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Odegbami: Super Eagles – The Black Man’s Burden, Responsibility And Hope!

Odegbami: Super Eagles – The Black Man’s Burden, Responsibility And Hope!

I am not racist in any way, shape or form. There isn’t even an atom of it in my DNA.

Unfortunately, I also now understand clearly that as a black man, I belong to a specie that has probably always been relegated by some deep-rooted cultural design to the lowest rung of the world’s systems.

After decades of varied personal experiences, including travelling the world and seeing how other races react to the black person, I have come to the rather unfortunate independent conclusion that the black person is not the most loved specie on earth. And that’s putting it mildly.

Looking through the archives of history, the real situation would most likely be that he has never been considered at par with the rest of humanity. Think sincerely and shed your own tears!

Zenith Ziva

In my limited experience also, I have observed the futility, in a lot of ways, of his struggle to earn respect and to be treated as an equal by other races. His potentials have never been enough to win that struggle. Rather his best accomplishments and contributions (even in providing the essential manpower for the development of other cultures and civilisations) have been treated and credited in isolation, and have never rubbed off on the entire race, or even a geographical region.

So, no black country on earth has managed to shake off the subtle linkage between skin colour and their physical underdevelopment of the environment. For Nigeria, the country with the largest black population on earth, this is a huge burdento carry.

Even black Americans, with all their giant strides and contributions in building the most advanced civilization in the history of the world, they still carry a weighty load of the skin colour and their black African roots within their adopted country, the United States of America.

Of all human activities, sports have proven to be the most level of all playing ‘fields’. They have, through the years and through struggles also, provided the greatest opportunities and platforms through which the mental yoke of inequality can be thrown out of the window.

Testing the limits of physical human capacity, skills and endurance destroy genetic divides and differences, and takes sports competition amongst all of mankind beyond the myopic limits of superficial superiority.

Competition, therefore, in the presence of the largest global audience between persons carrying the independent banners of their countries defined only by physical geography, provides an excellent get-out-of jail card for the black person’s mental and physical yoke.

That’s what the FIFA World Cup and, to a lesser emotional extent, the Olympic Games provide.

Sports are one veritable tool that the black person must explore and exploit for his emancipation. That’s why as theSuper Eagles of Nigeria go to Russia next summer, they carry on their shoulders not just theresponsibility of one country, but of all black people in the world.

Unfortunately, unofficially, the World Cup, with its global prestige, and its power to impact the human psyche, is a project that is not originally scripted for a black African country to win!

Before this past week, Nigeria (and Senegal, the second country from black Africa in the World Cup) would only have been just another country at the football fiesta,expected to fill the quota of racial representation, add some colour and cultural spectacle to the event with their singing, drumming and dancing supporters in the terraces, provide easy points for the more ‘powerful’ football nations, and quietly disappear and be forgotten when the serious battles for the most coveted sports trophy on earth begin from the second round.

No, it has never been a serious consideration outside Africa that a black African country will win the World Cup. Never! That has always been the unscripted plot. And it was going to be so again in Russia next summer, until this past week!

When it happened at the Olympic Games in 1996, it was an accident that was taken and treated in isolation and quickly rested before it developed into a trend. Nigeria, naively, did not advance the impact of that monumental achievement beyond the euphoria of the Gold medal and use it, as the late Muhammed Ali did after the 1964 Olympics, to fight for human equality.

The West simply swallowed their pride and allowed Nigeria, the black man’s most powerful representative on earth, to return to his old ways of bad governments, endemic corruption, low-level development, endless internal political crisis, poverty mentality and materialistic propensities driven by adopted foreign standards, cultures and values.

Another opportunity now beckons.

This time it comes in the aftermath of a simple friendly match.

This past week, Nigeria took on Argentina in what was expected to be a routine match, with Argentina giving Nigeria some lessons on the modern game of football. The world did not pay much attention until the news broke of the most unlikely of results, a deserved masterful display by the Africans, and the defeat of one of the teams being tipped to win the 2018 World Cup.

