Tonight Nigeria is taking on South Korea but there is no celebration because Nigeria is fading fast from its past… but that doesn’t mean that Nigerians will not enjoy and take advantage of the World Cup; if there is no win on the field, then business should win.
Nigeria is one of Africa’s footballing power houses; even when they don’t have the best team, they are always expected to perform well, after all, they are one of the richest nations.
It was fair for us to have legitimate expectations that Nigeria would at least go into the second round. Do better than countries like Slovenia and New zealand. But this has not been the case.
Forget that Kaita, seen as a rising star, decided to make a fool of himself in a way that he ruled himself out of future games, the team never looked like a shadow of its glorious past, forget represent the likes of Okocha and Oliseh.
After the red card, Nigerians declared that he was not welcome home; that he should go straight to Belgium where he plies his trade. Some argued that African players do not take their teams seriously, especially those based in Europe.
While all that was going on, it did not mean that Nigerians living in South Africa and those visiting were in mourning; they are busy talking business. This ensures that even if they lost in the pitch, they don’t lose off it.
By default, I happened to be at the right place when someone was invited for the party before the party and I joined in. Its not bad crashing parties especially when there are no many options.
So I went to the party, there were mainly Nigerians and Cameroonians and on that day, Cameroon was playing and the people did not look very happy. They were not even impressed when I suggested that Cameroon players were aging; but my defense was that I may not know much because Kenya is good at Marathon; eventually we were friends and talked a lot about African football.
Back to the party, I was told that it was to showcase Nigerian and Cameroonian businesses and there was a giant stand to show the array of opportunities as well as music to make sure the day was crowned.
There was so much, I didn’t even know that there were Yoruba descendants of Southern Africa. It maybe an avenue for someone to make money but the info was impressive.
I got chatting with one of the guys preparing barbecue or nyama choma about business prospects in South Africa and he was more optimistic that its better and is improving with time.
All the eating and drinking was good but I must admit that Nigeria seized the opportunity to market itself as a business destination. We have adverts about tourism in Brazil but I wonder why other African countries did not think of the opportunity to market themselves.
Imagine if the Kenya Tourism board had even a small table at one of the joints where fan who have tickets and those who don’t are gathering; you never know about the prospects.
You may think Nigeria did not do well on the field but in terms of generating business, I think they beat other countries by using the World Cup to attract some positive attention.