Photo credits – Google
The words you’re about to read are not those of a deranged man. As incredible as they may sound to you, every last word written here is the truth. I was just an unfortunate participant. I hope these words help people to understand some of what I did. I only ask for a favor, that when you’re done reading you say a word of prayer to whatever higher power you believe in, a prayer of mercy for my tortured soul, so that I can finally find peace wherever I end up.
On Tuesday January 30th 2007, Brazil was announced as the next host of the senior FIFA World Cup.
I can’t remember what exactly I was doing at that time, but I remember I had always wanted to attend one of those event and Rio looked like an interesting place to visit judging by the video clips that were part of the city’s bid presentation. I remember how I sat in front of my television, filled with longing as I watched the splendor of the closing ceremony at the end of the 2010 edition held in South Africa. That one had come too early for me, so I made a firm resolve to do Rio 2014 whatever it took.
I worked like a slave for two years, skipping on many essentials, scrimping and saving every naira I could lay my hand on. Going to Rio had become an obsession. I also read up on all the literature I could pick up, including travel brochures and tourism websites. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity to see in person the gigantic street parties with revelers dancing to the exotic beats of samba music, the unending streams of beautiful women in the city, the bubbling human cauldron of the Favelas and the sandy splendor of the world-famous Copacabana Beach. Not forgetting of course, the chance to experience the soccer-mad atmosphere and visit the great soccer shrine that is the Maraccana Stadium.
I obtained my visa in March 2014, applied for and got approval for my annual six-week vacation at the audit firm I worked for, and booked my flights. Everything was in place. On Monday June 9th 2014, three days before the opening ceremony on June 12th, I left Nigeria for Rio de Janeiro via Madrid aboard Iberia.