What are the possibilities of Nigeria hosting FIFA’s big boys’ show, the World Cup? Many Nigerians don’t ever think about this –the possibility doesn’t seem to be there. There are too many nations with the most amazing facilities and who are jostling to host the World Cup and for whom the possibility is slim in view of the obvious that the World Cup comes only once in four years.
That pessimistic line of thinking isn’t good however, especially for a nation like Nigeria that pride itself as the most religious nation where all things should be possible with faith. Furthermore, Nigeria is said to have the happiest people on earth. Happiness is a virtue that should serve as a springboard for just anything. In addition, it should be expected that the most creative minds are those of happy people.
I imagine a boardroom discussion of Nigerian football officials in the event of FIFA granting the nation a hosting right of the big boys’ show. In a bid to try to host one of the most spectacular Mundial, there is a chance somebody in the boardroom will suggest the importation of Vuvuzela to spice the tournament. I think that will be one of the irrational boardroom decisions ever taken.
South Africa succeeded with Vuvuzela as a consequence of their tradition of insisting on African values. For example, there was the insistence that an African World Cup must feel African values leading to the slaughter of bulls in the various soccer venues prior to the event. This insistence of African values is what we should learn from the South Africans. In trying to do this however, it will be rational to consider African values that are peculiar to Nigeria. We could request FIFA’s permission to play Nigerian music in the background while the matches are ongoing as it happens in the American NBA. In our choice of the relevant Nigerian music, we will take into consideration; the fact the world may not be able to relate with everything Nigerian. We know Nigerian music that that are highly acclaimed around the world. Artist such and father Fela and his son, Femi could provide a convenient solution. There are others like Sunny Ade and some of his contemporaries. In doing this we must also not forget native music of some Nigerians tribes like the Tivs of Benue State whose music may not be well known around the world largely due to lack of good packaging in the form of CDs. In like manner, we could consider the Irigwes of Plateau State. We could also move to the desert areas of Bornu to bring the exotic sounds of those long native trumpets of the Kanuris. We could also move to the southeastern corner of the nation to bring something equally amazing from the Efik and the Ibibios. We are more than sand on the seashores; we are more than numbers. Our diversity is equally remarkable and should serve as a solution to any obstacle that comes our way as a nation.
All this however is based on a wild dream. The wildest dreams sometimes see the light of day however. With patience and long time planning, a Nigerian Mundial could be possible. It may not happen in our lifetime but could happen to posterity and for the same nation. When the history of the World Cup is written, it will be said that Nigeria, Africa’s biggest nation also hosted it and used it as a platform to sell African values that are peculiar to it.