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Sunday Funday: A Rare Day in Nigeria

Sunday funday, as the names implies, was fun for everyone at the camp. The day started with our morning devotion which was led by Nathan. Afterwards we went for breakfast, then left for church. The team had a nice time in church, and we had a great time in the presence of the lord. The praise and worship was amazing as the choristers kept us dancing in His presence.

Following our time of service at church, we went to the University of Benin indoor sports hall to set-up for the day and soon after, the campers started arriving. The empowerment session on Social Media Citizenship started at 2 p.m., led by Nathan Ekwu. Campers were taught effective ways to use social media to not only better themselves but to promote the image of their country. This session drew them back to the session of Citizenship they had the day before. At the end of this session each group had to come up with a constructive tweet (140 words) that ended with hashtags #Nigeria #citizenship. The campers had so much fun as the session was very informative. They learned how to create a respectable and simple profile on social media and to be very mindful of their language. Nathan was effective and entertaining at the same time that the campers did not want the session to end. If you do not have a sense of this already, the campers are in love with Nathan, and it makes it easier to get their undivided attention.

At the end of the empowerment session, it was time for some basketball. On Sundays, the teams do not get to play competitive games. However, we play lots of competitions like an all-star game between the coaches and the A2S team, dunk contests, three point contests, races and more. The best attraction of the day was the learners (A2S’s designation for beginners at basketball camp). They got to entertain the whole camp. For many of them, it was the first time they were playing a full game. They had been learning so much the past two days so the whole camp was eager to cheer them on as they put their new skills on display. You could see the joys on their faces as the whole camp cheered them on with every stride, dribble, pass, jump shot, turnover… and even made basket! It is a time when we are reminded that these learners are the reason why A2S tries to create such an experience. They have found something new to hold on to, love and help explore unlimited opportunities. Better, they get to exercise in a community where it is rare and find an outlet. The female learners ended up winning against the male learners. Looks like the girls might have taken to heart conversation that Andrew Lovedale had with them at the start of empowerment camp, where he encouraged them to be bold, pursue their dreams and have a voice because until women find their place in society, it will be tough for Nigeria to move forward. This win for them was a great start.

After the learner’s game, the dance competition followed. You cannot have a good camp or event involving youth in Nigeria without having some form of dance off, and this part of Sunday funday did not disappoint. The all-star game followed and for the third straight year, the A2S team won. The coaches now have to look forward to next year where they will have another opportunity to beat the A2S team. After the all-star game, we had the dunk competition. The winner of the dunk competition jumped over someone to clinch the prize. The three point competition provided a huge thrill for the campers. Everyone had so much fun as so many kids went away with lots of prizes that will help them continue to play and explore a game that we have all come to love. This type of day is rare here in Nigeria. If you looked at the camp, you could hardly have found any face that was not filled with joy. For a community that has so much going on, the youth deserved a day like this – a day that was all about smiles, empowerment and togetherness. A day that mirrors the everyday that we all strive for.

Everything went smoothly and everybody had fun. We left UNIBEN sports hall around 6:30 p.m. for Pastor Ben’s house for dinner. The lovely couple treated us to a great meal and a nice time. We came back to the hotel and reflected on how the day went and what we can do better the next day. I was really glad we could impact the lives of campers in life changing ways and make sure that they have fun in the process. Thanks to the U.S and Nigerian A2S team. I love you all.

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