Momental noise, thunderous applause, cheerful encomiums, all spurting from a colourful events centre in Rabat, Morocco. Nigeria’s very own, Asisat Oshoala, has again etched her name in the historical folklore of African football. The Ikorodu-born star had just bagged the award for African Best Female Player for a record fifth time. A feat that no African player has yet to achieve. Just when fans thought she would take a little break, three weeks later, the superb lady again made it to the list of Fifa Balloon d’Or Nominees. This, again, made her the first African female footballer to achieve that feat. Nigeria must be so proud to have Asisat, who is just another six-letter word for “genius”.
The 2021/22 season Asisat had, was one blighted with injuries, yet, the determined lady defied odds to slot in 20 goals in a limited 19 appearances – a statistic that brought her the pichichi (award for the league’s highest goal scorer). She also played a vital role as her team, Barcelona Femini, were crowned Liga champions for the third time in a row after winning all their 30 games in the season – an unprecedented feat in the league’s history. Without opening lips, Asisat had successfully conveyed a golden message that: failures should not in anyway limit how far one could go. It should rather make one and not break one.
Oshoala did not just make Nigeria proud on football fields or at award ceremonies; she also took her humanitarian efforts to Nigerians at the grassroots level. Her Asisat Oshoala Foundation, which was launched in 2015, and Asisat Oshola Football Academy, launched on June 30, 2022, have helped and are still helping underprivileged people and young promising ladies at the grassroots level. Even when destiny failed these people, Asisat gave them a shoulder to lean on. A good way to give back to the society.
Young, old, fair or black, Nigerians in their millions could not but continue to bathe Asisat in spit of praise for being a pride to the country and for projecting the country’s image in a better way to the global view. Asisat’s meat is Buhari’s poison. While Asisat continues to put Nigeria and Africa on a commendable world map, Buhari’s administration continues to put Nigeria on the global worst indices. From Nigeria being the sixth in the Global Terrorism Index, 2022; to being the second capital of world poverty after India; to being the fourth country with the highest debt according to the World Bank’s newly-released financial report; to many other pithy indices, the Buhari’s administration has continued to pour acidic rain on Nigeria, that the country now reels and wreathes in hunger, insecurity, debts among other woes.
While Asisat and other talented Nigerians across fields continue to paint a good image of Nigeria to the world, unfortunately, their past and present incompetent political leaders continue to drive their country amok and project her in a bad way. With storms rippling across Nigerian sectors, the “Sai Baba” administration has been nothing but a monumental failure. While history will continue to remember Asisat and her ilk for good, so will it not forget the past and current administration for the tears of Nigerians they have provoked.
Hashim tweets via: @LegalBard