Pokémon Go Hits Nigeria But Only The Brave Can Play It

A woman uses a portable battery pack to charge her phone while playing the augmented reality mobile game "Pokemon Go" by Nintendo in New York City

Pokémon Go hits Lagos Nigeria, but you might not travel very far on the street before you get hit by a car. It’s one thing to play Pokémon in other parts of the country, walking through the woods trying to catch your favourite animal creature but it’s another thing to play Pokémon Go in Lagos Nigeria. I would have loved to ask how safe it is but i guess we all know the answer to that question.

It would require a huge level of bravery to play Pokémon Go in Lagos with the Lagos traffic and everyone in a hurry to get to their destination to bikes and ‘’meruwa’’ taking bends like bent crayfish ready to hit anyone on their way to impatient  people clustering one another, I doubt Pokémon Go is safe to Go.

Nevertheless, Nigerians are known to be tough, strong and ready to face any challenge regardless of the odds against them as some people like Timi Ajiboye looks at the face of danger and laughs.

“Here it’s like Mad Max, you’ve gotta be sharp or else there will be some injuries,” Timi Ajiboye, a 23-year-old software developer, told AFP.

“Sometimes it’s just not safe to bring out your phone. If you do, thieves will come at you like flies,” added Ajiboye’s younger brother Tade.

Playing may be dangerous yet Nigeria has its perks, insisted the 19-year-old electrical engineering student at the University of Lagos.

“There’s so much rare Pokemon here because it’s not a mainstream country,” Tade said. “Fortunately for me, I live here.”

The 19-year-old explained that he’s seen “quite a few Bulbasaur” though hasn’t been able to catch the green dinosaur-like species since “they are very stubborn”.

The reports said Pokémon Go was only available in very few countries like United States, Australia and New Zealand, but you can’t limit a Nigerian as some people have found their way around to get the app that has turned the world around.

The enthusiastic uptake is a sign of the mobile revolution happening in Nigeria, which is Africa’s largest mobile market.

Companies have committed to 3G coverage in 90 per cent of the country and are starting a fibre network roll-out in six cities, according to Bloomberg News.

Another thing to worry about in Nigeria is flat batteries and how to get them charged, where to get them charge and your final answer might settle for getting several power banks to work with.

In a perfect world, Tade says he would have the game installed on both his Android and Apple phones, carry an internet dongle and power bank to charge flat batteries.

He would also wear holographic glasses so he could experience three-dimensional Pokemon similar to when Princess Leia appeared as a blue apparition in the film “Star Wars”.

“I’m on EDGE,” groaned Tobi Akinnubi, a 19-year-old chemical engineering student, as he walked on campus. “You can’t do anything.”

The sole Pokestop on campus is at a mosque, where a cluster of students were gathered and Esther Mustapha, a 22-year-old French student, had just downloaded the game.

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“It’s fascinating, who puts the Pokemon on the floor?” she wondered as she worked to catch her first Squirtle, a doe-eyed turtle.

Then the signal went and the game froze. “C’mon, wake up!” Mustapha said.

These lags are likely just growing pains: with Nigeria’s telecoms industry booming, smart phones are becoming cheaper and data services expanding

Whatever the case, some Nigerians will thrive whatever the circumstances surrounding them, ‘’we must play this pokemon Go by any means’’ some would say.

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