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A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

NIGERIA: Devotee Martial-Arts Experts Create Stir At Lagos Party
By By Akatu Ajonye   |  Feb 05, 2007

LAGOS, NIGERIA: Not a little stir was caused recently when a team of Karate experts was ushered in to entertain guests at a party in Lagos. Venue was the prestigious Q-Club on Allen Avenue, in Ikeja, Lagos. The event, tagged ‘Start- of-the-Year Party,’ was organised by the Gauranga Foundation, a non-governmental organisation with interest in the development of music in Nigeria. 

Midway into the party, chief host, Bolaji Rosiji, who is also the president of the Performing Musicians Employers’ Association of Nigeria, PMAN, announced the presence of the four-man team, to the pleasant surprise of guests. But the Karate display turned out to be the party’s star attraction! As they filed-in, dressed in their white robes, the martial artists were welcomed with loud applause. Rosiji introduced the team leader, Gabriel Oredola, popularly called ‘Sensei Goby’ in the Chinese tongue, aged 55, whom, Newswatch learnt, was rated 6 Dan by SKIF Japan, the global Karate ranking body, since 1963. Oredola, a Hare Krishna devotee has helped to train national karate teams of six African countries and was the only African who participated in the World Karate Championship in Mexico in 1991, amongst other achievements in his career. 

Oredola in turn introduced the three other members of his team. They include: Appeal Isimire, 26, the only lady in the team. Rated 1 Dan, she is the current champion, World Military Games, World University Games and the All Africa Games (2003); Sola Soyoye, 34, 4 Dan: Gold medallist, National Sports Festival, Silver, All Africa Games(2003) and Eze Samuel, 27, 1 Dan, Bronze, National Sports Festival (2006). 

They gave a good account of their rankings in the Karate art, generating a mixture of laughter and applause, especially when they launched menacing attacks sometimes on ‘imaginary opponents.’ With the narrow ‘arena’ created in the middle of the hall for them, the martial artists drew ‘uncomfortably’ close to guests on every side with each ‘kick’ or ‘jab.’ Isimire’s performance drew more applause, especially from the ladies, who outnumbered the men. 

At the end of the ‘Karate interlude’, after the fighters had taken a bow and filed out, the dance party resumed at full throttle, apparently gingered up by the martial artists’ performance. Guests tried to ‘out-dance’ one another in order to be among the lucky winners of the 15 portable recording/keyboard sets, otherwise known as homestudio, given away by the Gauranga Foundation.

Celebrities in the showbiz industry who graced the event included Blakky, Yinka Davies, Soni Irabor and Seun Kuti. Singers, Tony Tetuila, Muma Gee, Righteousman, and Bouqui, all participated prominently in the dance contest. Stella Monye, veteran artiste, anchored the event. Rosiji announced that the party was principally organised to celebrate the success story of the Gauranga Foundation which has affected many lives nationwide. 

 Source: Newswatch Magazine 

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