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The Wrapperman Walks For Charity

Posted: May 14, 2015 at 2:32 am   /   by   /   comments (0)
The world wrapperman sets out on his 787 km charity run from the National Stadium in Lagos to Abuja

The world wrapperman sets out on his 787 km charity run from the National Stadium in Lagos to Abuja

By Hazeez Balogun



This political dispensation has witnessed a lot of people voluntarily walking, jogging and even cycling across great distances. Their aim most times is to celebrate their political heroes. There was one Suleiman Hashimu who claimed to have walked from Lagos to Abuja to congratulate President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari. There was also Oladele John Nihi, the man who is currently walking from Abuja to Otuoke, Bayelsa to honour President Goodluck Jonathan.

There is another man on similar journey as we speak, but his motives have nothing to do with any politician. Delta-State born David Adjarho Obaro walked through the gates of the National Stadium Complex in Lagos last week, setting out on a 787km walk to Nigeria’s Federal Capital city of Abuja.  According to the chef and food entrepreneur, he was doing this to promote domestic tourism as well as raise N500m for a few charitable causes he is committed to. These which include activities of the Old Boys Association of his Alma Mata, Government College Ughelli, a faith-based initiative (Activ8), and an environment awareness campaign (Beach Samaritans), among others.

“I am also running to be able to achieve one of my life’s ambitions, which is to build the largest food-specific library in Nigeria,” he says. The fascinating thing about this long-distance run is that Obaro was not wearing a tracksuit or any of the outfits custom-made for athletics. He was fully clad in a eye-catching green-and-gold coloured Uhrobo traditional attire, which includes a 15-yard long wrapper. For this, Obaro has earned the nickname, “The Wrapperman”.

While ‘on the run’, Obaro holds a large Nigerian flag in one hand, his wondrous wrapper folded severally, sits on forearm of his other hand.  “I am the only person in the world that runs with a wrapper in marathons, and I am also the record holder of the world longest wrapper (37yards),” he boasts. While responding to our journalist’s questions from our correspondent before he took his first steps to Ikorodu Road, he says, “I am also using this to make a statement that I am different, special and proud of my Urhobo and Nigerian culture, which is now giving birth to the wrapper marathon that will bring people from other parts of the world to Nigeria.”

Obaro estimated that his walk to the federal capital will take about 20 days. But before he arrives in Abuja however, he will stop over in Edo State (481km from Lagos) to participate in the 10km Okpekpe Road Race, scheduled for May 16.

Over the past few years Obaro, formerly resident in Romania, has participated in the Bucharest City Marathon (2010), the Bucharest International Marathon (2011), the Club Marathon (2011),  the Bucharest International Marathon (2012), the Bucharest Half-Marathon (2012), the Triathlon Challenge. And just last month, he took part in the 12km Lagos Half-Marathon.

“Only someone with a lot of guts and dedication to a purpose can embark on this stressful undertaking,” says an observer who has spotted the marathoner jogging on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.