11: Enyimba City

posted in: Season 2: The Shadow Chase | 1

A little less than an hour after leaving Port Harcourt, I found my self in the large dirty town of Aba.
I had stopped at a shop near the Port Harcourt road junction to buy a can of Hydraulic. I had noticed a slight difference on my anti-clock breaking system (ABS) on my way out of Port Harcourt. A warning light had shown on the dash.
A bus full of Rangers FC of Enugu supporters club had driven past me. It only meant that there was a football match between Rangers and an Aba based team.
I decided to follow them to find out.

I entered the Port Harcourt road Aba and chased after the bus. There was a lot of hold up and as a result, I lost the bus.
I called a commercial Bike man and asked him where the football stadium was located.
He asked me to follow him. The movement was extremely slow which prompted the Bike man to demand that I pay him N400.
”No problem” I had assured him.

We drove down the Port Harcourt road and diverted right to the Ngwa Road. We drove for minutes and got past Ahia Ohuru market, then we cornered left to the Dan Fodio road.
The Enyimba International Stadium was built on our left. I packed my car in front of the stadium and paid the Bike man off.

I had heard that Aba was a dangerous town. As a result, I opened the boot of my car and disconnected the battery head of my car (My car battery was at the boot, even until today). I locked the boot and walked to the stadium gate where a lady demanded that I pay N100 for a ticket to enter.
N100, how could a football team survive with such ridiculous prize? I was paying €15 to €20 to watch Hertha Bsc Berlin play in olympic stadium. That if changed to Naira was close to N4000. The different was very large.

The players of Enugu Rangers were warming up for a match. The score board at the far end of the stadium indicated that Enyimba FC Aba was going to Play Rangers FC Enugu. The score was still 0:0 according to the score board.

I walked down to an area where the Rangers supporters had already organized themselves and started singing. The trumpet and drums boomed around the stadium as they sang in support of their dear team.

” Nani Otu Rangers bu Ihe anyi nwere, Nani Otu Rangers bu Ihe anyi nwere. Eehhhh aga m abulu ya abu, Eehhhh aga m abulu ya abu, eeh Eeh Eeh aga m abulu ya abu, Nani otu Rangers bu Ihe anyi nwere” The song roared through the crowed.

It was so nice to hear those native songs once more. I abandoned myself to the song and shouted with them as if I was one of them.
The song reminded of those days when I used to go to Oba Rojenny stadium to watch Rangers play Jasper united FC.

At exactly 3pm, the game started.

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