Cameroon diary, Day 11: Who has a crush on Oparanozie, snakes and the mannequin challenge

By Chibuogwu Nnadiegbulam

It was Tobi's birthday today and the initial plan was to spend part of it at the beach in Limbe, before returning for the Super Falcons training in Buea.

But in the process of going back and forth regarding what beach to go - Seme beach, where we would pay 2000 CFA per person or Down beach where we would not pay a dime - we did not go again.

This is the same beach trip that was postponed from Thursday. Jessica had even called me to find out when we would be coming to Limbe so that they could join us.

Anyway, Tobi had to be content with the small birthday party we did for him at breakfast this morning. He posed for a photograph with five long loaves of bread piled in a tray serving as his cake. Since cake in this country is also expensive.

Since we did not go to the beach again, we went to the Super Falcons' hotel after lunch. Mr. Wisdom's wife cooked jollof rice for us. I couldn't eat at the time so I just served, Tobi, Busayo, Ademola and Nobert.

With Busayo leading, we were about to take a bushy short cut to the road when Mr. Wisdom's wife shouted that we should wield a stick because of snakes.

I had passed there before but at the mention of snakes, we turned back to take the familiar route.

Then I recalled how, Tobi, Faith and I had reacted when we saw a dead snake some days ago. I was the first to see it and was taken aback, before realizing it was dead. But my first reaction had already sent Tobi and Faith scampering.

Back to today, we eventually got to the Parliamentarian hotel. By this time, Tobi's love for Desire Oparanozie was already public knowledge.

It all started with him asking coach Omagbemi at a press conference, why Oparanozie was not playing. So you can imagine how blissful it was for him when she scored her first goal of the tournament on the eve of his birthday.

Even the Super Falcons players now knew, especially with all the messages that have been posted on social media. Tobi was also sharing the same birthday as defender Ugo Njoku.

At the hotel, Jessica made attempts to make Tobi chat with Oparanozie but he was shy. He claimed he did not want to distract the girls. Already we had been told we could only talk to the girls (if we wanted to) after their training.

Before they got into their bus, I took a photo with our legendary Perpetua Nwufor (nee Nkwocha) but that "no thumbnail" demon was at it again. The picture vanished.

While the Super Falcons trained, Janine insisted that journalists around take part in the viral Mannequin challenge. After about three attempts, in which Cecilia moved, not knowing she was still in the background of the video; Faith's skirt would not stop waving; and Janine would not stop blinking, we finally succeeded, in spite of my accreditation tag refusing to stay still in the last try.
After all the wait, Cece was only allowed to speak to one player, Ngozi Okobi, even after she had requested for three.

We moved on nonetheless. At about 7pm, Faith and I stopped at Mile 17, while the other ladies entered another cab going to Limbe.

Meanwhile, Tobi and the other guys decided to enter the CAN village which was close to the training stadium.
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