Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Brazil 2014: Nigeria 2-3 Argentina

In the last 4 days, the Super Eagles of Nigeria have managed to give me some good TV time. I missed the match against Iran because I was still at work at that crucial time. Nevertheless, I was assured by my friends and frenemies that I missed nothing at all. I was told of how the showing of the boys was abysmal, to say the least. I was assured that we would be knocked out before the Round of 16, except if our Football Mathematics – a brand of Math that mostly works in Naija – worked again. So when I watched Emenike and Odemwengie join forces to give us a 1-0 edge over BH (Bosnia-Herzegovina please, not that terror group in the north), I was gratified. Now, we could start solving our Football Mathematics – we could start making permutations that essentially calculated Nigeria’s fate and chances at Brazil 2014 based on the misfortunes of other teams. That has been our style over the years. For better or for worse, that style has never been known to fail us. So we calculated that we could afford to lose to Argentina, provided Iran lost to BH, or at the very best pulled off one of those their goalless draws at their last match.

So when the first 4 minutes of the Nigeria-Argentina meet saw one goal in either net, people like me had to turn in their sleep. And when the next 40 minutes basically pitted Enyeama against the entire Argentine team in the Nigerian half of the field, people like me woke up and began to nurse the hope that perhaps we could pull off a draw, after all. Then, just before the end of that scintillating half, Messi’s birthday (left) boot’s shot found the back of Enyeama’s net. Again.

Just in case I had lost hope, Musa returned Messi’s favour. I was ecstatic. Now we were well on our way to our first World Cup victory over Argentina. We were going to show them that although they had the world’s best player, we had the world’s best saver – never mind goalkeeper. And indeed, we showed them. Di Maria’s several botched attempts at goal can attest to that. But alas, showing them was not enough to give us the victory people like me hoped for. After that Messiful team got a third behind our net, their Messiless team was able to prevent our Musaful team from giving us yet another equalizer; not that we didn’t absolutely squander some opportunities in ways that would shock the Prodigal Son.

Enyeama managed to concede 3 goals in a single match, 2 of them from Messi. I am unsure why he conceded Messi’s 2nd goal, seeing as he had just saved a similar challenge from Messi from about the same spot; however, he has saved us so many embarrassments in the past so I guess we can afford to cut him some slack. For this group stage, I think Enyeama was my MVP.

Mikel´s lackluster performance today was spectacular; Nwofor´s hair would have been interesting to look at if it had propelled him to give us a 3rd; Yobo...well, this was his 100th cap. Congratulations, sir. It’s a pity Michael Babathunder had to leave the party so soon. Emenike may be a good shot, but he does seem to have trouble carrying his own weight around. In general, the boys were much better than I had expected them to be, and they really did #BringBackOurGoals. Nigeria gave as good as she got in this game. I saw a Nigerian side that was in the game because they wanted to play good football - and I was proud.

Now it is on to face Les Bleus at the Round of 16.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Naija...Only You Waka Come?

What about the goals, two goals that will tell us that you prepared for this tournament? Do you come with any? You were not informed too? OK...Continue...No problem. God will see us. There is God. There is God in everything we are doing. Those goals that the Netherlands and others are sharing in Brazil will answer.

What of two players, what of two players that can tell us that they were not sleeping during the match? Do you come with any? Naija coach, ... No too? Na only una waka come? OK.Now the football world is calling you come I want to help you, come to find ya boys...ya goals...ya missing goals...will you keep quiet?

Chai!!! Chai!!! DiarisGodooo!!!¡¡¡ DiarisGodoooooo!!!!!!¡¡¡¡¡¡

The goals we are missing...diarisGodooo!!! The goals they are sharing...diarisGodooo!!!

diarisGodoooooo!!! DiarisGodoooooo!!! DiarisGodoooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡



Monday, June 16, 2014

The World was Silent when We Died

I write this through my tears, tears whose depth of candor I cannot vouch for, because the horrors I have just read about have been told to me so many times in the past, but have never evoked in me the kind of mix of emotions that I feel now. It is way past 1AM this Monday morning, and I cannot find sleep. So I have had to find my laptop instead.
Because this feeling that I have, this need to do something, to write something, to do anything to change the horror that we call our shared history – this feeling is almost alien to me. I can neither relate to it nor detach myself from it.
I have to write something, although I know that with the breaking of dawn and the return of cold hard reason and logic, this will more closely resemble the gibberish that should have stayed in my head rather than appear on my wall.
But how can I possibly be immune to the accounts that I have read? How can I fail to be affected by the despair that pillaged the land that I call my own? How can I feel anything other than pain and betrayal and even guilt that I was not around to help and to die with all those men and women who were massacred in Kano, who died in Nsukka, who gave their lives in Umuahia, who were killed by kwashiorkor when the shrapnel of enemy soldiers failed to find them? How can I feel anything other than revulsion at being human when I have read stories of what humans did to other humans during that War from which we emerged, no victor no vanquished, just a group of people who successfully defended the unity of a country, and another group of people whose entire lives had been reduced to 20 pounds?
And to think that I have actually read lots of books and heard lots of stories about that War before this time. To think that today, for the first time, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was able to tell me what my father, a veteran of that War, was protecting me from: that in that War that defined our country, we all of us gave up our humanity, gave up our pride, gave up our Africanness, and took home instead 20 pounds. And those who gave us 20 pounds also in that moment gave up their humanity, gave up their right to being thought of as rational human beings, and became humanoids, just like we did.

And of course, the world watched when we died. The world watched when, in the Land of the Rising Sun, the withered rays of that half of a yellow sun shone down on the decaying aspirations of a fallen people.
I might regret this post at some point; but I want to remember the way I felt after reading Half Of A Yellow Sun. I want to remember how something died inside me today. I want to try and remember that the girls who are missing from Chibok are innocent, even if some of their fathers and grandfathers were responsible for the killings of the sixties. I want to remember this moment so that I can tell my children why we must never again go to a war; why the unity of this our democracy is non-negotiable; why the labours of our heroes past shall never be in vain.

I want to remember that the world was silent when we died, even if only for the next 30 seconds, through these tears.