Friday, August 31, 2012
Beloved, with barely four months to the closure of the year, you will agree with me that the last days of 2012 is upon us. As they say, time truly flies. These are sensitive times in both the history of our nation and our personal lives. The world is moving at a speed of light, and like an unstoppable train, it waits for no man. It is your choice to make your life count. This choice is one you must make. Even if you choose to do nothing with your life, you are already making a choice. Ask yourself the question 'what have I been doing with my life?' Remember, twenty years from today, you will have a family. Will your children be proud of the kind of father or mother that they have? Will they have to suffer through life the way you did? These are pertinent questions you must begin to answer. Suffice it to say, there is never a plausible excuse for failure. The world owes no man aliving. No matter what your reasons for failing might be, it dosen't justify you; because someone, somewhere, has gone through a worse case before, yet made something out of his life. Check your life today. What are you investing your hours on? What are you dwelling your thoughts on? What actions are you taking? What values are you adding to your days? You must make a choice today not to live the mediocre life. You must take a stance to make your dreams come true. The good thing is that, no matter the mistakes, blunders and misdeeds you have made in the past, you can open anew chapter today and alter the scheme of things. Never forget, it's your life. Your friends, your parent, your siblings, none of them will live it for you and only you is accountable for your life. Always ask yourself everyday 'what am I doing with my one precious life?
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Time truly has a way of changing everything! Four years looks like a decade now. The 'yes, we can' creed has gradually slipped into the realms of fiction, and the mantra of change as preached by Obama has since remained a mirage. Four years on, and the American populace are grappling with what they called 'Broken Promises', by the Obama presidency. As Barack Obama must have found out, leadership is truly a burden; a burden that takes a great toll. The euphoria of his emergence as president inflated hope beyond reason, and left a myopia on his actual capacity as a leader. There is no gainsaying that the conundrum in which America finds itself is very enormous and gruelling to be fixed within four years, by one man. Nonetheless, the manner of change in which Obama canvassed instilled a frightening hope. One that keeps fading with the passage of every new day. Since 2008, a staggering 3.6 million Americans have been added to social security disability insurance program. The total number of private sector jobs is still 4.3 million below the January 2008 peak. Now, he runs for president in the same economic crisis that helped catapult him to the White House in the first place. Obama simply divides opinion. Some American media houses describe him as the most mysterious president since Jimmy Carter. The New York Times called him 'the greatest deciever of men'. The cliché, 'welcome to Obama's America, where nothing works' has become fashionable for most of his rivals. However, Obama's rival, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, have been written off as novices. It is believed in some quaters that should Obama lose the presidency to them in the upcoming polls, it will be less because of the ingenuity of these duo, and more of the need to dispense the burden that Obama has become. However, because this is America, Obama might just get a rare second chance to mend his broken promises.
Sunday, August 12, 2012
They might have been taught the unpleasant life of paltry success last season, but you can only write off Barcelona at your own peril. Getting to the Champions League semi final, finishing second in the league and winning a copa del rey is no failure in any way, but such are the high standards at the Nou Camp. With the exit of the imperious Pep Guardiola, Tito Vilanová has his job description well cut out. He must wrestle back the La Liga trophy and look to put Barca back in the top heights of Champions League success. It is indeed a big ask for the former Barca number two, who will be testing such murky waters for the first time. However, Barca have an enviable culture of producing young and successful manager. Frank Ridjkaard and Pep Guardiola are living testimonies. It will be leaping before you look to outrightly draw conclusions as to who will lift the La Liga trophy. It is obviously too close to call, but one thing we can guarantee is that the battle between C.Ronaldo's Real Madrid and Lionel Messi's Barca, will be as fierce, competitive and exicting as you can expect.
Many have said, and rightly so, that the La Liga is a league of Real Madrid, Barcelona and others. You only need to look at the gap in points in the past five years between the top two and the rest of the league, to lend credence to that arguement. However, it is salient to mention here that the both sides are arguably the best two teams in the world. Thus, it is a travesty to the rest of the 18 teams, that the two massives should even ply their trade in the same turf. Real Madrid has truly come of age since the coming of Jose Mourinho. Like him or loathe him,you certainly can't resist the special one. How he turns anything he touches into gold, is a testimony to his ingenious nature. No doubt, the Galaticos are now a rejuvenated, solid and more disciplined side. Not only did they win the La Liga trophy last time, they did it with some swagger and panache. Winning 32 out of 38 games, and scoring above a century of goals, was a league record. In addition to retaining the trophy, the goal will also be to add a long awaited Champions League trophy to make it a decade of trophy in Europe.
