PORT HARCOURT COMES OUT TO PLAY PAINTBALL alias WAR START

For the first time ever in my city — Port Harcourt, there is a PAINTBALL MEET (or WAR START meet).

It happens amongst friends, amongst colleagues at work, amongst members of a particular church or circle. But it has never happened amongst people who had no common grounds, asides being from the same city.

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Port Harcourt, the crude-oil famed city, alias Garden City, is ranked the third city in Africa’s most populous nation — Nigeria.

The city, quite a busy hub and known for its pride and ‘fajji‘ outlook towards life, is usually trolled for having less engaging recreational centres, and less engaging events. So,this was an outer, and I wanted to see…. 😁😁

The Event

The event which was announced on Twitter, was created by Princess Resplandor directing interested folks to a WhatsApp group for close interaction.

Slated for Saturday, 8th day of May, 2021; to start by 2pm, you’d expect throngs of people to be there if you got there by past 3pm as I did. But Alas! I was early 😂. (Well, I wasn’t so early, but people were still coming till past 4pm)

You could blame it on the rainfall earlier on, or on the poor traffic situation due to ongoing construction around the metropolis. But these guys came really late.

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What you’d need to paintball:

Currently, there is only one paint balling centre in Port Harcourt, which is inside the Port Harcourt Pleasure Park.

To get into the pleasure park, a gate fee of N500 is required. Once you get in, all you need do is request for directions and you’d be directed, it’s quite easy to locate from the entrance.

Then, to participate in the game, you’d need to pay N3,000 ($7.88), either by cash or by bank transfer.

Once you do pay, you not only get access to the place but you get protective gears too. Though the equipments here, need maintenance or revamp. Seems quite old.

The Rules of the game:

There is a referee, who also enters the arena (I heard one of the participants say he wanted to shoot at the referee but he was out of range).

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Each team starts at one end, which is your base, when you are shot, you are to return to your base. If you safely navigate your way to your opponent’s base, and your teammates successfully do same, you’ve won. But then it could be modified to your taste.

We were also told that headshots cost 2 points while normal shots cost a point.

You are to ensure your protective gears are fully on. You do have 50 bullets per round, to get a reload of another 50 bullets is N1,500.

You are not to pick bullets from the ground, and any issues with your gun, report to the referee. You are also advised to avoid head shots, but yunno.

The game: ‘Let the chaos begin’

I participated in this one. There were 2 sets and cheerleaders too, so I joined the first set. In the first set, each teams were made of five persons — 4 males and a female.

If team A can get to the other end and take Team B’s treasure (the female) back to their base, then they’ve won.

It was fun as it brought back this feeling of nostalgia. It just felt like we were back in primary (elementary) school, playing ‘war start’. At some point, I stopped shooting and was laughing hard as one guy who was shot, held his head in pain yet was denying he was shot, despite having paint on his head.

The paintballs can be painful. I received a headshot. It was painful!

But, it was real fun. I laughed so hard. I felt like a child. Though, in less than twenty minutes, it was all done. You somehow wished you could continue, but the money. Because as kids we played war start for more.

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After the action:

After the game, we sat outside while the second set prepped to go in. Some were interested in photos, others were wanted to be by themselves (the Port Harcourt way).

Some still talked about the game. It was hilarious to find adults anticipating a ‘next time’. It was really really funny. Many persons complained of how they missed. The strategy their team used.

But not everyone joined in the game. Some were cheerleaders and so. So before leaving, I decided to get the views of some of the participants.

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Comments on the event:

Ossy, a bald-headed young man whose head was the target of most folks, said it was okay, when interviewed, said he has seen some paintball groups come and share pictures, but this is the first one he’s coming out for, cos he saw it as an avenue where he can interact, after the game.

Cos he saw that there were all neutrals, he said he had fun, he shot amazing shots in the game, and plans to ‘shoot his shot’ at a particular lady before leaving. In his words, “E get one weh I deh eye now, but I go shoot before I comot.”

Irene, a beautiful chocolate complexioned lady, who was the treasure of Team B, when interviewed, said it was really nice and interactive. She said so far, she has not received any ‘shots’.

Princess, a voluptuous lady who didn’t participate in the shooting game, said those who played the game were clueless inside the arena. She attested that it was a good avenue to meet, but so far, people have not been socializing, everyone has been doing their thing.

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“You guys were just doing your thing. It as if you guys know your self from somewhere, I mean, I came in here, I greeted some people and I dunno, the reception was not so cool,” Princess continued. When quizzed on feedback for the organizers, she said, “I dunno, I just feel we just be more social, be more open.”

Diddy, a handsome male, who is a co-organizer of the event, was interviewed on the muse for the event. He said, “We’ve done this before or twice. Someone sent me the link after Princess Resplandor tweeted about it, and so we chatted about it and she made me an admin since I had an idea about it. The whole idea was to come out to the park and then build on from there.”

He went on to say it was nice meeting new persons, though, he said the turnout was not as much as expected, which could be due to the rain. On the socializing part, he said some persons already knew some persons, which is expected, but give it time and people would socialize.

When quizzed if there will be a next time, he said yes but may probably not be paintball, but it is in the pipeline, and assured this was just a trial.

For me, it was really nice having this whole ‘war start’ feeling. For someone who has played a lot of action games that involved shooting, I needed a physical experience 😁😁. The socializing part is not just a Port Harcourt problem if you ask me. Its the digital age.

Most persons actually disguise shyness under this act of pressing phones and being busy. Well then, if there’s any event you’d want in Port Harcourt, comment, the organizers of this one are keenly reading. You can also drop your takes on this one, in the comments too. Like and share too 😘😘.

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