Tuesday, July 24, 2012

We Want The Opium

by Jonas Dogara
Na Karl Max wey talk say religion na the opium of the masses. Meaning say na wetin we dey use ‘high’ ourselves so that we no go face reality. I agree with am completely on the issue. But I also know say opium no be for dulling alone. E get other very good uses wey make am important. Na so religion be too. And before you begin ready to call down the anger of God for my head, this yarn no be about religion, so make we move on.

Courtesy cutesexyfunnyawful
Like most Nigerian guys, I love football. I no really know why I love am. I just love am. I believe say e dey my blood. I say e dey my blood because I know say my grandpapa been love am too. I fit remember as me and him dey siddon with him old ghetto blaster dey listen to Radio Nigeria football commentary. When Naija dey play ball and light no dey to watch am for TV, na the style be that. The way commentary been dey those days, we go done shout ‘goal!’ like 5 times before dem actually score one! We no mind sha. We dey enjoy am.

I also remember say when Enyimba win the CAF Champions League final with penalties, I no fit watch the match where I dey. So, I use my phone to listen to commentary of the shoot out! And I jump and jump when dem win. Yes, I love Naija football reach like that, and I know say I no dey alone for that situation.

In fact we plenty wey be like that. Just check out the way people dey stand in front of any building wey get TV wey dey show football on weekends and you go understand. I look back now to the period between the late 80s and mid 90s, when Naija football been solid and I wonder. Though we been never begin watch the Premiership or Champions League as we dey watch am today, we been like our local league and our national teams. And e look to me like say instead of just religion then, na religion and football been be our opium.

If you no believe say we use football dey ‘high’ ourselves, then you no remember Japan ’93, Tunisia ‘94 and Atlanta ’96. The kind of attention wey we give those competitions and the kind of joy wey we get when we finally win, no get mate. For ’96, at a time wey Sani Abacha done turn our country to wetin-I-no-fit-describe, I remember women dey run for street with happiness and wrapper dey fall from their waist! People dey carry wooden Olympic Torch, beat drum and sing for street for 2am! Somehow, for the period wey we go talk about and watch the football, we dey forget all our problems. That na unless NEPA take light o! Because, we done hear stories of how people go beat NEPA officials because light go during football.

These days, things done change. Our football dey add to our many problems. Countries wey been dey fear when dem hear our name before, now dem dey make noise. And no be just noise o. Some of dem done stop us make we no go World Cup and African Nations Cup. Our teams no dey fit qualify for Olympics again and even the age-grade and female competitions, where we dey shine before, done dey hard us. Which way Nigeria?!

So, now we get a situation where Naija people dey pretend say dem no get interest for Naija football again. We know say na pretend dem dey pretend, because e dey inside blood. You go ask somebody whether him watch the last Nations Cup Qualifier and if Naija been play well, e go say e watch am. If we no play well, e go say e no been know say match dey sef. But I understand say dem dey try to protect themselves from the heartbreak wey dey follow Naija football. People dey soak demselves inside European football and try not to remember our own.

But no matter how European football sweet, e still no sweet reach when we win the Nations Cup in ’94 or the Olympic gold in ’96. That collective feeling of highness na the very one. That joy wey dey cut across all the boundaries of tribe, religion and status for our country, na something wey we no fit measure. E unite us pass the Fuel Subsidy removal wahala for January 2012 sef. Na that joy we done dey miss for years now.

I agree say we get very serious problems for our country. Problems wey big pass football or any other sport. I know say if we begin win football matches again and other countries begin fear us like before, e no go really change our suffer for this country. The suffer go be the same. But then, if we begin win football matches again, na bad thing? True true, to get back to the time when we been dey do well for football go take plenty hard work from different people. The world done change well well and we need to do something to catch up. I know say we fit do am, but whether we go actually do am na another matter.

But, like the person wey done take opium before and we know the sweetness, I know how e dey be when Naija win football competition and I no go mind to ‘high’ myself again. Because now, more than before, we need something to (once in a while) comot our minds from the way our country be. We need something to give us joy, even if na for a short time.

If you say I be addict, I go agree with you. If you say my head no correct, maybe I fit argue small. If you say I need rehab, I no go gree. I no need cure. For our country, this football drug good for us. E dey work magic. So, somebody… anybody… abeg give us the opium!

This na @nfsqueezed on Twitter


  1. My friend I agree with u,even though say football no dey high me,but I still remember atlanta 96 becos na the shout of my dad and brothers wake me up,me sef follow dem shout and jump,dem even buy fanta for me that night,I been get faith for eagles then.so even though say football no be my thing,I been get pride for my country then cos I know say other countries dey fear.I wish say we go fit go back to those times,I only dey fear say boko haram fit bomb the whole stadium during match

    1. Na good thing say you dey remember the good times. Times when even people wey no really send football sef dey feel the joy. Hopefully, Boko Haram go dey enjoy the football too much to want to spoil that one too. Hopefully...

  2. After all, something must start from somewhere...

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