By Dave Iyam
Many have written with a titillating sense of nostalgia about the mesmerizing moves of the brave men and women who dared to grace the history-laden C field in a novelty football match that was spirited in its passion, unbounded by rules, and relentless in the energy that older and younger alumni exhibited. While the football match was advertised as a novelty match, the determined and relentless aggressive pursuit of the ball by both men and women on the field belies the daintiness and elegance that characterize the Aggrey spirit. Each side was determined to win by all means necessary. There was, indeed, an unconfirmed rumor that one of our esteemed princesses raced toward her opponent’s goalpost with the ball safely tucked into the crook of her elbow. There is no doubt that every single person who participated in the match did so at the risk of unanticipated injuries. Even erstwhile football and track maestros whose dexterity was legendary in their youthful days would rightfully succumb to the caprices of age after hanging up their cleats for several decades. It is no surprise that some of our gallant players were no less human. There was a report that the match would not have taken place but for the late intervention of Mazi Okechukwu Nkem and Mazi Leo Asonta who, in the last hour, stepped in as “emergency footballers” to organize the match. That is the AGMECO calling!
The most discussed accomplishment of the Alumni at the reunion is the rebirth of the new black and white check uniform as the standard uniform for girls. People have rightfully praised alumna, Princess Ivuoma Ndukwe, for valiantly championing the cause to “bring back our check.” Just a month before the reunion, Princess Ivuoma professed on this platform that “I HAVE A DREAM, that one day Aggrey girls will look beautiful again in our signature black and white check.” For someone in distant Chicago, USA, to pledge to “make the change in dress Code happen for the current AGMECO Babes,” her declaration was not only a heady assertion, but also a remarkable accomplishment. The success of this campaign is evident in the enthusiasm with which our gorgeous Aggrey babes embraced the uniform. At a point it started looking like our alumni babes would hijack the check as a fashion statement. The early launching of the check by Alumna Hannah Eboh and the subsequent unabashed modeling of the uniform by our various Aggrey babes, were enough indication that AGMECO authorities were wise to keep a close eye on the girls’ dormitories back in the days. These alumni, some of whom many of us may never meet, made old folks like me want to be back in AGMECO.
There is no doubt that a multitude of people worked behind the scene to make this reunion as successful as everyone agrees it was. Ensconced behind the scene were members of the Board of Trustees, faceless in their commitment, thankless in their service, and patient in their diligence. The AGMECO Alumni President, Mazi Emmanuel Egbukwu, has steered the ship of the Association with the wisdom of accommodation, the refinement of a leader, and the elegance of authority. By a cruel twist of fate, our GenSec, Barrister Oscar Okoro, could not be present at the reunion to take the bow he so rightfully deserves. It is our hope that the many wishes sent to him would make him strong again. Perhaps the most vilified person on the platform as the preparations for the reunion progressed, was Lady Grace Okaro, the Chair of the Homecoming/Galanite Subcommittee. With her usual grace, she weathered the questioning messages posted on the Telegram platform, the barrage of worrisome skepticisms directed at her, and the undercurrent of quizzical sentiments that emerged more out of anxiety than disrespect to her.
Thankfully, she meticulously and courteously addressed every issue. These leaders, in various ways, endured the perennial fallacy that the job of a leader is the easiest job in the world; everyone knows how to do it.To be continued
By Dave Iyam