by Onoshe Nwabuikwu
What has NTA done lately for …ex-footballers?
First, I should say this question wasn’t originally asked by me. And it was in the form of a declarative tweet by Obi Asika sometime around June. Asika is an entertainment and sports entrepreneur who runs Storm 360. Of himself, he says he is “focused on driving sports, music & entertainment projects out of Naija to the world. And the famous tweet: “Supersport gave jobs to Nigerian football legends; celebrate them and our athletes every day. Meanwhile, NTA, AIT, ARC, FRCN do thing”. There’s more than NTA accused/indicted in this tweet and there are quite a few acronyms, one of which (ARC) I don’t even know what it means. But my focus is on NTA. NTA belongs to the Nigerian government, it gets most of its funding from government and by extension it belongs to all of us. Why single out football, you may ask. There’s no debate that football is Nigeria’s main sport. It’s not so wrong to be a jack of one trade if that means giving it more seriousness. In any case, the ellipsis means another time, we can ask what NTA has done lately for…boxing, for example. And it doesn’t have to be just sports, the question could be asked: What’s NTA done lately… for Nollywood? …For independent producers? …For broadcasting?
Anyhow, watching ex-Super Eagles players Victor Ikpeba and Dosu Joseph last weekend on Supersport again reminded me of Obi Asika’s tweet. Where would any ex-Super Eagles players be without this new lease of life from Supersport? Probably at the mercy of NFF. And those would be the ‘lucky’ ones. Before asking about ex-footballers, what has NTA done for Nigerian football as a whole? I remember when the network station with more viewers it can count had the rights to the broadcast of local league matches and kept them locked up or showed matches when it wanted. Never mind that Minaj took over same rights and buried them even deeper. Now, we can watch local league matches live. Yes, it’s almost always before a near empty stadium but still better than nothing.
No one has yet noticed that Supersport is not Nigerian-owned. One of these days, someone is going to begin a campaign about the local league belonging to Nigeria, bla, bla. Especially when the smell of money is in the air. We do need to be nationalistic and I’m not against government going the extra mile to enact laws just to shut out the rest of the world if only there’s a better alternative at home. But do you think the people whose lives have been turned around really care about the nationality of the company giving their lives a new meaning? Don’t mind the clichés; I needed each of them to make the point.
Who do we blame for this? At this point, it would be easier to blame the octopus called government. Fortunately (or unfortunately), government is made up of individuals. And those individuals are placed to help citizens’ perceptions of government as caring and considerate. In other words, individuals in positions of governance can help make government look good. Or bad.
So instead of blaming a seemingly faceless government, perhaps we should focus attention on the leadership of the NTA. The network station was until a few months ago led by one Malam Usman Mohammed Magawata. The first time I wanted a picture of him, I searched the internet like I was digging for gold in my village Lampese. Surely being DG of an organisation like the NTA should’ve made him more visible?
There’s now an acting DG, Alhaji Musa Mayaki who from reports appears focused on reviving as many NTA stations as possible across the country. But it’s to the incoming DG we should pay more attention. We do not need an NTA station in every hamlet or hut. There’s something to be gained by providing better content. Being a public station is not a sentence to boredom. And as concerns ex-footballers, etc, NTA is better placed to act.
Think Like A Man
- Director: Tim Story
- Starring: Kevin Hart, Meagan Good, Taraji P. Henson, Mike Ealy, Terence J, Gabrielle Union
Act like a lady, think like a man… is what Steve Harvey tells women in his book of the same title. Lauren (Taraji P. Henson), Mya (Meagan Good), Kristen (Gabrielle Union) and Candace (Regina Hall) are four friends who depend on Harvey’s book to guide them in their relationships unknown to the men in their lives. However by some twist of fate, the men: Dominic (Michael Ealy), Michael (Terence J), Zeke (Romany Malco), Jeremy (Jerry Ferrara) discover the book and their secret. Instead of confronting them they conspire to play by the book or at least pretend to. But this is unsustainable as they’re soon found out.
I’d been told this film was chauvinistic and read even harsher comments but I found parts of ‘Think Like A Man’ easy to relate to. There are parts that are rather simplistic but I can relate to women wanting security and stability in relationships with the opposite sex and they try to achieve that security in different ways. Sometimes there’s an almost visible line between the traditionalists/romantics and modernists/feminists. I have heard a lot of theories but I think each woman should be free to make a choice and be prepared to live with that. It isn’t necessarily about one way being better than the other but more like ‘different folks…’
As the women in ‘Think Like A Man’ discover, things may not always be as complex as they appear. Not even as the self-help books make them to be. Chris Brown also appears as Alex and easy to believe him as a ‘player’.
I don’t know the full story of how Volt came about. So I can’t explain any reasons behind the choice of the name Volt. But what I do know is that Volt has become my shortcut to knowing about artistes. It’s done in a documentary format and relatively short, just enough time you’re willing to ‘waste’ on a musician who you may or may not like. I’ve seen the shows on Davido, Clarence Peters, Wiz Kid, etc. For instance, who could’ve guessed the omo baba olowo prays before he goes on stage?
The only point to be made is that we need more interesting documentaries on different artistes. I’ll like to see good documentaries on Tuface, M.I, etc.
Malta Guinness, Robin van Persie and Arsenal FC
According to the Malta Guinness (low sugar) TV commercial, the English Premiership League club, Arsenal FC have made Malta Guinness their preferred drink. Even though the drink is not available in large quantity outside Nigeria, I cannot argue with this statement. At best, the information is only relevant to Arsenal fans in Nigeria. Perhaps knowing that their favourite football stars not only drink Malta Guinness but choose it over other malt (?) drinks, they would gladly make the switch. Sounds too good to believe. But who knows how the mind of a fan works? You need a massive dose of faith/foolishness anyway especially if you are an Arsenal fan.
I’ve said all of the above to make what should be a fairly obvious point to the producers of that commercial: The footballer wearing the No 7 Arsenal jersey v. Persie still being shown in that TVC no longer plays for Arsenal FC. Robin van Persie now plays and wears the No. 20 jersey for Manchester United FC. So? They may have to reshoot parts of that commercial. That may incur extra costs but I’d imagine it can’t be anything Guinness can’t handle. Do they perhaps feel a little short-changed? That’s one thing (feeling short changed) long suffering Arsenal fans know plenty about.
If all fails, Malta Guinness can depart north London for Old Trafford, Manchester to woo Manchester United. I would’ve suggested a local league club like Enyimba or Heartland but I doubt anyone there has ever heard of Malta Guinness low sugar.