The past week was an interesting one. And while an event such as the 50th anniversary of the Asaba Massacre could have dampened the mood of some section of people, it’s safe to conclude it was a largely happy week for most Nigerians. We often find ourselves lamenting one situation or the other, and it’s not because we are a people who are naturally wont to dwell on the unpleasant. No. It’s a function of the myriad of problems we are plagued with. But sometimes…sometimes, the stars just appear to align to our favour, and in those instances, we must never fail to celebrate our little victories.
In this spirit, I have decided to highlight the achievements of a couple of Nigerians who gave us a reason to smile or be inspired in one way or the other in the week gone by. Without further ado, here they are;
Wizkid: It all started with him. And though technically, his London concert at the Royal Albert Hall happened penultimate Saturday night, it’s more than worthy to squeeze it into the list of developments that made Nigerians happy in the past week. A young man, less than 30 years old, who was born and bred in Nigeria, was able to sell out (2 days before the concert) an over 5,000 capacity hall in faraway Europe, thereby becoming the first African artiste to do so. You don’t have to like Wizkid to appreciate his artistry and what he has been able to achieve with it. The young man continues to break boundaries and project Nigeria in a positive light outside the shores of the country, a gesture we can never have too much of, considering the often negative perception of Nigerians in the West.
Teachers: These are a category of people we do not celebrate nearly enough, and even though I am trying to stay away from any form of negativity in this post, it’s hard not to mention the less than appropriate pay and all-round poor welfare of teachers in this part of the world. It was their day a couple of days ago, and I have to admit that every anniversary of Teachers Day elicits nostalgia in me. I fondly remember the teachers, tutors, and lecturers who shaped my life with their knowledge, instructions, and of course, discipline. Oh, the discipline (I remember being flogged on my tenth birthday because I failed my math test, but that’s a story for another day). These are everyday stars, really; and not just people who deserve to be remembered on only one day.
Aisha Ahmad: Barely 40, but now the only woman at the top hierarchy of the apex bank, and before then her rich experience in the commercial banking sector, sum up the inspirational story of Aisha Ahmad. Little wonder why the news of her nomination caused quite a stir on social media. And in spite of the controversies that have trailed the report, it has to be said that one has to be doing not just one thing, but a lot of things right to have earned the presidential nod to occupy such an important and sensitive position. Her nomination as the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, especially at such a young age also lends credence to the argument of the “a woman can have it all” proponents. A woman can be intelligent, beautiful, get married, have kids, sustain the homefront, and reach the pinnacle of her career. If you had doubts about this before, well, Mrs Ahmad has just proven it is possible.
The Super Eagles: A match that wasn’t exactly their best, and a goal that wasn’t forthcoming until late in the game. As the defining match between Nigeria’s Super Eagles and the Chipolopolo of Zambia progressed, many of us grew worried about bungling the chance to seal a world cup place once and for all, and not having to do it the hard way. The Super Eagle’s qualification for the world cup is unarguably the biggest highlight of the average Nigerian’s week. For the first time in a long time, we have no need to hold our breaths while deploying our mathematical skills to determine how the nation would manage to squeeze into a world cup spot. The senior national team capped a week that had us celebrating “small” victories with the big one. And if you had an idea what football means to us as a nation, you’d understand why this is such a big deal.
P.S: Just in case you missed my social media posts, and also to commemorate the International Day of the Girl, I am happy to announce that my short story “Beauty’s Curse” was selected to feature in the anthology of short stories tagged “The Different Shades of a Feminine Mind”. It’s an Afriwowri (African Women Writer’s) Literary Project featuring 19 other stories from women writers across Africa. You can download the E-book here–>www.datafilehost.com/d/4b184ed0 or https://issuu.com/…/docs/the_different_shades_of_a_feminine_
Enjoy the read!