The result of that small match has ignited new tensions in the world of football. Suddenly, Nigeria is being scrutinized by the rest of the world. This nation has been thrown into the deep end of a situation it was definitely unprepared for. The country must embrace the new challenge which this will definitely thrust upon her and convert it to strength required to steer through the turbulence and rapids of the World Cup.

With that victory over Argentina, Nigeria must wake up to the reality of the burden it carries, to the responsibility it has to much more than its 180 million people, and to the hope of all black people on earth. Winning the World Cup is not as remote as it has always been thought to be. It may indeed be within touching distance.

Undoubtedly, winning the World Cup will be a most effective tool to advance the continuing struggle for the emancipation of the black person on earth.

For the Super Eagles, therefore, the 2018 World Cup is a burden, a responsibility and hope for the black race!

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  • samuel 4 years ago

    what a lovely essay. I give it five stars

  • Amos johnson 4 years ago

    What an article

  • Edoman 4 years ago

    It has nothing to do with skin color. it has everything to do skill. Pele, George Wear, Usobio, Rasheed Yakini, mathematic Odegbami and many others were all Black men. They all excel. You can not win world Cup with Akpeyi as the best goal keeper in the Nation. Nigeria will be lucky to come out from the group level, believe me.

    • John Faloye 4 years ago

      Edoman, you are quite right but Chief Odegbami is talking sense. However, the goalkeeping department has to be fortified. I do not know what problem Ike Shorunmu is having with bringing Enyeama back to the team. If Nigeria will do well at the world cup, I believe we should try to get the best we have to participate. If Enyeama is brought back and tested, and if he looks better than all we have at present, why not allow him. His experience at the world cup makes him a better option.

    • DAVID AFOLABI 4 years ago


  • chuddyl 4 years ago

    for the umpteenth time, I give a high five to the mathematical Odegbami. thank you for this wake up call. this is hoping that the super eagles understand the importance of the moment.

  • energy 4 years ago

    I have a funny theory, Blatter admitted that world cup grouping can be manipulated. After Nigeria show in 1994 it’s possible that other grouping have been manipulated to ensure they don’t go far. And I think this apply to other strong African sides too. With defeat of Argentina, I fear for Nigeria.

  • We can win the world cup. I believe…

  • Let keep hope this is football anything can happen there is no small team in footbal again

  • Ayodele 4 years ago

    Well Don Sir

  • The black race has been oppressed so many times but thanks to our government. Africa has been known to have very corrupt and bad government run by very bad people who have no interest of the people at heart. Egypt was the first world power who built the highly scientific pyramid. What happened? Bad government that could not sustain that feat and move on to other feats. They are busy fighting Israel together with other nations around Israel. During the slave trade era, the slave masters could only succeed because of the cooperation they got from the government or kingdoms. The kings were busy amassing wealth dangled before them and they swallowed both the bate and the sinker. This world is about survival of the best. The ‘white man’ has to survive with his people and if it takes the oppression of a race who has mineral resources to survive, so be it. If it required that a race should be kept educationally backwards to survive, so be it. My friend’s kids are dual citizens of Nigeria Italy. They are schooling in Sapele Nigeria. The government still remembered that kids needed to take some immunization. They requested the parents to bring the kids for this immunization but because they are in Nigeria they could not take them down. Repeated emails were sent to them as reminders. The last email warned them that failure to bring the kids for immunization on a particular date will mean court case. The parents were forced to come to Nigeria to take the kids just for this. Will Nigeria government be so concerned? No! No! No!×100. How many of outwkids are out there unimmunized. This is just one little area. They are concerned about road and they tar the roads that are even unused. They are concerned about power (light) so that a whole year runs out without a blink of power off. They are concerned about education so that there are few country among them that the educational level there that us below 80% and the 20% is mostly blacks when prefer to be drug pushes and other vices because what money can buy. We should blame the backwardness if the black on our rulers. If we feel oppressed, we give them the opportunity to do so as they feel oppressing us will make them survive with our resources both human and natural resources. Even in sport we are not beating them and it can never be a flat playing ground.

  • Thank you sir…The Mathematical…what a wake-up call…