Have you congratulated the Golden Eaglets, yet, on winning the Fifa Under 17 World Cup in Chile?
Did you make status updates and twitter hashtags? Maybe even changed your BBM, WhatsApp and Instagram statuses and your display picture in other to key in to the patriotic spirit?
Good for you. It is nice to be a patriotic Nigerian.
Just wondering though if you also noticed that for “one moment in time”, we all put down the e-cutlasses with which we were ready to cut off the e-heads of anyone who disagreed with us that Baba Go Slow was the next best thing since sliced bread.
In one unique and almost surreal instant, we all re-capped the gallon of e-acid we would happily pour on anyone who dared to accuse the immediate past president of being the reason why 5 months into a new administration all we have been getting are promises and counter promises.
Football managed to reunite a nation split along ethnic, religious and partisan lines and for that split second, all was well with the world. We put down our real and imagined weapons, enemies became brothers and strained relationships morphed into best friends as we all linked our hands across our shoulders in one big, nation-wide group hug and sang “Kumbayah”.
Football and food – the two “F” words that can unite a deeply polarised country in an instant.
Anyway, make I nack you one small tory like that:
Sometime in the second quarter of this year, I met a young man who claimed to be a footballer. My car had broken down in the wee hours of the morning as I rushed out to the gym and I stood by the roadside, waiting for my friend to show up so we could sort it out.
Of course, damsel in distress standing by the roadside, you would expect that knights in shining armour would be lining up to sort the car thing out – didn’t happen.
The few who stopped were rushing to get to work and so once I assured them someone was on the way to sort me out, they zoomed off as fast as they could, probably to make up for the few seconds they wasted asking if I needed help.
Then this young man drove past, reversed, parked, walked up to the car and proceeded to sort out the issue with the car – hint, it was not what I had assumed it was, I am clueless like that around cars.
Anyway car issue sorted, he offered to hang around until my friend came and since we were both dressed for sports, the conversation naturally leaned that way, until I asked which of the teams he played for and he said “Under 21”!
I did a double, triple and quadruple take…
You could place a saucer in the wrinkles on this guy’s face and balance a teacup in it and the teacup will not so much as shake!
Trust me, I asked, “Under 21 ke? Are you the coach or their chaperone? How old are you to be playing Under 21?”
And he replied, “20”.
Omo, I laugh scarra for express.
“I don’t mean to be rude o, but why don’t you just find another hustle na? How can you claim to be 20? That means that me, I am 18. Is that your birth age or football age?”
He looked at me for a few seconds then laughed out loud. The only response I got further from him: “you know every na, you too dey ask questions sef.”
I no dey claim say na me holy pass, but in the last like one year, we have been regaled with cries of “integrity”, “zero tolerance for corruption”, “merit”, “competence”; so just for fun, I took a tour of the walls of those wey integrity important pass for their life.
They were over excited about the win. Na Saint Buhari make am possible sef. As it was in 1985, Kumbayah!
Okay o, I am not trying to kill your joy and patriotic spirit. I just want to know what matters to you the most?
“Zero tolerance for corruption”
(In no particular order)…
… or winning by all means possible?
As you ponder on the answer to that question, please google the internet for pictures of other non-African under 17 teams and place them side by side with ours – just for inspiration.
While you are at it, you can go to the nearest secondary school to you and ask them to please allow you look into a classroom with 16 and 17 year olds – just for more inspiration.
Anyway, wetin concern me? When Mr. Integrity himself, the dictionary definition of anti-corruption, placed a call through to motivate them and that bumbling error of Presidential appointments put up an update worshipping his Royal Presidentness for making the victory possible.
What do I know? After all, “Someone” has remained exactly 72 years old for the past donkey years!
Whatever anti-age serum he and all these footballers are on, I want some.