At Mile 4, Nkwen, and Bamenda Up station neighbourhoods, thousands of diehard football fans flooded entertainment outfits including the Dreamland AFCON Village to watch and celebrate high moments of AFCON matches.
The saying “when it comes to football, everyone speaks the same language” was a reality in Bamenda during the 33rd TotalEnergies African Cup of Nations (AFCON). Despite security challenges in the region, the continental football fiesta was an opportunity for many residents to step out of their homes, to relax and to forget the stress they have been victims of. At Mile 4, Nkwen, and Bamenda Up station neighbourhoods, celebration was hectic as fans met in leisure centres to watch, on giant screens, matches particularly those featuring Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions.
At Dreamland Complex AFCON village, for example, it was difficult to differentiate between the young and old. Spectators were filled with a lot of anxiety and excitement. From time to time, diehard fans screamed when their darling Lions made impressive moves or missed scoring opportunities. Cameroon’s 2-1 victory over Burkina Faso, the 4-1 bashing of Ethiopia as well as the amazing remontada in the third place game against Stallions were saluted in different ways by fans. Among others, there was boozing spree that went late into the night.
Edison Fru Ndi, CEO of Dreamland Complex AFCON village, said he came up with the initiative to keep Bamenda football lovers closer to Africa’s biggest football jamboree. “It was an opportunity for fans who did not want to risk travelling to the nearest stadium in Bafoussam and other cities to live the tournament. It was my own little way of contributing to nation building. Football has the power to unite people and nations. It’s a recipe for peace,” he added.?