For Roberto Di Matteo's Chelsea fc, the greatest burden for them this season, will be the burden of success. Having won the much coveted Champions League trophy, they will have to muster fresh motivation. By acquring stars such as Eden Hazard and Oscar, Roman has sent a clear message of ambition. Nevertheless, how will Chelsea cope without their greatest hero, Dider Drogba? With every new manager at Anfield, comes a new belief. Brenden Rodgers has certainly not cut his teeth in the biggest stage of football, but you can expect him to join in the frey. It's a big season for Liverpool, but if reality is anything to go by, then a fourth place finish is the best that the Reds can hope for. Is there a more curious and intriguing team like Arsenal fc? Eight years, and the wait for a silverware of whatever composition goes on. Perhaps, looking at their squad, it is a wonder how they have been ableto still remain at the top. Should RVP stay, then Arserné Wenger's boys will have a straining hope of getting at least a trophy. Perhaps, it is time to spare a thought for Andre Villas Boas and Tott Hotspur. The rookie manager will be hoping to reshape his broken reputation. But, Spurs are not Chelsea, and the indices of success at Stamfor Bridge and White Hart Lane varies. Keeping Luka Modric will be his greatest feat. The Die is cast!
Seriously, we have missed it. The thrills it brings, the exictement it conjures and the heart breaks it doles out. This is why we have missed it. After the EPL season ended in May, we had the Euros between June and July, and the olympics after that. Yet, we just can't get enough of football, and football itself can't stop giving. It is barely one week to the commencement of the new Barclays English Premier League season, and the bookmakers are already out, and expectations arehigh. We doubt if any season could match last season in terms of drama and intrigues, especially the one we saw on the last day of the league. But then, we can never tell with football. No doubt, among the twenty teams, some will manage to survive, some will struggle to get to the top half, some will struggle to get to the top half, while some will simply exist to make up the numbers. Yet there are those that will yearn for gold and tussle for the summit. Champions Manchester City will obviously be many people's favourite, but it is apt to state here that it is even harder to defend the EPL title, than it is to win it for the first time. Having said that, City are a side to reckon with. They are yet to get the petro-dollars rolling in the transfer market, but you only need to look at the entire squad to see the assault of talents at Roberto Mancini's disposal. Say what you may about him, but Sir Alex Ferguson and his United team are never push overs. They went trophyless last season, but expect a resurgence from the Red Devils. With new acquisations such as Kagawa and the likes, you will expect United to compete on all fonts and wrestle for the summit.
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
The pandemic that has crept into our social, political and economic fabrics, has continued to take it's toll on our national performance at the London 2012 olympics. That we cannot even manage to clinch a paltry bronze medal at the olympics, is a terrifying reality. Or how do you explain that a nation of over 165 million people cannot even muster a medal in the over 500 medals that have since been dispensed at the games. Yet, nations with little population like Jamaica, Cyprus, Belarus, Greneda and the likes have continued to rewrite the record books at the game. Instead, we were handed a first class massacre by the United States in the basketball competition. It ended 156 to 73, the greatest defeat in olympics basketball history. We simply never learn. We play to the gallery for three years and six months, and begin preparations with six months to go. And we expect to compete with the likes of Micheal Phelps, the Williams sisters, Lebron James, Roger Federer, Usain Bolt and the likes? It is the most pathetic stage of delusion for us to expect that 'miracles' is a Nigerian. It bleeds the heart to even see some Nigerian athletes winning medals for other nations. The misdemeanor of 'Team Nigeria' at the olympics lends credence tothe testimony that Nigeria is only brilliant in the art of 'theftology'. The United States is good in basketball, the East Africans are good in marathon, the South Africans in swimming. What are we good at? What? Just what?
Friday, August 3, 2012
She woke up with a flourishing smile, the kind that was reserved for the gods. Her eyes was a sight to behold. It radiated with a certain bloom. Her eye lid stood erected, the brow tilting upwards, firm and intriguing. The day lingered like a routine, Nkem simply glided through the day. It was around 2pm, when fate decided to call time on her eventful life. She walked into the shop of her hair stylist. The familarity was telling. They exchanged pleasantries in a proximity that could not be gainsayed. The process began as usual. The hair stylist began by undoing her already stale hairstyle, and before she proceeded to fixing another facade to restore Nkem's beauty. She also deemed it fit to do a thorough washing on the hair. She washed the hair with a flourish and dexterity. A dexterity that tells us that her hands have seen many years of strafing people's hair, and beating them to shape. As soon as this done, the hair stylist hurried to the shop opposite her own, to get hair cream. It's a pleasant wonder how she often exhaust her own. Perhaps, it was a testimony that business was looking up. As she was still there, Nkem sat in her stool, waiting patiently and perhaps, thinking of how her new hair-do will open the flood gate of suitors. But this was to be her last thought. BOOM! was the next thing that could be heard. It was a suicide bomber, who just inflicted havoc. His wreckage wasmore than a handful. Nkem's body laid lifeless, gutless and dead. As the hair stylist returned from her lender's store, she envisaged the damage. Her eyes remained wide open, her mouth flapped itself in utter surprise. She cried, she wailed. She panted,she gulped. As is often the case, a scene had already been created. Nkem's corpse was the spectacle.This event was a gruesome reminder of the charade that had befallen us. A tale that should better be left unimagined, the Nigerian tale. A tale we pray will someday end.