by Onoshe Nwabuikwu
Olympics football and the story of Africa
Two days before the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics (on Friday July 27), the Games actually began with women’s football matches played in venues across Great Britain. At the end of the day’s matches, Africa came out severely battered as South Africa and Cameroon, Africa’s two representatives lost woefully on match day one. In Group E, Cameroon lost 0-5 to Brazil while South Africa lost 1-4 to Sweden in Group F.
The second round of matches on Saturday July 28 weren’t much better. South Africa lost again to Canada 0-3. And Cameroon also lost by same margin to Great Britain. Even for those of us who are good mathematicians (in football only), Africa’s two representatives are effectively out and no arithmetic can change that. The men did slightly better. After the first round of matches, there were three draws and only one loss by Egypt against Brazil. Senegal now has 4 points….Gabon has 1 point. Same as Morocco and Egypt.
However, there’s little difference between the big losers, losers by a narrow margin and even those who drew their matches. Yet, it isn’t that any of the African teams-men and women- is untalented. What’s often lacking apart from technical inadequacies is discipline and focus. There ought to be a purpose to a game. It isn’t enough to expend raw energy/strength, running all over the place with no real purpose. That’s the story of Africa, more or less. So much talent but little results to show.
Now, some people may be quick to say things would’ve been different had Nigeria qualified for the football category. The fact that both our male and female football teams failed to qualify in a game we’ve once won a gold medal should tell us something. We weren’t even good enough to qualify from Africa. So could Nigeria have made any real difference? During Euro 2012, one European player supposedly said that tournament was more difficult than the FIFA organised football World Cup. Because unlike the World Cup, there were no weak African teams to give opponents an easy and almost guaranteed three points. This remark had got me very angry. I now have to wonder if this person was wrong after all.
We could extend this analysis to other games that Africans are participating at the ongoing Olympics. And in the case of Nigeria, our entire Olympic participation is ‘built’ on planlessness. Everyone knows and says we didn’t have adequate preparations but somehow we are expecting to bring home some medals. In fact, the most laughable is that one about improving on our Beijing performance. Of course! Where else can you go from zero, certainly not minus zero?
If only it’s in sports there’s planlessness. A certain minister wanted Nigeria to win an Oscar from nowhere and with no visible plan. South Africa reportedly had a 10-year Oscars plan and won on the 8th year. Yet we keep dreaming like people high on some cheap substance.
What’s the Tinsel story?
Not too long ago, it would’ve been easy to explain the Tinsel story. Based on some form of fictional Nollywood, most of the story revolved round the Ade-Williams family. But now, I honestly can’t tell which direction Tinsel is headed as I’m often left confused. There are usually more questions than answers. Am I the only one who feels this way? Let’s look at Tinsel’s Romance Department. You’d have expected wild rich boy (omo baba olowo) Philip Ade-Williams (Gideon Okeke) to have a far more interesting love life than he has. Instead, he’s stuck between being a rebel without a cause or plain boring.
On the other hand, there have been all sorts of unbelievable dalliances. Think of Amaka, good old goody two shoes and boring Amaka (Funmi Holder) vs. Reginald. Amaka and Sunom (her ex-husband Reginald’s murderer) and whose baby she would go on to have. Amaka and Nero, who of all the many women he could have, chose to wax romantic over a woman heavily pregnant for someone else. Nothing could shake him off her then he disappears suddenly.
What about Angela Dede (Matilda Obaseki) who goes from being Tinsel town’s celebrity nutcase to sugar mummy? She’s now romancing an 18 year old boy, Emile Haruna (Okechukwu Christopher Okagbue). Even though Matilda’s acting has been on a downward trend, we now have a new person, Leonora Okine, playing Angela. The only thing she seems bent on is recreating Matilda’s flat monotonic delivery.
Let’s not forget to mention the Kwame/Telema/Soji love triangle. It had some believability until that too was mismanaged. What do we expect to see next, Mrs Haruna (Duro Onabolu) and Fred Ade-Williams (Victor Olaotan)? Which reminds me of the period when the hottest topic in Tinsel town was 60-something year old Fred’s love life. I can’t shake off the feeling of a story being often too drawn out, all the juice milked out and is hung to dry leaving viewers perplexed.
However, there are more fundamental questions. Just where is the Tinsel story headed? Are we still dealing with Nollywood, fictional or otherwise? Just when you think there’s a clear direction, the story takes off on a wild goose chase. Chuks’ school problems, Chuks marrying Ene. Chuks suddenly developing balls to become an expert funeral planner when Ziggy ‘died’. Or now Bimpe’s sleepwalking and even sleep dancing azonto. And her sleepwalking is important because…? What about the very contrived relationship between Soji (Gbenro Ajibade) and Bimpe? I won’t go into the Titi Kagbesioye/Shalewa/Shally’s Angels ‘expensive’ joke.
I could go on but unlike Tinsel, my time and space is not limitless. Time was when Tinsel was the must-watch series on TV. And I wrote to commend Tinsel during these good times. The relevant people need to take another look to know when the wobbling began. And they don’t have to take my word for it, they should ask other people.
Jannette, last evictee before finale
Twenty-two year old Jannette (Uganda) became the last housemate to be evicted from the Big Brother Africa House last Sunday before today’s finale. She and Kyle were the last couple left in the game which was the reason then head of house Wati saved himself and replaced Kyle for possible eviction. Kyle got the most votes (6) to Jannette’s vote. Uganda chose him too.
Jannette came into my consciousness with her reported comment to Nigeria’s Ola that she was a virgin. That statement would later be proved wrong but Jannette carried on regardless. Her greatest challenge was handling alcohol. Drunk, she became her alter ego Lola Fierce and did all sorts of things she must regret when sober.
Before last week’s live eviction Jannette wasn’t my favourite housemate, although I’ll be hard pressed to pick any favourite. But last Sunday, Jannette impressed me with her composure and intelligence. Host IK seemed bent on hassling her for some reason. But she held her own. If he’d done half of that to Goldie or Susan Harvey (she insists she went into the celebrity Upville house as ‘herself’), she’d have wailed off the stage. And I couldn’t help the inevitable comparison: ‘This is how to leave a show’. With your head held high. Jannette may have done all kinds of crazy and annoying things in the house but on that last day she deserved what she was called: ‘little princess’.
Six housemates battle to win the $300, 000 today: Prezzo (Kenya), Lady May (Namibia), Talia (Zambia), Wati (Malawi), Kyle (Uganda) and Keegan (South Africa).
‘While the rest of the world worries about the future, 1 billion Africans are sharing a coke…’
-Coca-cola TV advert.
The commercial opens with music and there’s some bit about how Africa is ahead in music. Also that Africa has produced more films than Hollywood and Hollywood. Who in Africa is producing these films? Why couldn’t someone give Nigeria/Hollywood the credit for out-producing the big film powers?
Then we get to how Africa is not worrying about its future unlike the rest of the world. What does this say about Africans and our ‘God-will-help-us’ attitude? Apparently, the ad is trying to put a positive spin on our worry-free lives because of Coke. But what comes out is that while the rest of the world is doing serious things like planning for the future, one billion Africans are sharing a Coke, same (one) bottle of Coke? Are we that poor?