GLEN Lagos Nigérie 2010

* * * * * * * * * * * * povídání a fotky z tříměsíční GLEN stáže v Lagosu * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * stories and pictures from a three-month internship in Lagos * * * * * * * *

Stáž / Internship

International Freestyle Football Day

It started to rain in the morning, real tropical rain. The football field is becoming unbelievably wet. Water concentrates in the roof of our tent and every once in a while somebody has to push it out, so that the roof won't break. Sponsors, performers and visitors are not here yet. Just few volunteers are here and the D.J. is unpacking his sound system under the roof. It looks like if it is going to rain forever. The weather totally ruined our plans. It is the 4th of September, exactly 12 o'clock and our great International Freestyle Football Day event should have just started.

It is not easy to search for sponsors. „Is there a way that we can help?” we ask our boss. “Maybe we can go into companies and present the project?” Yomi shows us the Nigerian reality and explains that it simply doesn't work like this here. “If you don't know at least the doorman in the company, then it makes no sense. You can not just come and tell them that you would like to present your project. Here is all about knowing somebody, who knows somebody, who knows somebody somewhere useful.”

Me and Helen are in charge of putting together program for the event and prepare rules for the Freestyle competitions. We also design invitations on facebook as well as to send by email. Searching for sponsors, artists and guests is the job of our colleagues. But we also found one singer ourselves when he started conversation with us in an internet café. We named him Superman, because he was offering us to become a part of his video clip. He wanted us to play white women that he, the superhero, will save from kidnappers. First we didn't believe he would actually come to our event, but he did come, was great and popular part of the program.

One day before the event we go through the program directly on the field to make sure everything will go smoothly on the big day. But because of the rain nothing at all works and I am ready to resign on the whole big Freestyle Day. We are waiting for a miracle to happen. Kids run through the field and try to sweep the water out of it with the help of brooms and buckets. Sponsors from Red Bullu and Telkom Multi-Links sit in their comfortable cars and wait as well. Slowly the artists, the kids and the footballers are coming. Around two the rain finally stops and suddenly and unexpectedly we are actually beginning.

Helen and I are making sure that the program runs smoothly. That the right singers, speakers and competitors are ready at the right time and that the moderators now what will be happening on the scene. With the schedule in hand we run from one person to another. It is a bit chaotic at the beginning, but is quickly settles in the right tracks and our Freestyle Day has an amazing atmosphere. The TV is shooting the whole event, the jugglers balance balls on their heads, sponsors give out T-shirts, caps and energy drinks. Young dancers show their amazing creations, talented singers receive great applause and short football match presents AIDS prevention to people.

I am so excited about the whole thing but at the same time still can't believe that it actually worked out so well. Few hours earlier it still looked like total disaster. We give out awards to the winners and artists, last songs are preformed, pictures taken and in the end all of us dance in the middle of the field. Great event and amazing day. „Nobody will believe us that we managed to do this without any money,” Yomi is happy. “Wait till next year what we will manage with sponsors, that will be something big!”

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