by Oyindamola Olofinlua
Octopus Paul became a star after he correctly predicted the outcome of certain matches at the 2010 World Cup, and till date, there are still people who hold Paul, “the psychic” octopus, in awe. He has thousands of fans on Facebook, and it wouldn’t be difficult to imagine that in some climes, Paul, the Octopus is regarded as a god.
In memory of the famous octopus, there is now a “Paul Corner” at The Sea Life Aquarium in Oberhausen, Western Germany. The memorial was well received by his fans worldwide who clamored for a place of remembrance for the unusual cephalopod.
The showpiece is a model of the octopus, almost two metres high, on top of a soccer ball. Inside the ball rests an urn which holds the ashes of the hero. Newspaper clippings documenting Paul’s life and gifts sent to the museum are also there on display. One of the more remarkable gifts – sent by a fan from New Zealand – is a red handmade football shirt with eight holes; one for each tentacle.
In some quarters it is believed that Octopus Paul did not die a natural death, that he was murdered, as he barely lived up to life expectancy of his species. However, no matter what anyone believes about the death of Paul, what is true is that like every hero, even after death, he retains his splendor.
Permit me to ask: If Octopus Paul had belonged to a Nigerian, would he have been so honoured?