It is obvious that Africans have been victims of an established post-colonial World Order that has kept the continent mentally chained in an unsustainable ‘democracy’ formular that generates corrupt politicians and administrations, as well as weak institutions. It is also evident that the global superpowers have ‘planned’ the continent to be their cash cow, to underachieve and to remain dependent indefinitely.
The current and political drama happening in various countries is evidence of these.
Three types of Africans have arisen in this climate.
The vast majority observes everything going on around them, accepts it as their fate, remains passive, and does nothing!
There are people who watch the same things, cry, and wonder, “Why?” but do nothing.
Then there’s the third group, a minority, who observes the same problems, imagines a different possible ending, asks ‘why not?’ and then dares to do something.
The final type of African has remained the conscience of a continent that has been kept destitute by other global powers that perceive the continent as a valuable prize in a seemingly never-ending battle for survival in the world.
Africa is today like a plane laden with political, economic, cultural, and social cargo travelling through stormy weather, its fate determined by the skills of a drunken pilot.
Those of us whose lives are likewise like aprons attached to Sport are watching the unfolding political drama in Africa with fascination, daring to dream and foresee a different positive future for the continent by saying, ‘Why not?’ We risk doing things that only people with the correct ‘eyes’ will notice.
I received a communication this week from a person who knows Senator Owan Enoh well. He claims to me that the new Sports Minister is a renegade and a “Dreamer.” He informs me that the man is resolved to disprove every sceptic by accomplishing in sports what no minister before him had ever accomplished. That may appear to be a pipe dream, yet it is what has piqued my interest. It appeals to me.
Furthermore, the fact that this person is from the Sunny Obazu-Ojeagbase’school’ of sports thought and practise forces me to take him seriously and believe him. As a result, my opinions will reflect that belief and may startle the faint of heart.
Nigerian sports is now pregnant.
Its bulging ‘belly’ contains an unborn ‘child’ of fate. On the surface, it appears like it will give birth to another kid of perpetual catastrophe, as is customary. But for those who can see beyond the disappointment of appointing a ‘Sheriff who is not of the stock of Nigerian sport that is never considered important enough to attract special interest and attention, it is the ideal setting for a new and different kind of child.
Football is the country’s most popular sport, and it serves as a yardstick for measuring the success or failure of Nigerian athletes and sports administrators. Unfortunately, for an administration to be regarded successful, football must also succeed.
However, two of the country’s greatest football clubs, Enyimba FC of Aba and Remo Stars FC of Ikenne, were eliminated in the first round of the African Club Championship last week. Although this is an indicator that football is still not doing well in the country, it also marks the end of a period before Owan Enoh. After this period, his impact as a new Minister will be felt and measured.
Failures in men’s basketball (failure to qualify for the 2024 Olympics) and athletics (with a barren outing at the World Championships in Budapest) will not be blamed on him either.
Lines have been drawn under these failures, and his own tenure will begin in 2024.
Senator Owan Enoh taking over at a time when the mood is dark and foreboding is a positive omen. It appeals to me. It’s an ideal location for new dreams and asking the creative question, “Why not?”
I believe that things cannot be any worse in sports development because I have no facts, only my conviction and a gut feeling. Things will begin to go northward in terms of progress and achievement with a little imaginative effort. Fortunately, Chief Sunday Dare done a fantastic job of creating some foundations that will need to be reinforced in order to deliver a healthy harvest.
Even the new Minister must have felt the putrid breath of the usual’scavengers’ in Nigerian sports, ‘experts’ who feast on their carcass, two weeks into his term. He must separate the wheat from the chaff in some way.
Still in the spirit of ‘adventturism,’ he must grab the chance in this chaotic atmosphere to begin to conceive a ‘impossible’ new and bright dawn to follow the current tragedy.
In Nigeria, the core ingredients for success remain unchanged. All he has to do is do things differently to get different results. He should never resort to previous failing ways and dance to the tune of so-called experts’ loud shouts.
This is the time to chart a new course for Nigeria, to join the massive global sports business and achieve “what no minister has accomplished before him.”
Personally, I am looking forward to the future. I may make a small contribution by expressing my vision of Nigerian sports beginning in 2024. So here’s my fantastic news… Football will be at the forefront of a new sports revolution in Nigeria. It simply needs to start succeeding for other sports to be recognised and valued as tools for national unity and development.
Success will begin in early 2024.
The African Cup of Nations will be held in Cote D’Ivoire. The Super Eagles will have the best and most foreign players from Europe’s top leagues. The Super Eagles will reign and win AFCON 2024 if the Nigeria Football Federation’s little technical crisis is resolved. The players are on the team.
With the current tempest (caused by a preoccupied Athletics Federation) subsiding, Nigeria’s female athletes would be free to return to their best and lead the charge to make Paris 2024 a memorable experience for all Nigerians. Tobi Amusan will inspire the birth of a new dawn for athletics beyond Nigeria to the rest of Africa, having acquired hard, useful, but painful lessons.
This is entirely “out of the box.”
I envision a cultural collaboration and alliance between significant players in the general entertainment business, such as music, dance, film, theatre, fashion, tourism, culture, arts, and sports, and the superstars.playing a new and larger role in deploying their soft-power gifts and a new shared message to drive the advancement of the Black race lead by Nigeria in an emerging new World Order of things.
Sport in Africa will be the catalyst for a really global partnership of Black people. They will have to band together and support the proposed World Cup hosting in West Africa in 2034, a 10-year, unprecedented, and innovative development project that will impact the entire continent, create a continent with fewer economic and social boundaries, and spread a new kind of nationalism throughout the continent that will replace the past and current post-colonial mentality.
Nigeria will host the FIFA World Cup final and win it in 2034. Its value chain and offshoots will alter the place of the Black person on the planet.
That is a future I am delighted to be a part of, one that has already been designed by the elements. In addition, as bleak as the current political atmosphere appears, I see new opportunities for a new sort of democracy tailored to the continent and its people, with sports playing a key role. Despite the upheaval in Africa right now, the future seems bright.