… As excited Nigerians keep vigil at LLTC to catch a glimpse of them
By CHIMAOBI UCHENDU
When news hit Nigerian airwaves that two sisters, Venus and Serena Williams, who have revolutionised the game of tennis, were coming to Lagos, most tennis enthusiasts dismissed it with a wave of hand, saying it was a stunt.
But at last, the amazons are with us in flesh and blood. Most doubting Thomas’s even went a step further to touch the sisters to confirm that they are real. Most people said they were going to keep vigil at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club (LLTC) to make sure they are not told the stories that Serena And Venus were in Nigeria.
The gate fee notwithstanding they are ready to go hungry after the encounter with the queens of tennis. Venus Williams has never been to Africa, so she is extra excited. She and sister, Serena, are in Nigeria for a three-day tour of the country. The sisters, who have won two of the four grand slam titles between them in 2008, are in Lagos and will play an exhibition match – their first in Africa – as well as play host to a tennis clinic for 1,000 Nigerian youngsters at the LLTC.
Speaking at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, director of the International Tennis Academy, Godwin Kienka, explained that the Williams were thrilled to be part of the project entitled: “Touching 1,000 Lives at a Time”.
He said: “The world famous tennis siblings, Venus and Serena Williams, accepted to come to Nigeria to motivate and inspire Nigerian youths with their story and talent. “Venus is especially excited because it will be her first visit to Africa. Their story is one of how a combination of unwavering desire, determination, discipline, focus, good planning and sacrifice have brought them to the present point.
“There are thus no better sport role-models to inspire and motivate and re-orientate Nigerian youths to pursue excellence and success in whatever they choose to do, as these two African-Americans.” Apart from playing the exhibition game, the Williams will also run a short clinic for the best juniors in the country and visit selected orphanages in and around Lagos.