Nollywood Oyoyo Nwa – How Did Nigeria Get To This Level

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Over the weekend we watched one Nollywood movie called Oyoyo Nwa. In this movie the husband was a Chelsea soccer fan, the wife was a Manchester United soccer fan and the son was a Barcelona soccer fan. The family was in perpetual war. One can remove soccer and substitute it with ethnicity or religion or politics and there lies one of Nigeria’s perennial problems.


In the early seventies Nigerian soccer fans were loyal fans of either the Enugu Rangers, IICC Shooting Stars of Ibadan, Stationery Stores of Lagos, Mighty Jets of Jos, Vasco Da Gama of Enugu, Port Harcourt Red Devils and other Nigerian clubs that I may have forgotten. For us on the Biafran side that lost the war, we took our revenge when Enugu Rangers defeated any of the other Nigerian club sides. It was like the war was being fought all over and we won. Every weekend, we were glued to our radios as TV was a reserve of the well to do because we were recovering from the war. Most of us never heard about Chelsea, or Manchester United, or Liverpool, or Barcelona, or any of the European clubs except when people who played or appropriately gambled with what they called pool at that time, mentioned those names. I remembered my deep resentment of the Atuegbu brothers those days because they were playing for the Mighty jets. Who knew then that many years later Andy and Fide Atuegbu will be close friends of mine here in the US.


Nigeria missed a great opportunity to channel those loyalties into patriotism partly because of leadership failures chief among them are corruption and excessive greed. Before I left for the US I believed that Nigerian Airways was the largest airline in the world. Not necessarily because it was so but because I believed that everything Nigerian was the best. When I left home in the late seventies I still asked about the Nigerian soccer clubs especially my favorite club Enugu Rangers. Contrast what we did in the seventies with what is happening now. I heard and read that our young men and women sometimes engage in fight to death simply because their European clubs lost. Neo-colonialism is real and alive in Nigeria. What a shame that a country that should lead the rest of Africa in Afro-centrism is the one that has embarked on all types of neo-colonialism.


This little piece is not about corruption, ethnicity, religious differences, and assault weapon carrying herdsmen but even when we effectively deal with those, how our love for everything foreign may even pose more serious dilemma for the country. There is a popular saying that life imitates art. Even before the US developed laser weapons there were star wars that used laser weapons on TV. Let us learn from this movie Oyoyo Nwa. It depicts one of the many things that we need to change. Yes we are in a global village but that does not mean that we should throw away our uniqueness and embrace others without reservation. 



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