This may be stranger than fiction.
You cannot believe where I am as I write this.
I am sitting at the SAHCOL airport VIP lounge at the Murtala Muhammed International airport in Lagos, waiting to board an airline I heard about for the first time in my life only a few days ago – Air Cote D’Ivoire! I am sorry I never knew the country finally got their own airline. Where bigger countries have been failing with honours to revive their own ‘dead’ airlines, the little ones are performing wonders.
So, I am here, travelling, not to Cote D’Ivoire but to Sierra Leone, a country I had not been to in almost 40 years. I cant wait to see how Freetown has transformed after the devastations of decades of internecine wars, Ebola, stolen Diamonds, and what-have-you.
I used to love to go to Freetown in the mid 1970s. My friend, Phillip Phil Ebosie even married a Saro woman following some of those our trips in those days to Freetown to wallop that country’s national football team, the Lone Stars.
I forget. Sierra Leone were my true baptism into grade A international football. I played so well in Freetown during my debut in 1976 that I entered fully into Coach Father Tito’ s Green Eagles, and for the next 6 years was untouchable as a winger on the African continent. I scored my first of 23 goals in 46 matches for Nigeria against Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone holds very great special and memories for me. You dont want to hear some of them I tell you.
Suddenly, from almost out of the blues comes a strange invitation to visit the country again. I will tell you more about this trip as it unfolds.
So far, everything is working like clockwork.
We are onboard the flight right on time, and are about to take off.
Air Cote D’Ivoire is holding up in my face a tradition that I wish we can imbibe as a people and a country.
Freetown here I come.