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CHRISTMAS FIREWORKS: Football Stars Promise To Thrill Holiday People In Eastern Nigeria

By December 15 or so, Nigeria legendary football player Nwankwo Kanu may be heading to Owerri to spend the Christmas holidays with his “home boys.” And the nostalgia of not being able to play at Uzzi Layout primary school for a long time due to his active involvement in the Nigeria national team assignments as well as his career in the English Premier League clubs, may be all he’s looking forward to enjoying this Christmas. Well, the fun is re-uniting once again with his childhood folks; those he played with in those days along the streets of Owerri.

Then, if you’re planning to spend your Christmas around Owerri in South – East Nigeria, you probably wouldn’t want to miss the “All Stars Games” at Uzzi Layout Primary School every morning this Christmas. It’s roll call of ex-star players like Mobi Oparaku, Emmanuel Amunike, Chiedo Chukwueke, Ogbonna Kanu, Sylvester Oparanozie… as well as the younger active stars such as Stanley Okoro, Obiora Nwankwo, Chibuzor Okoronkwo, Joel Obi… and since Nwankwo Kanu may be around this year, you’re sure to see other stars like Austin Okocha, Albert Yobo, Wilson Oruma… and his home pals: Lefty, MC, Ekenna Nnado and the rest.

It’s intriguing as football fans and holiday makers will keep trooping into Uzzi Layout Primary school each morning to watch these parade of stars. Yet, another version of the “All Stars Game” will be taking place at the Umugazi primary school field Aba – Abia state. And it’s likely to feature big names like Isaac Okoronkwo, James Obiora, Ndidi Anumunu, Ikechukwu Kalu, Uche Kalu, James Igbilo… you may not be shocked to see players from other parts of Nigeria travel down to the east to be part of the fun. This is where Christmas happens in Nigeria.

It’s not only about all stars games, the inter-village football competitions in different towns and villages bring more fun to the holiday people. And from Enugu to Nnewi; Orlu to Umuahia… you’ll find inter-village football competitions bringing electrifying moments for the holiday people.

Already, village has started to call up their players all around Nigeria and beyond. One of such players, Cosmos Okechukwu, told me that his village at Otolo Nnewi has sent him a call up letter, with all travel expenses paid. He told me how some young men from their village, who are doing well in business, are sponsoring the team and doing everything possible to motivate the team to lift the trophy this year.

It’s more than just football; Cecila Egbim said she is still shopping for Christmas football games. She already bought a lot of fashionable casual clothes and lots of “Knock Out” too. During the matches, the village all gather at the local football field cheering, booing, throwing knock outs and other fireworks. Then, it’s time for young people to show off their new cars and exquisite fashionable devices. It’s time to re-unite with childhood folks and talk about “the good old days.” It’s such a wow experience and you’ll have all the fun this Christmas.

  • ·         Decide if football will be part of the fun you’re looking forward to this Christmas.
  • ·         Find out when the “All star games” are played and where.
  • ·         Find out the fixtures of the inter-village football competition and decide which of them you want to watch.
  • ·         Clear your schedule so that your other appointments does not clash with the football match time.
  • ·         The games are usually free! You may not be required to pay admission fees.

  • ·         Wear Casuals to the field, preferably Jeans, tights and slacks.
  • ·         Get sunglasses to protect your eyes against the sun and blowing harmattan wind.
  • ·         Wear flat shoes; preferably trainers or loafers. You may need to run aside when knock out is thrown at you.
  • ·         Make sure you have handkerchief to cover your nose when required.
  • ·         Make sure you secure your mobile phone and other devices you may take to the field.


  • ·         If you’re afraid or allergic to knock out explosions and smell, please don’t attend inter-village games at Christmas.

  • ·         Knock outs smell may cause cough and catarrh or trigger off asthmatic attacks.

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