Today is the D-day as Burkina Faso is gripped with fevered excitement hours ahead of their historic Africa Cup of Nations final against Nigeria at the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg.
Supersport.com stormed the dusty streets of Ouagadougou on Sunday morning as locals bustled their kids on rusty and rackety motorbikes to church under the blazing tropical sun. Every face was smiling sweetly and some people spared some time to talk generously about what will happen in South Africa today.
“Look, over confidence will kill Nigeria,” said Ahmed Issiaka, a 31-year-old roadside mechanic, who lives in the capital.
As for us Burkinabe, we’ll play our game very relaxed and when you do any task that way, you are more inspired and creative because the pressure on you seems very less.”
Burkina Faso have close to 56% of practicing Christians and 37% of Muslims, who have been living side by side peacefully for decades, but the national cause of today will likely unite them more, as some Muslims implore their fellow Christian brothers to intensify their prayers for the Stallions.
“On Friday, we the Muslims had our general prayers for our team to win the Cup. Today is Sunday and it’s the turn of our Christian brothers to pray for the same purpose that is uniting the whole nation at the moment. We are all the same today, praying to the same God to help us overcome Nigeria in the Afcon final,” Ibrahima Ouatarra, a 42-year-old pharmacist said.
Burkina Faso women are traditionally cold to these kinds of football excitements, but that has changed. They say they are behind their team and will kiss every players once they arrive with the trophy.
“No other day in the history of this country has been greater than this. We are experience something different. My mother, grandmother and sisters are all excited about our team playing the Afcon final,” Sandrine Kabore said.
“I’m waiting for tonight to give my fiancée the answer whether I will marry him. He asked me for it last month and I have been thinking. However, if the Stallions win tonight I’ll call him and say I’ve agreed to marry him,” she said.
Mariame Coulibally, who runs a local restaurant in central Ouagadougou told supersport.com she’d offer free service two hours to the game and do the same till Monday evening.
“I have enough stock and I have cooked enough to feed people for free till tomorrow. This is my contribution to this cause. We have to unite, fight and do all we can to motivate fans till final victory.”