Cameroon: AFCON Totalenergies 2021 – Magnificent Take-Off in Yaounde

President Paul Biya’s presence alongside the First Lady at the Olembe football temple yesterday January 9, 2022 added to the grandeur of the competition that will in the next one month be a veritable celebration of African football in six sites of Cameroo

The kicker has been given, in an exceptional manner, and Africa’s 24 fine football nations have begun competing for the coveted trophy whose winner will be known on February 6, 2022. The Olembe football temple played host to the grandiose and crowd-pulling opening ceremony yesterday January 9, 2022 with Cameroon’s first sportsman, President Paul Biya, presiding in the presence of First Lady Chantal Biya alongside other high-level guests.

It was a historic moment in Cameroon, in particular and Africa in general, given the enthusiasm of all and sundry and the nature of the opening ceremony. Africa is using the competition to celebrate a sport that has brought fame to the continent and Cameroon’s Head of State is showcasing his organisational dexterity; telling the world that Africa can, in its own way, stand up and be counted. The colourful opening ceremony was a veritable show of Africa’s grandeur, an illustration that the continent can and must succeed in charting its own course, using its own models, its own genius, its own style and its own talents.

President Paul Biya’s clarion call on fellow compatriots, during his end-of-year address to mobilize massively to make AFCON 2021 the most beautiful football jamboree ever organized on the continent, was massively heeded to. The 60,000 capacity stadium vibrated to the rhythm of the game with spectators who started streaming into the jewel of a football arena in the early hours of the day. It was indeed a great moment of brotherhood as Cameroon, through the various choreographic displays, gave the Head of State and his guests the rich cultural diversity that has earned Cameroon the nickname of, “Africa in miniature.”

Before the Presidential Motorcade led by some 24 motorcycle riders made its way into the stadium at 3:17 pm, the décor was already fully planted for a memorable opening ceremony of the 33rd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations and by extension a good football carnival spanning through January 9 to February 6, 2022. Cameroon’s Sports and Physical Education Minister, Narcisse Mouelle Kombi and CAF President were on hand to welcome the Presidential couple to the stadium. The singing of Cameroon’s national anthem, motorised review of troops by the Presidential couple and military parade gave way for a display of the richness and diversity of the four cultural zones of Cameroon. An awe-inspiring show of Cameroon’s love for the game and openness to partner with all to develop the king sport. It was a blend of legendary hospitality, exhibited through the warm reception reserved to all those who made it to the stadium, cultural displays and love for the sport that has stood out as the greatest unifying factor on the continent. Almost all feel for the sport and enjoy its spectacle.