Sunday, February 10, 2013

The soccer champions of Africa

Cheers! Cheers!! Cheers!!! Yes, the Super Eagles of Nigeria made all Nigerians proud today by winning the final match of the 2013 African Cup of Nations soccer competition between Nigeria and Burkina Faso! This final game, which ended 1-0 in favor of Nigeria, was played in South Africa. The Super Eagles are now the champions of the continent-wide African Cup of Nations competition! Bravo to National Coach, Stephen Keshi! He is now the king of African football coaching! He has now effectively enthroned his own winning formula for African soccer. It's a new day for the Keshi doctrine of soccer management. Videos of his triumphs will now become a must-see in coaching circles around the world! He has refurbished and redeemed the image of the club of Nigerian coaches. The winning goal by golden boy Sunday Mba, which came in the first half, was of world class standard. May his reign never end! Yes, at least on this score, we can say with pride that Nigeria earned its nickname as the giant of Africa. 

This victory goes beyond soccer in terms of its symbolic implications for the national psyche of the Nigerian nation which has taken quite a beating from a succession of negative news stories and disfiguring images in recent weeks. The nation needed a morale lift! The Super Eagles delivered one today in a resounding manner! 

As happens from time to time, including Nigeria's other glorious moments in international soccer, such as its dual Olympic soccer championships in recent decades, today's victory is reflective of Nigeria's potentials for victory in several other areas of national life--when it can get its act together. That is, when a Nigerian national project is managed effectively, more often than not, it's brought to a successful conclusion. So, the Nigerian nation can win in other areas as well--be it national, state and local politics, national economic affairs, etc., provided that it deploys an effective management. State and local governments can win--when managed effectively! Pipe borne water can flow when managed effectively! The institutions of learning can perform wonders when managed effectively. Instead of being in a permanent state of comatose, the electrical supply system can meet its consumers' expectations when managed effectively! Trash collection will become a routine success when managed effectively! The list is endless. All that this young nation needs to do is to figure out a way manage its affairs effectively, and the masses of Nigeria will begin to harvest the fruits of democracy! In all other areas of its national life, it surely has the potential to do better than it's doing now. More on this later!