Today I have a guest post from a very special person, my youngest brother Ikenna. I literally had to sit beside him to get this post out of him and I had to type it myself because he “wasn’t in the mood to type after writing”.
This pictures were taken at the National Museum Lagos, don’t know why I keep procrastinating about writing a post about that visit.
His post is heavily tilted towards football (you’ll get it even if you absolutely hate football, I promise) but it’s really not about football. My brother loves football, he used to play as a child and still lives and breathes it today. I was going to share an embarrassing football memory (embarrassing for him) but he’s bribed me so I’ll shut up and face my work. Here’s his post, he hopes you enjoy it.
Ok…. My sister (elder sister of course) has been hounding me for days to write an article for her blog, something about Easter. Well it’s not like I can’t (side eyes- I can!) but I found it difficult to put my finger on anything from the Easter story. Besides you all heard many things about the death of Christ today, I didn’t want to repeat the same story.
So started a merry-go-round of choices or things to write about; from politics to sports, female football, academics… nothing stuck, nothing caught my interest. I decided to write about choices seeing that I couldn’t even make one. I’m writing about the choices we make day by day and how they haunt or compliment us.
Reflection on choices this Easter.
It is obvious so far that the one thing that man is most successful at is making the wrong choices. Remember how there was a tree of good and evil in the bible, God gave man freedom to dominate everything but he was not allowed to eat from the tree of life. We all know the rest of the story… So began the trend of man making the wrong choices.
Let’s go down memory lane shall we, remember the name Gabriel Agbonlahor? Well back in 2007, he was the toast of the Nigerian community in England and the scourge of Chelsea. That guy scored winning goal after winning goal against Chelsea for Aston Villa. Back then he had the enviable dilemma of choosing between two colossal giants of football, England and Nigeria. He was the toast of the premier league thus making him the beautiful bride vigorously courted by these two nations. The then Nigerian Football Association (NFA) now Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) guaranteed him a regular starting spot, as well as being the arrow head of a new golden generation of Super eagles that would go on and conquer the world but he had his heart set on playing for England.
Biko is he single? There’s something about him that is making my heart race even though he gave me anxious moments in the past (I’m a Chelsea FC fan, Ikenna’s Man United ). Bad choices or not he’s cute :-p
In his words “there’s a feeling I have watching England play, I don’t have the same feeling for Nigeria.” His older relatives cited several cautionary tales of players of Nigerian descent who against better judgment chose England over their father land and were promptly used and dumped by their adopted country England who already had an abundant crop of players in their positions unlike the Nigerian side that had better regard for such foreign grown players. Players like John Fashanu, Nedum Onuoha (who never even made a competitive appearance for England), Adebayo Akinfenwa and Ikechi Anya easily come to mind, but he stuck to his guns and chose England.
Ten years on, with only three appearances- two friendly matches and late five minute cameo appearance in a World cup qualifier which was a practical dead rubber game for England (or as we say it here, fulfil all righteousness game- they had already qualified) with no goals and a dwindling career at Aston villa where he has only scored one goal this season against his 10 goals in 38 appearances in the 2006/2007 season. Something tells me he regrets his decision.
We then look at Victor Moses who emerged in late 2010 from the Crystal Palace academy, he was bought by Wigan Athletic. He represented England in under-18, under-19 and under-21 levels but switched allegiance to Nigeria and has not looked back since with 24 international caps and scoring seven goals, winning the 2013 African Nations cup along the way, making two appearance at the 2014 FIFA world cup, switching to Chelsea FC in 2012 where he won the 2013 UEFA Europa league at the first time of asking and contributing goals and assists when called upon.
While Agbonlahor’s career took a downward spiral upon his choice, Moses’s career hasn’t slowed down even with the injuries along the way which he has fully recovered from. His career has gone from strength to strength and he is currently plying his trade at Westham united on loan from Chelsea FC, spearheading their push for an European championship spot (UEFA Champions league or at the very least Europa League) as they currently occupy fifth spot on the English Premiership table. They are a point behind fourth placed Manchester City and level on point with sixth place Manchester United.
As these two examples have shown, our choices define our path to success or ignominy sometimes what we see as being best for us in the short-term might actually be bad for our long term good. Before making choices especially the important long range ones, do your research, seek advice from more experienced people in the field and pray, pray and pray. Leaping is good but watching before leaping is best of all.
Ikenna’s promised to write a weekly sports feature here but considering what I went through to get this post out of him, let’s just keep our fingers crossed.