Let’s get on the same page: Kolo beating is a football game that was invented by the devil. Let me explain how it’s played (Or at least how I remember playing it). A group of bored and sweaty young men get a ball-or a piece of paper or a plastic bottle, anything that can be easily kicked- and they pass and play it around with only one goal: to nutmeg someone. A nutmeg is successful when the ball passes between the legs of the opponent. Many people in Nigeria call it “kolo” or “toros”. Nobody likes getting nutmegged.

The “beating” part of the game is pretty straight forward. If you get nutmegged, you have to run until you get to an agreed “safe spot”. On your way there though, you will be beaten like you’ve stolen from the market. The faster you can get there, and the better you can avoid a beating, the better.

If you’ve ever played kolo beating, you’ll be able to relate to this:

1. When someone suggests the game

You’re there thinking, “I’ll really enjoy playing football and laughing with my friends, but what if someone nutmegs me? Will I be able to withstand all the beating? Is it worth it?”

2. When you finally decide to play

“This life na once. Anything that wants to happen should happen. Let me go and have fun.”

3. But you still wear two shirts to absorb all the beating

A soldier does not go to battle without shields. You must protect yourself at all cost.

4. When you see someone playing shirtless

“Omo, see fresh skin. One slap on this one’s back and he’ll never play football for the rest of his life.”

5. When someone finally gets nutmegged

If you see someone being beaten at kolo beating, you’ll pity them. There are no rules. Anything goes. Just make sure you inflict as much pain as you can with every window of opportunity you get.

6. When someone almost nutmegs you

“May we not be unfortunate o.”

7. But you get distracted and someone actually nutmegs you

“Hay God who sent me message. Where is the safe spot, please? Let me touch it and end all this suffering.”

8. When someone who beat you gets nutmegged and then says they’re no longer playing

“Blood must flow.”

9. When it eventually ends in a fight

“Well, we all knew this would happen. You people should fight fast, let’s know who won.”

10. When someone suggests that you continue the game

“Once again, may we not be unfortunate.”


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