Ikwerreman 1000 was history in the making

PictureSamuel Omaenikun

 By Samuel Omaenikun
The Ikwerreman1000 event was the talk of the town as expectations were high with the big day approaching.
Expectations grey higher closest to April 15, 2018.
For me personally the excitement was up to the roof for a number of reasons.
First, China the Ikwerreman Acheru, my mentor was marking a milestone achievement of witnessing 1000 games, live at a stadium and this was no mean feat.
Secondly it was at Omoku, a place I had never been to but heard great things of.
It is the home ground of the famous Go Round FC, new entrants into the Nigeria Professional Football League and of course still the home of the famous KrisDera Hotel Stadium.
Also if you know The Ikwerreman very well you would agree that apart from being a veteran journalist and being exceptional at his job over the years, the fact that the man throws a mean party a.k.a. “eat until belle burst” definitely got me excited.
The idea of that much to eat and drink, along with being amongst the best of the best in the world of sport journalism also got me pretty expectant.
Sunday 15th of April was the date finally picked after the event was initially moved by the League Management Company, LMC because of the Easter break.
The moving of dates only made the anticipation so much higher.
Go Round FC was to take on Niger Tornadoes and this game would go down in history as Ikwerreman’s 1000th game witnessed at a stadium.
A story that begun over twenty five years ago was about to turn a new page as he had visited sixty stadia in forty nine Nigerian towns, 17 stadia in 16 African cities and stadia in Europe and South America too. The man is a legend and has seen it all.
Game time
It was game time and the stadium was getting filled up before the match would start.
Ikwerreman walked pitch side to wild applause as one thousand balloons were released in the air.
Amidst the fun fair and excitement, everybody was happy about what this man had done.
Pictures and videos were taken and there were crews from the BBC, Supersport and lots of other media organisations from within and outside Rivers State.
Finally the game would kick off with Go Round creating lots of chances but would just not put them away.  We all hoped the game would end with victory for Go Round to celebrate the Ikwerreman but that would not be the story as the game ended one all.
At half time he was presented with an award courtesy of the League Bloggers Association, LBA given by longtime friend and CEO of Corporate 6 Tunde Bello.
Despite the dissatisfaction that Go Round had failed to win the game this would not dampen the spirit of anyone in the stadium as everybody was seen in celebration mood, all elated that one man had been able to document that he had watched 1000 games.
Party till you drop
Now the game was over and it was time for the celebration proper, and we know the Ikwerreman does it like no one else can.
From the stadium it was straight into the restaurant for dinner with lots of food on display from Eba to jollof rice down to coconut rice, fried rice, vegetable soup, egusi soup.  It was time to eat and be merry.
With dinner winding down, we all heard one of the organisers talk about more fun still to come.
And just when we all thought it was over, and this  probably was it all, there came the announcement- Poolside! Poolside!! Everybody to the pool side that is where the celebration proper will be happening and we all dashed down and took our seats on neatly arranged chairs.
If this dinner was not the celebration proper then I wonder what the main course, and main celebration would be. I was so full and I reckon a couple of others too but this would not stop us from getting to the pool side.
At the Poolside
Nobody throws a better party then the Ikwerreman man I tell you, the amount of drink on display was enough to get an army drunk. But confidence was high that this mountain placed before us would be demolished.
And so it began, goat meat pepper soup was served and all of a sudden the festivities had begun, it was like a mini carnival, from red label to black label even white label (palm wine for those who don’t know) also to Jonny walker, which would later prevent people from walking back to their rooms. I am not a drinking man so forgive me if I left out a few drinks.
Sport journalists from far and wide along with their friends, had come to celebrate this great achievement and the Ikwerreman man was up to the task.
The more you drank, the more the drinks appeared at some point it looked like the Ikwerreman man was pulling off a miracle similar to the wedding in Canaan.
Dancers showed us what they could do, especially when the one corner song came up.
I never knew she had so many moves.  I’m not calling names as what happens in Omoku stays in Omoku.

As soon as the drinks began to set in, journalists tore off their clothes and began to dive inside the pool from all angles with one person diving in with his cloths fully on, leading to speculations he might have been high on whatever he drank.
Again, I call no names.
The party went on late into the night, and at each point things only seemed to get better, to the extent Carl “PointMan” got up and showed some moves, usually extremely cool calm and cool but not today as he danced the night away.
And before I forget, did I mention the One Corner dance? Yes I did. That was the only time, all night long that China Ikwerreman Acheru got up to dance and I must say, he showed us a few “one corner” moves of his own.
In case you were wondering what I was doing when all of this was going on, please keep wondering and may the good Lord reveal it to you.

Apart from the fun part of the night, I learnt a major lesson that record keeping is important.
I cannot even recall how many times I had been to a Stadium to watch football, but what I saw in Omoku was enough to inspire me.

I look forward to the ikwerreman’s book launch.
Like he said after the game,
“If I have been to one thousand games, then I have a thousand stories to tell.”

I assure you that China Acheru tells the best stories.

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