It finally happened.
No, The Eye did not have a conversation with the Honourable Minister of Sports, Chief Sunday Dare. What happened was much more than that. You have to read this to the end to understand.
It was Tuesday, July 27.
The long search and stalking ended prematurely last night when it became obvious that the Minister of Sports, Chief Sunday Dare, could not be cornered easily. The unique circumstances around the Nigerian contingent that he superintendented over would not give him the time to sit with an invisible drone that refers to itself as ‘The Eye’ hovering above in the skies, for a normal conversation. So, a happy medium of some sort must be created in order for that to happen.
The Minister has 60 athletes across 10 different sports to take care of. The main tonic for exceptional performance, the vociferous voices of Nigerian official and unofficial supporters, is missing from the games.
So, the Minister has had to be inventive. In the past few days it has not been uncommon to see the Minister crisscrossing the city of Tokyo, dashing from one venue to another, leading a small group of 3 or 4 officials, to constitute the makeshift Supporters Club with him as the cheer leader, doing what they can for their voices to be heard above the unusual silence of the empty halls.
Last night, the elements took charge. Spirit dampened by the manner of the painful loss by Quadri Aruna, the Minister finished his venue-round a little but early, and dragged his weary body back to his hotel room in downtown Tokyo.
The day had not been very productive, again. It was, like the 5 days before, another barren experience of lost matches and painful faces of athletes.
‘The Eye’ was at his observatory, watching the Minister as he paced up and down in his room in deep thought. It was easy to imagine what could be going through his mind. It has been 4 days since matches in various sports began. There has not been a whiff of victory in all the games except a win that lasted one day by Offiong.
He must be thinking of the days ahead; of Tokyo and its beauty; of his aasurances to Nigerians that he was confident the contingent would return with medals; of several things racing through his mind in torrents.
What has his experience being like? Is Tokyo 2020 living up to his imagination and his expectations? So many questions to ask the minister, if only..he would sit down!
‘The Eye’ was agitated. It willed it.
It looked as if the Minister heard something, because ‘the Eye’ observed him suddenly sit down, as if in response to a prompting. Or was ‘the Eye’ communicating somehow? Was this some kind of a telepathic encounter?.
“Write down what you are thinking”, the Eye willed again and waited.
It happened slowly, but it happened.
The Minister picked up his writing pad and pen, and waited too, still deeply in his thoughts.
Unbelievable! This was becoming interesting. The Eye could not believe his eyes. Was what it was thinking, working? It tries again.
“Move the chair in front of you closer to you and make it face you”, ‘The Eye’ willed again.
The Minister got up, dragged a second chair and placed it directly in front of him as if waiting to be interviewed.
The Minister is a journalist, of course. He knows this routine and set up.
This was awesome.
This was ‘Conversations with God’, what must have transpired between Neale Donald Walsh and his Creator in order for write his masterpiece book of that title.
Then ‘the Eye’ settled down properly, high above the head of Sunday Dare, unseen and unheard, ready to peer down at the responses the Minister would put down on his pad.
Everyone must be imagining now that this is some great work of fiction.
Well, readers have to wait for the rest of what happened, because ‘the Eye’ started to will questions and the Minister kept scribbling something down.
What I will say here is that when what the Minister scribbled landed on my desk I found myself staring at one of the best chitty-chats imaginable on Tokyo 2020.
All of it will be in Saturday’s edition of ‘The Eye on Tokyo 2020’ .
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