The roar of the Super Eagles echoes across Africa, igniting both celebration and apprehension. We’re loud, brash, some might even say “aggressive,” in our pursuit of victory. But beneath the surface lies a complex truth: our unwavering self-worth isn’t solely rooted in winning but in our unique way of navigating adversity.
Yes, we crave excellence. From music stages to tech hubs, we strive to be the best, often with an unorthodox flair that baffles others. We create laughter and merriment even when faced with economic hardship, a defiant dance in the face of despair. 36 states, hundreds of ethnicities, yet a shared pulse of “Nigerianness” unites us even as we bicker amongst ourselves. We are, as the saying goes, “united in our disunity.”
But don’t mistake our noise for arrogance. The self-worth Nigerians carry with gravitas and flair isn’t about blind superiority. It’s forged in the crucible of resilience. One minute we are grumbling over the Grammys, the next minute Asake is handing us the MOBO. One moment we are whining about poor governance, the next minute we are bantering in wild comebacks, gbas-gbos flaming with the most risible memes.
Our right and left eyes have seen all hues of shege, shege ultra and shege pro max…the type many others would never have been able to brace up to. We’ve faced colonialism, internal strife, social adversities, and economic challenges, yet we persist. We find success where others falter, not because we possess some magical formula, but because “giving up” isn’t part of our vocabulary. We are the giants who scare other giants because we are unpredictable, undeterred, and undeniably ourselves.
Therefore, to those who fear our “loudness,” understand that our boisterousness stems from a deep well of self-belief, a belief born from overcoming. It’s not about diminishing others, but celebrating the unique spirit that allows us to thrive in chaos, to find joy in struggle, and to dream big even when the odds are stacked against us.
Yes, we are Nigerians. We are loud, and audacious, and yes, sometimes even overbearing. But beneath the noise lies a story of resilience, a spirit carved from overcoming, and a self-worth earned through generations of battling and conquering challenges. This, not just the roar of victory, is the true essence of our national pride.
My spirit was buoyed up when I heard the Eagles had resumed training for the AFCON 2023 showdown. As we prepare for the crowning encounter against the elephants of Ivory Coast, who barely qualified for the knockout stage, seeing them lift the cup would seem like a travesty. I mean, our boys have not lost any game in the AFCON so far…I hope, against all odds, the Super Eagles will give us another reason for a collective national hurrah!