Date Published: 07/14/10
Day of Glory for South Africa as World Cup ends By Joe Igbokwe
By 7:00pm today in South Africa, the world most famous sporting event, the
world cup 2010 which started on June 11, 2010 will be brought to a logical
conclusion with either Spain or Holland lifting the famous Gold Cup. To
South Africa and the whole of Africa, it is a moment of glory, a moment of
joy and a moment of pride. The one month event brought fun, fanfare,
happiness, joy, pride, business and economic boom to South Africa. South
Africa became the first African Country to successfully host the World
number one Sporting event and it was successfully done too. As the event
ends today, analysts and public commentators agree in one voice, amity,
concord, unison and unity that South Africa has come of age. In fact it
would not be an exaggeration to say that South Africa has successfully
joined the first world.
As the world begins to leave South Africa for their home countries
tomorrow, there are huge lessons for other African Countries, especially
Nigeria. I have observed after my trip to South Africa to watch the
opening ceremony and Nigeria-Argentina Match that if what I saw in South
Africa is anything to go by, I may see Nigeria hosting the World Cup in my
lifetime. I saw the build-up and preparations in October last year and by
the time I returned in June this year, I met a new South Africa waiting to
host the World. From Oliver Tambo International Airport, you could see the
level of preparations and executions. It was a bold statement that South
Africa has grown up to join the league of World civilized nations.
I am told that South Africa spent about 5 billion USD to host the world.
And at once my mind centred on Nigeria if given the same amount of money
to prepare for the Mundial. Every member of the committee would have
pocketed 60% of the money. Nigeria would have spent five times that amount
and yet the project would not be realized. Girl friends, family members,
hangers on, concubines would have joined in sharing the loot. Excuses,
excuses and excuses would have been the usual complaints. There would have
been mistakes and mistakes either through acts of omission or commission.
Some contractors would have bolted away with money without executing the
projects. There are lessons and so many lessons to be learnt on how things
Though South Africa has security problems, its security agencies were up
and doing. Hours on end they worked and worked because the integrity of
the country was at stake. Thousands of volunteers were on hand to
compliment the efforts of the security agencies. I saw them at the Soccer
city and Ellis Park Stadia in Johannesburg. As the games were going on
these tireless, committed and patriotic volunteers surrounding the
football pitch facing the spectators not minding what is going on in the
pitch because they want their country to succeed. The judiciary extended
their services to about 12 midnight to try offenders of World cup rules.
Everybody, every company, every establishment put everything to make South
Africa succeed. Indeed I saw the power of collectivity, the power of
synergy, the power of commitment, the power of creative thinking and
planning, the power of preparations, the power of strategic intelligence
and intelligent execution.
Nigeria has a lot to learn from South African experience. Nobody needs to
reinvent the wheel. The road to glory is an 8-lane expressway for Nigeria
judging from our God-given human and material resources. Nigerian leaders
have not been getting it right for nearly fifty years now, and time has
come for us to grow up. All over the world Nigerians are crying and
screaming from the roof tops that their country must join the human race.
From their cries, I guess they are saying that Nigeria should not be
misruled again. They say that Nigeria is a failed state working for those
who failed it. We must retrieve our stolen country at all cost. The story
of man they say is a Chronicle of oppression and therefore man is born
oppressed and all his life he struggles to free himself.
2011 is our date with History and we must fish out and elect those who
will rebuild, rehabilitate, and reconstruct Nigeria. We must not fail.