spain player, who scored two goals for Nigeria in South Africa, noted that a lot has changed for the better since Siasia was appointed as coach and believed that the team was ready for the challenges ahead. “Our goal is to give our best,” he said. The return of Ikechukwu Uche after a nine-month injury lay-off is also expected to give a boost to the Eagles attack.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Enyeama is Nigeria's Footballer of the Year

On a night to celebrate Nigerian football stars, it was Vincent Enyeama who shone the brightest. The Super Eagles and Hapoel Tel Aviv first choice goalkeeper, arguably Nigeria's best player at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, was deservedly voted as Nigeria’s Footballer of the Year at the second edition of the African Independent Television (AIT) Football Awards. Enyeama won the accolade ahead of his Eagles teammates Osaze Odemwingie (who won the maiden edition) and Uche Kalu. A total of seventeen awards were given at the well-attended ceremony, which held  on Tuesday, March 8, at the Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, and saw the cream of Nigeria’s football community gather to honour its stars. “I appreciate God for it, He is been wonderful. Osaze and Kalu had an amazing season and it could have gone anyway. So, it’s like a yardstick has being set for me to perform better. I need to try as much as possible to live up to the billings,” said a grateful Enyeama.

Although Enyeama got a rousing ovation from everyone present, much of it also belonged to the Super Falcons. The reigning African Women Champions won the award for the National Team of the Year and its coach Eucheria Uche emerged the National Coach of the Year. Falcons’ striker Perpetual Nkwocha also won the Woman Footballer of the Year, while Desire Oparanozie emerged the Woman Footballer of the Year National (for home-based female players). The Young Player of the Year (female Category) went to Loveth Ayila.

The other award winners include Enyimba's coach Okey Emordi, who won the Club Coach of the Year, with his team also voted as the Premier League Club of the Year, while the club’s chairman Felix Anyasi-Agwu won the Football Administrator of the Year. Ahmed Musa emerged the Footballer of the Year National. Football reporters were not left out as Tana Aiyejina of the Punch Newspapers won the Football Writer of the Year (Print Category) and Godwin Enakhena won the Ladi Lawal Award for Football Presenter of the Year (Electronic Category). Guinness and Cadbury Tom Tom emerged Football Brand of the Year and National Team Sponsor of the Year respectively, while Shell/NNPC picked up the award for the Grassroots Football Promoter of the Year.

It was thus fitting that the probable surprise of the night would be Kenneth Kundur, a senior secondary school (SS3) student, who was voted as the Young Player of the Year (male category). A member of the Golden Eaglets team that failed to qualify for Rwanda 2011 Under-17 African Championship, Kundur led his school team to the final of the 2010 Shell Cup Lagos, where he emerged Most Valuable Player.

Despite the fact that it heralded the crucial European Champions League match between Arsenal and Barcelona, which command huge followership among Nigerians, the awards night witnessed an impressive gathering that included Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, who was specially recognised with a Most Outstanding corporate sponsor award. “We are prepared to host more sports competitions and events such as this because we need to channel the enrgy of our youths to sports,” said Amaechi. Also present at the ceremony was Ghana Black stars’ striker Asamoah Gyan, who was awarded the Most Outstanding African Player in the World Cup for his spectacular performance for Ghana in South Africa. The late Nathaniel Idowu was also honoured with a Special Post Humous Award for his contributions to the development of football in the country.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Ghana Black Stars at Melrose Arch, Soweto, South Africa

Despite their quarter final exit from the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Ghana's Black Stars were Africa's brightest stars in South Africa 2010. They were hosted to a befitting reception by their adoring South African fans. I was there and caught a little bit of the experience on video. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


FELA! the critically acclaimed Broadway musical about the life and music of Afro-beat music legend Fela Anikulapo Kuti, finally heads home to Nigeria. The show has been scheduled to be performed live in Lagos at the New Expo Centre, Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, from April 20th- 25th, 2011.

The musical in Lagos is being produced by a Nigerian production company, Broken Shackles, in conjunction with Lagos State Government. “FELA! in Lagos will be the most talked about show in Nigeria for years to come. We have created sponsorship, branding and advertising opportunities for those who wish to be a part of this historic theatrical event.” said a spokesperson for Broken Shackles. It will also star its original Broadway cast with Sahr Ngaujah reprising his Tony-nominated role of Fela Kuti, while music would be supplied by the internationally renowned Antibalas as well as other members of the New York City Afro-beat community.

FELA! the musical, which premiered on Broadway on November 23, 2009, was conceived by Bill T. Jones, Jim Lewis and Stephen Hendel and its producers include the entertainment icons Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and Will & Jada Pinkett Smith. It went on to bag eleven Tony Award nominations - winning three - as well as receive more international acclaim and awards in its subsequent premiere at the National Theatre's Olivier Theatre, London (NTLive), which enjoyed a three-month sold-out run.  The NTLive production was also broadcast to 370 cinemas worldwide. In February, the British Council Nigeria and National Theatre, London (NT Live), in association with the British Deputy High Commission, Lagos, had organised a screening of the international hit musical Fela! at Afrika Shrine. The production was filmed live at the Olivier Theatre in London, a UK version of the original Broadway musical.

So, all things being equal, Nigerians at home would also experience the exhilarating feeling of watching the show that has received standing ovations from global icons such as Mick Jagger, Madonna, Robert De Niro, Spike Lee, Ben Okri, Janet Jackson, Denzel Washington and Wole Soyinka. According to its producers, the aim of FELA! in Lagos is to unite and connect Africans in spirit and unity, to serve as a catalyst for cultural revival in Nigeria, and to celebrate Fela Kuti, for the contribution he has made to Nigeria and the world. The Lagos edition would be the first Broadway show to be performed in Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as the first since the closing of the Broadway and London productions.
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