Hibernian Football Club has six new fans from Africa – all of them lawyers – after it hosted the visiting group to the Edinburgh team’s match against Dundee recently.
The friends, who are all completing internships and secondments at top tier London firms, organised the trip to Scotland to see the sites before returning to their home countries.
They were hosted by Hibernian FC at its Easter Road stadium in a match that ended in a draw.
ILFA secondee, Aly Salem, from Sarie-Eldin and Partners in Egypt, has been working as a visiting associate with Latham and Watkins. He said he had always been more bookish than sporty but that he had thoroughly enjoyed the football and was very quickly cheering for his new favourite team.
“The whole experience was incredible.” Afterwards the group went for something to eat and to enjoy Edinburgh’s Christmas market. Aly admitted he didn’t have the courage to taste Scotland’s national dish, Haggis, but stuck to fish and chips. (Haggis is made from sheep’s heart, lung and liver mixed with oats and onions).
Primah Atugonza Kyambadde, from MMaks Advocates in Uganda, has been working with Hogan Lovells for the last three months. She said she loved the enthusiasm of the Scottish people and their appreciation of The Beautiful Game.
“I didn’t expect there to be so much singing and dancing. The Scots are full of life!” She loved the Christmas spirit in Edinburgh but said she steered well clear of Scotland’s other favourite pastime – drinking whisky.
Others who joined the trip were Cynthia Kankindi (from Rwanda), Shem Otanga (Kenya) and Deborah Haddis (Ethiopia).
George Craig, head of operations for Hibernian FC, said the club was delighted to host the lawyers, and especially to give some in the group their first taste of a professional football match in the UK.
“The group had a small chat with myself and Amanda Jones before the game. Amanda is an employment partner with Dentons and a director at Hibernian Football Club and the Hibernian Community Foundation, as well as chair of the Scottish Government Advisory Board on Women and Girls in Sport.
“They joined us for an exciting match – unfortunately we could only draw the game but we hope they enjoyed the game and the experience at Easter Road.
“Two of our first team players are proud to be African – Efe Ambrose has won the African Cup of Nations with Nigeria and played at the highest level of European football, while Thomas Agyepong joined us on loan from Manchester City and has featured for Ghana on several occasions.
“They are important members of the squad and popular with our support – hopefully they now have another few fans after the visit!”
Africa Legal co-founder and CEO, Scott Cowan, who hails from Edinburgh and whose family have been Hibs fans going back generations, said he was delighted to be part of an initiative to introduce African lawyers to his home city and beloved football club.
“Over the years I have enjoyed hospitality in so many countries in Africa. To finally be able to reciprocate – even in absentia – and show this group of lawyers what us Scots can do, has been great, Thank-you Hibernian FC for making this happen!”
Copyright : Re-publication of this article is authorised only in the following circumstances; the writer and Africa Legal are both recognised as the author and the website address www.africa-legal.com and original article link are included. A bio for the writer can be provided on request.
Re-publication without reference to Africa Legal is not authorised