08.10.2003 Sports News

Abuja 2003: COJA breaks jaws in Abuja

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(FROM: Richard Avornyotse, GNA Special Correspondent at the Eighth All Africa Games in Abuja, Nigeria)

Abuja, Nigeria, Oct. 8, GNA - The French acronym, COJA which stands for Comite d'Organization des jeux Africaine, meaning Committee for the Organisation of the African Games is shattering jaws in the Federal Capital City of Abuja.

The abbreviation, has indeed become synonymous with anything connected to the Games, including the Games Village and the New National Stadium Complex as the local indigenes refer to the Games itself as COJA.

It is, however, interesting to note that most of the people connected to the event do not know what COJA means.

Even those who attempt to read it from their accreditation cards either laugh at their own blunders or give up midway. Some simply tell you that it is French and it represents the Local Organising Committee.

Others even try to convince you that COJA means All African Games. A few tell you to forget it because "i no bi im man go chop, abi a lai?" Adewole Opatola, a volunteer journalist with COJA admitted, "my friend I bet you most of the people do not know what COJA means. Just try them, only one out of fifty will be able to give you the meaning." And when GNA Sports set out find out Adewole's position was confirmed.

Funmi Makanjuola, an assistant at the media who was one of those who had the courage to attempt an answer ended up saying, "its French sha."

Kate Nwosu, a media venue officer asked me to wait while she found out from another person working for COJA.

Frances Igbanoi, a member of the COJA transport committee read it out from her accreditation card but gave up with a smile midway through. But after long spell of unsuccessful attempts by people working closely with COJA, Smolette Shittu Alamu, a media venue officer provided a smooth French rendition of the trouble acronym, which has shattered many jaws at the impressive press centre of the National Stadium Complex.

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