I’m waiting to see how the Nigerian government will treat the faabulous but misguided ladies who made history by being the first (Bobsleigh) team to represent any African nation at the Winter Olympics which opened at Pyeonchang, South Korea yesterday.
I admire the girls – greatly, and I have massive respect for what they have managed to achieve.
But I say “Misguided” in that the Nigerian authorities have no wherewithal to appreciate their efforts. If they win anything, they will be paraded for photo opportunities and claimed as one of the success stories of the government and then promptly forgotten like many Olympians before them.
Anyone familiar with the story of Anthony Joshua will know that he too initially went to the Olympics representing Nigeria. A mistake he was never to repeat because he was ignored and mistreated by the authorities when they were approached for support. Thank God he changed direction because he probably would still be a languishing unknown struggling for recognition.
You can be certain that any funds, believing any at all was made available by the Nigerian government to sponsor the girls of the bobsleigh team, would have been diverted into some official’s pocket. But they had to source their own funding and sponsorship including opening a “Go Fund Me” account.
Wearing Nigerian colours or representing the country where even many of the leaders have not heard of Winter Olympics or have a clue what Bobsleighing is – is misguided. They would have been better off competing as independent teams.
It will be interesting to know just how much support they have been given up to this point, by the government of the country they are representing….if any.
Personally, I would have preferred them to be recognised on their own merit – and not because they are representing Nigeria.
I truly and honesty admire the girls and wish them all the best. But I sincerely hope their allegiance and patriotism will not cost them…..
Brand Nigeria is NOT synonymous with respect out there. And I pray and hope they win something at these games else they become the next butt of every Hollywood sitcom, comedy and movie jokes.
There is no day that I turn on the tv that I don’t hear a Nigerian Prince joke. Even in obscure tv shows. Nigeria is the butt of many jokes and a compulsory footnote in every script. I really fear that this could do more damage to the girls on the long run.. ..
People, my point is not about what the girls are doing or even what they have achieved. Far from it.
My grief is about them associating their brand with Brand Nigeria. Think of Nigeria’s reputation on the world platform today. Now think of how the story will read if these Nigerian representatives who took up a winter sport in a country with no winter or snow, attended winter Olympics and did not win any medals – or God forbid, seriously underperformed…. scriptwriters the world over will have a field decade, I tell you – and that is my worry. The effect the ensuing ridicule could have on the girls.
For that reason, these girls had better be darned good at bobsleighing – and win EVERY MEDAL available out there in Pyongyang!!!
Wishing them all the best – and more!