While most Nigerians would in no way change their love of soccer, the industrial capital nevertheless hosts the largest polo event in West Africa, with trophies fiercely disputed in opposition to a backdrop of bling and glamour for the higher class. “Polo has shifted from just the sports to a style announcement,” stated Mudrakat Alabi-Macfoy, sporting an airy white kaftan with a multi-colored floral necklace and head wrap on the Lagos Polo Club. “For me, it is something fun, something playful, something whimsical, something cozy … A bit of shade, a piece of dad,” said Alabi-Macfoy, who works as a lawyer while no longer watching polo. In a state with the world’s maximum quantity of human beings in extreme poverty, the frequently-dubbed “game of kings” is prohibitively pricey for most people. First added via British colonial servicemen, polo has been performed in Nigeria for over one hundred years, and nearly all the groups are owned using local multi-millionaires. “It is a highly-priced recreation because you recognize, your horses are like toddlers,” said Koyinsola Owoeye, who has been gambling polo because in 2007, seduced using his father’s love of the sport.
A horse can value approximately $40,000 – then there’s preservation. “Maintenance is not easy. Today they can be well, the next day they can have, you already know, malaria, fever, colic, or even get injured on the sector or on their way to the event,” Owoeye stated. The 2019 Lagos International Polo Tournament, which wound up on Sunday, fielded 33 groups from Nigeria, Argentina, South Africa, Kenya, and the UK.