Football is pretty big in Nigeria. Almost every child who grew up here played ball as a kid. Many of us even thought we were going to become professional footballers, but here we are sitting at our desks and writing Zikoko articles because our parents didn’t let us go out to play that one time when we were 7 (definitely not because we were trash at football).
Anyway, if you played these six football games growing up, show us your marriage certificate.
Let me not lie, I can’t remember what O.G.O means anymore. I just know that before the games started, the ball had to bounce three times while everyone shouted the letters, O-G-O with each corresponding bounce. After that, it became free-for-all. No teammates. Dribble everybody. Tackle anybody. Score. And then whoever scored would be the goalkeeper until someone else scored. As chaotic as it was, I actually really liked it.
2. Middle man
God, I hated this one so much. All the kids would gather in a circle and pass the ball around, making sure the kid in the middle couldn’t get their leg on the ball. In some places, once the person in the middle “touched” the ball with any part of their body except their arms, they’d won it, and the person who lost the ball had to step into the middle and strive to touch the ball too. In other places, the person in the middle had to “collect” — to win the ball completely and make a pass to another person in the circle before they were allowed to leave the middle.
Sometimes, we couldn’t decide whose fault it was that the middleman got the ball, so two people would argue (or quarrel) because they didn’t want to be the one in the centre. That’s where people learnt to lie.
3. Kolo beating
This one was just pure evil. Pure, unadulterated evil. It was so evil, we decided to write an entire article about it. If you don’t know about it (or don’t remember — smh, signs of old age), read the article. But spoiler alert, it always ended like this:
4. Monkey post
Monkey post was where all the great finishers in Nigeria were created. How could a football post be so small? The point of monkey post wasn’t the goals though. It was the dribbles. The dirty, nasty dribbles that would leave you wondering why you left your house to come and be disgraced in front of everyone.
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5. One touch
This one wasn’t so competitive. Just simple one-touch passes. If you made more than one touch on the ball, you were out.
6. Four post
There were four goalposts in a rectangle and one man to each post. Score anybody you like. Super fun. Sometimes, they added one-touch to it.