THE African Cup of Nations is here again. A month-long tournament of the best footballers on the continent battling it out on the field of play to see who will emerge as the best, the champions of Africa.
As I sit by my television every evening watching this soccer fiesta taking place in Gabon, my heart is filled with sorrow. The heavy sorrow of Nigeria not featuring in the AFCON 2017. Definitely, the African Cup of Nations isn’t complete without Nigeria. Everybody wants to see the Super Eagles of Nigeria who on paper are the best on the continent. We have some of the best stars featuring in various leagues around the world, but still we haven’t been able to qualify which is a big shame. Ironically, this is the year Nigeria is blessed with a good team that is showing a lot of promise as it heads for the World Cup.
Football and music go hand in hand. They are two entertainment fields where our boys are making waves all over the world. Today Nigerian music is as big as Nigeria’s football. In nightclubs around the world, party-lovers are grooving to the sounds of Nigerian pop music. The big American and Western stars are all looking towards Nigeria in search for fresh ideas and influences. Bravo to our boys!
We may not be playing in AFCON 2017, but in the heart of soccer lovers around the world, Nigeria is Africa’s champions. We are not just soccer champions but music and entertainment champions.
Now, let me try out something creative, something imaginative, something hypothetical. I am trying to build a Nigerian musical Super Eagles. If the World Cup or AFCON 2017 were to be a musical affair, which of these array of musical talents can play for Nigeria and wear our green and white jersey? Which eleven music stars would represent Nigeria as the Super Eagles? Which eleven others would be on the reserve bench? And who would be on the technical team?
Let’s start with the technical team. The chief coach would be a manager called Don Jazzy. He has the experience and the technical savvy to coach the musical team. He would be supported on the bench by Tuface, D’Banj and 9ice as the goalkeeper coach.
My first eleven would be as follows. My choice for team captain is Wizkid. He is the Neymar of Nigeria, a good player who has the knack for dribbling and scoring goals. He would pair with Davido on the attack. Davido is another deadly attacker who can do skelewu with the football, though a bit childish in the way he attacks. With a little more coaching, he can grow into a mature, world-class player.
In the midfield, we have attacking and defensive midfielders namely Olamide, PSquare and Mr. Eazi. Mr. Eazi, is one of the bright new talents that came into limelight last year. A Nigerian based in Ghana, he has been cooking a lot of hot, spicy musical dish with Ghanaian Banku and Shitto flavour. I like his music a lot. I like stuff like Skin tight, Leg over, Bankulize, Dance For Me and Holl’Up with lyrics like: “It’s your boy Eazi’’… You think say the world dey revolve around your bum bum… You think say the world dey revolve around your fine face.”
In the midfield too, I will like to bring in the young talent Reekado Banks whose smashing hit Oluwa mi pleases me a lot. He will be a roaming midfielder like Jay-Jay Okocha.
In the defence, I will feature solid defenders like Patoranking, the reggae star making waves with Alubarika from Nigeria to America and from America to Jamaica where he is mistaken for a Jamaican. He will be playing on the left flank of the defence. Next to him will be another defender Phyno, the rapper who raps so well in Igbo language. Packed in the defence is another young defender Kiss Daniel. On the right flank defending Nigeria will be Tekno.
In the goal post for Nigeria will be the one and only Flavour. He is one shot-stopper with magic touch. Timi Dakolo will be the second goalkeeper on the bench.
On the reserve bench is a long list of names. We have Korede Bello, the God-win crooner. We have Adekunle Gold, the man who wants to drive a Bentley, who says Dangote doesn’t have two heads. Next we have Lil Kesh, the Shoki Master, we have Falz, Mr. well done sir, we have Ycee, Mr. Jagaban. And the new school fuji revelation, Small Doctor.
On the reserve list is also Burma Boy. Then Runtown, the man behind the raving song “Mad Over You”. Then there is Harry Song, the “reggae-blues” master, who will come in as super sub. For his long years of experience, we can accommodate Wande Coal on the bench.
That is my musical Super Eagles list. Every time there is a big soccer fiesta going on, I will review the list. With a long array of talented musicians in Nigeria, I know the fans are not going to agree with me on my choice. I know there are so many stars who should have been on the squad but were not called. There are names like Sean Tizzle, Kay Switch, Sound Sultan, Brymo, Reminisce, Timaya, Ice Prince, Solid star and so on. Everywhere, there are young men and women honing their musical skills, wanting to be the next big thing to blow. It’s not a bad thing to aim for the stars but get yourself a good education first.
If you think there is a name I did not include, I might take a look at it. Until we meet again next week, enjoy your AFCON 2017 even though Nigeria is absent. My prayer is that next time, in the roll call of qualified countries, Nigeria will not be counted absent again.