Jaan Roose, a 31-year-old Estonian, dazzled Lagos residents on Thursday with his slacklining skills from a suspended 66-meter (217-foot) rope tied between Sterling Towers and Onome Rig in Marina, Lagos—a distance of 350 meters.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports Red Bull sponsored that Roose to delight Lagos residents with his slacklining skills.
The sport entails walking on a rope suspended above the ground, often used for balance training, recreation, and moving meditation.
Mr Roose, a three-time world champion and holder of many world records, was accompanied by another slackliner, Oskar Jussi, and crew members who were excited to visit Nigeria for the first time.
He drew the attention of commuters and residents of the Central Business District (CBD), Marina, who trooped out to watch his display.
Also present at the event were the Director General of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Oluwafemi Oke-Osanyitolu, paramedics, and ambulance operators, among others.
Me Oke-Osanyitolu described slacklining by Roose as audacious and interesting.
Roose’s partner, Mr Jussi, who has been involved in slacklining for the past eight years, described his experience in Nigeria as amazing.
“Having slacklining in Nigeria is amazing, and this is my second experience in Africa because we have had one in Kenya, and it was also pleasant.
“We are unable to have the event during the day because of the hot weather. So, we had to wait till evening.
“This is a sport that is strange in Nigeria, but maybe we have some Nigerians that may be interested in it. I don’t know, but it’s not really as dangerous as many would think it is.
“I started slacklining with a very small height like a knee height, then to a tree height, then moving upward in the heights.
“Slacklining is not what someone can start one or two years and get to the top,” he said.
On what brought them to Nigeria, Jussi said it was a Red Bull project aimed at exploring new terrains, especially Nigeria.
“We had a lot of difficulties setting up the rope because of the traffic in Marina, also we are careful about not causing too much discomfort to the people in their offices.
“We have been in Nigeria for about four days now, and the people have been amazing. I have tried to eat Nigerian dishes, but it’s too spicy for me. Maybe I will have some more bites before leaving on Friday,” he said.
Some onlookers who spoke with NAN expressed delight at seeing such bravery by the 31-year-old Estonian, walking on 66m (217 feet) of rope and covering a distance of 350 meters.
Ope Banwo, who came in the company of his daughter, told NAN that though he enjoyed seeing the sport, it would be hard to see Nigerians getting involved.
“The guy is just doing what he likes, but I don’t think any Nigerian will want to try something like that,” he said.
His daughter, Fiyinfoluwa, said she was excited to see the slackliner, Roose, but that the sport was too risky.
Atinuke Agoro wouldn’t try such a sport even if they offered her N5 million.
“It is not possible for me to engage in such activity; I won’t do it because I have a phobia of height, but I love the experience,” she said.
Also, Isiak Bolakale, who parked his car to observe the performance, said he wouldn’t get involved in such sport for any amount.
“I enjoy the show, but I can’t be part of it even with a 1 billion naira offer,” he said.
NAN reports that the event was concluded later in the evening, and the slacklining team is scheduled to return to Estonia on Friday.
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