I was watching AIT (a Nigerian channel) yesterday and was lucky to catch them showng the International Olympics grand prix live. Well, I am not sure if it was the same international olympics or just a bunch of African countries…..anyways, the national stadium Abuja was the venue and only God knows how much Nigeria would have bidded to be able to host the games. It was quite shocking to realise that there was no one at the stadium! I mean i have never seen anythin like it….the athletes were running their hearts out for their respective countries and there was nobody to cheer them on….oh, i forgot, there were a group of secondary school kids in one pew and wait for it….in their school uniforms! the poor kids were probably whisked out of school to the stadium to avert an embarrasing situation where there would be no audience. The funny thing is that the Nigerian athletes were absolutely fabulous, i was cheering wildly in my little house here,they won every race; sprint, hurdles, name it, they nailed everthing! and the Nigerian public showed our appreciation with a measly bouquet of flowers presented by some rough looking woman in ankara!
I am sure people knew Nigeria would be hosting these games, how come no one showed up to watch? I remember i use to love watching the olympics as a kid, then NTA used to show it live from wherever and even then, Nigerian athletes were da bomb! the likes of Mary Onyali, Sunday Bada, Falilat Ogunkoya etc.
We really should stop waiting for the government to do everything, everyone’s gotta contribute their own quota. when there’s a game/sport you love being played live in some area/town close to you….go see it live instead of opting to watch from the living room sofa! Even the falcons didn’t get much support from the Nigerian public last weekend either, the stadium was deserted and I thought that was because it was female football before i saw the olympics footage yesterday.
A few days ago, I mentioned that maybe we should start supporting our local football clubs the way we support international clubs. What makes Manchester united, Chelsea FC, Liverpool, Arsenal etc great football clubs isn’t just great managers or rich owners…its the fans who never fail to show their loyalty to the club by showing up for as many games the club plays as possible…thats their secret folks.
Nigerians are sports loving people, and we’re damn good at it too, we just have to work on letting that love inspire a loyalty that will translate into funds for the NFA and other sport associations.