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This is Iyabo Afolabi, the flamboyant ‘best-dressed fan’ at Nigeria-Egypt game

This is Iyabo Afolabi, the flamboyant ‘best-dressed fan’ at Nigeria-Egypt game
January 15
08:28 2022

“Where there is a woman, there is magic.”— Ntozake Shange

Her flamboyant headgear, beaded accessories and colourful garb stole the show as she cheered the Super Eagles of Nigeria to victory over the Pharaohs of Egypt in Garoua, Cameroon on Tuesday.

Iyabo Makanjuola Afolabi is no ordinary Super Eagles fan. She is a long-serving member of the Super Eagles Supporters Club (SESC).

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The ‘Iya Onigele’ of the supporters club, as she is popularly addressed, was adjudged by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to be the best-dressed fan at the stadium.

In a chat with TheCable, Afolabi said her passion for football made her join the SESC 20 years ago.

Afolabi in all her glory

Makanjuola, a 44-year-old Oyo state native, grew up in Lagos where she attended Araromi Primary School in Mushin. She then attended Salawu Abiola Comprehensive High school, Osiele, Abeokuta.

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“It is the passion that I have for football that made me join the SESC and my children have adapted to it because I used to travel before I joined the supporters’ club,” Afolabi told TheCable.

Married with two children, Afolabi said her family is behind all she does to support the national teams, adding that they are always filled with pride whenever she is shown on television during Super Eagles matches.

“From day one, my children knew I had been in sports because I used to be an athlete when I was in primary and secondary school before I joined the supporter’s club,” she said.

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“So, whenever I travel, my children are always happy because they always want to see me on television. And they will be telling all their friends, ‘look at my mom, they will soon show my mom on TV’. So, whenever Nigeria is playing, they must always show me and it’s a proud moment for me too.”

Afolabi and a fellow Super Eagles supporter

Afolabi said she is thrilled to have been adjudged the best-dressed fan at the game — and is looking forward to the Super Eagles making it to the final of AFCON 2022.

“In fact, I am really really happy because I am proud of my country, myself and also my club,” she said.

“I have adapted to so many things since I joined the supporters club. There’s nothing much to the rigours involved in travelling from one match point to the other. 

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“I am happy that I am here in Cameroon to cheer Nigeria’s darling team to victory.”

The Super Eagles will face Sudan in their second group game by 5pm on Saturday.

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