Glitz and glamour on show at Nigeria polo contest

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 25, 2019 - Duration: 01:49s

Glitz and glamour on show at Nigeria polo contest

The latest fashion trends were on display when Lagos recently hosted West Africa's biggest polo tournament.

Serena Chaudhry reports.


Glitz and glamour on show at Nigeria polo contest

Stylish hats, high-heeled shoes, and flowing champagne: it's polo season again and this is West Africa's biggest tournament - in Nigeria's commercial capital, Lagos.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) LEGAL PRACTITIONER, MUDRAKAT ALABI-MACFOY SAYING: "Polo has shifted from just the sports to a fashion statement.

For me it's something fun, something playful, something whimsical, something comfortable essentially." (SOUNDBITE) (English) GRAPHICS DESIGNER, DARA, SAYING: "It's a nice environment.

People don't really have a lot of day events in Nigeria.

There are not a lot of things you can go for during the day where like you see people, you have a fun time sitting outdoors and really enjoying the vibe of what they environment is like." First introduced by British colonial servicemen, polo has been played in Nigeria for over a hundred years.

But in a country with one of the world's highest poverty rates, it's a prohibitively expensive sport for most people.

And, nearly all the teams are owned by local multi-millionaires.

A horse can cost around $40,000 dollars, and then there's the upkeep.

Koyinsola Owoeye has been playing polo since 2007.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) POLO PLAYER, KOYINSOLA OWOEYE, SAYING: "Well it is an expensive sports because you know your horses are like babies, maintenance is not easy.

Today they can be well.

Tomorrow they can have you know malaria, fever, colic or even get injured on the field or on their way to the tournament." While it's unlikely to de-throne soccer as a firm favorite in Nigeria, the so-called "sport of thrones" is attracting some attention.

This year's Lagos International Polo Tournament, which closed on Sunday, had 33 teams taking part from Nigeria, Argentina, South Africa, Kenya and the UK.

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