Nibcard Games Cafe at 2: 5 Reasons Why You Should Visit The Cafe.

We lead with our conviction rather than rational, because rational said it was impossible

Dan EK

Tucked in far away Gwarinpa is the only Tabletop Games cafe in Nigeria. Just about 2 years ago, board game developer Kenechukwu (KC) Ogbuagu led a campaign to set up the first games cafe in Nigeria– borne out of the need to get Nigerians playing African themed games. Since then, KC and Nibcard have gone on to develop at least 30 Nigerian games in collaboration with other game developers around the country and house about 300 international board games not your regular Scrabble, Chess, Draught and the others.

KC from nibcard games cafe

Nibcard Cafe is currently managed by KC and Tobe the Nerd– what strikes me the most about them is the drive and passion they have to get board games mainstream across Africa. The global board game market size was worth an estimated $13.1 Billion in 2019, growing at a CAGR of 9% during the forecast period 2019-2025 but more than that, there’s a contagious sparkle in their eyes when they talk about games and when they play. For someone who designs games, KC is fiercely competitive and does not take defeats too lightly while Tobe the nerd is a walking game geek and troll– a match made in heaven.

The board game community in Nigeria is growing steadily and transcends age groups. I’m writing this because I’m sold to the Nibcard vision and I think you should be to– here are five reasons why I think you should put Nibcard in your To-Visit list.

Kc, Gamesmeister and TobetheNerd
  1. Because when last did you do something for the first time: This is a question I like to ask myself from time to time. Before Gamesmeister made me check Nibcard out for the first time, we’d usually go to restaurants or lounges to play games. Most of these spaces were not exactly suited for Games and so many times it felt like trying to put a round peg in a square hole. People typically give off a shocked expression when they step into this place, it personally felt like I had been looking for Nibcard all my life but could not articulate it properly because there has never been a place like this in Nigeria or even Africa at large. Doing something for the first time does not have to be big and novel like sky diving, travelling to a new country, swimming in an ocean or your first kiss. A collection of simple things here and there- like going to a board games cafe for the first time gives life some meaning and nothing ever becomes real until it is experienced.
Nibcard board games cafe

2. There is a game for you and you are better at gaming than you think: I had a bit of prejudice before going- As we get older, it gets harder to try new things because we think we’re supposed to already know everything we need to know, but that leaves little room for learning. I felt like I was not going to like any of the games or the games would be way too difficult to learn (mainstream media make it look like only Sheldon Cooper type people play board games) but I decided to try it out regardless and you can tell that I had a great time. A funny thing is happening as I write this article in a cafe, I overheard a girl say she is too ‘Olodo’ to understand this new game she picked up and it’s very relatable, nobody wants to look stupid amongst their friends so the easier way to go is to not even attempt at all. The good thing about Nibcard Games Cafe is that there’s a game for everybody-even you and once you give it a try, you’ll realize that you are a better gamer than you think you are.

Playing table top games at nibcard
Play with femi

3. The sense of Community: It’s easy to imagine life without community nowadays, coming out of the lockdown season, you can see the need for belonging. Nibcard Games Cafe is one long thread that brings people from different works of life, Generations (Gen Z’s or Millenials) or whatever other ‘ism modern society has created- just to play games. We get carried away with work routines or on social media so much that we forget to create time to unwind with people that share similar interests as us. A community can be where you find comfort in difficult times. As human beings, we need a sense of belonging and its not a luxury or just one of those things; “common-unity” is essential to our well being. Nibcard Games cafe is a magnet that brings people together and I highly believe you’ll be better off joining this buzzing community.

4. Buy Nigeria: We’ve been pushing the buy Nigeria narrative for a while, now is a time to put your funds where your mouth is. Young Africans have decided to paddle their own canoes since all the leaders are G*ats and the emergence of sustainable businesses like Nibcard Games has been a joy to experience. Nibcard Games Cafe has produced relatable African themed games like Concentration Concentration, Gbosi, Irinajo, Wan Wan Touch, Just Rhyme, Safe Journey and a host of others which you can get from their website here. Many of the games tell our indigenous stories- more than gaming, it’ll be a learning experience for you. The good people at Nibcard are always on ground to walk you through the games and help you find your own. They are churning out games at the speed of fuel price hike under Buhari’s government and this is a very noble cause to support by buying the games and visiting the cafe to play them.

5. Healthy Competition: You like to compete and win more than you think. This trait, called competitiveness, is viewed as an innate biological trait amongst living things. Studies show that healthy levels of competition can help improve self-esteem and increase enjoyment of life. Nibcard Games Cafe is a highly suitable environment for you to go tooth for tooth against your friends and potential friends in a plethora of games. The interesting thing is that when we enjoy what we are doing, we are more likely to get absorbed by the activity, focus our attention on it, be less likely to be distracted, and more likely to be in a flow state which ultimately leads to elevated performance. Even if you don’t come out on top, you can take comfort with the fact that you at least fought well. Nibcard has taught me that I won’t win all the time and although it’s a hard pill to swallow, I have learnt to live with it and bring my A-game every time I have the chance.

Playing games at nibcard games cafe

In conclusion, Nibcard games organise board game events like hangouts, game nights, competitions and have an annual convention called African Boardgames convention (ABcon) the first of its kind as well. I celebrate KC, Tobe the Nerd and Nibcard on their 2nd year anniversary and can’t wait to see how much they’ll evolve and dominate as the years go by. Like KC said in the Igbo language:

Onye kwe, chi ya ekwe

If you believe with all your heart, without any doubt, eventually, the universe conspires on your behalf or in a simpler way If you say yes, your chi will say yes.

Other top guns that have made this community thrive are: Play with Femi of Centroid Games(Youtube Channel), Ifeanyi of GamesMeisterNg(Instagram) and many others I don’t know but duff my hats too.

Nibcard Games Cafe is located on Plot 505B, 46th Crescent, 4th Ave, Gwarinpa Estate, Abuja. Contact:  0703 817 0881 Website: Follow them on Twitter @NibcardGames and Instagram @NibcardGamesNG

Thanks for reading. Please share and comment if you enjoyed reading this.

Hobo Out!

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