It’s a big night at the Brazilian World Cup this evening. The matches involve France playing Nigeria and Germany playing Algeria. It’s a proud moment for any of us who have been following the matches from this little rock called Africa. This is because two of our sides are still in the round of 16 to play against the best in the world.
Tonight we forget our petty jealousies. We forget that story about Maghreb Africa and the rest of us. Whatever they tell you about Algeria, remember that the country is part of the continent. They competed with teams in an African group and then played in a playoff against Burkina Faso and therefore went through. They are our representatives. And even if they aren’t as melanin filled as some of us they represent us. They are our lighter skinned cousins and even though they are playing against my all time favourite World Cup sides Germany family comes before favourites. They are the family members who took part in the African spring a few years ago that swept the Northern part of the continent we can home leaving few administrations untouched. Arab spring? Nope. All the serious revolutionizing happened in Africa, the Middle Eastern operations were just a knee jerk reaction that failed to work out if Syria is any indication. So I’m with my cousins from Algeria.
Tonight we forget our petty jealousies. We refuse to get embroiled in our weird love hate relationship with Nigeria. They say that one out of every five Africans is a Nigerian making it the biggest country in Africa population wise. And Nigerians never forget to remind that special place they have in our continent. Add to the population thing and now they have the biggest economy in our continent after rebasing their economy beating out the former big dogs South Africa. (We should really rebase our own economy by the way, if we add in the price of Vera Sidika’s skin lightening and her weaves we will start competing with South Africa at least).
Today we remember that even if sometimes the brashness of the Nigerian can get under your skin you have to remember that are like our bigger brother. And while our bigger brother will piss us off sometimes when the neighbor kids try pull something in the estate we will stand with him. He is our bigger brother. And if we are to be honest then we have to state that we admire our brother for his achievements in the arts and other field. We also admire our brother when he stands up for us when no one else will. And Nigerians have stood by us. They celebrated almost more than us when Barack Obama won his election. They celebrated when Lupita won her Oscar. They celebrate with us when our sons and daughters win Olympic gold in the long distances. So they support us.
We represent the continent in the Olympics and they represent the continent in the World Cup. So it’s only fair that we return the favour. We are brothers After all. We suffer similar problems; hapless administrations that have no idea about how to deal with terrorism related issues. Boko Haram and Al Shabaab are competing against one another for who can deliver the biggest body counts with the former outstripping the latter in a big way. As we wait for them to #BringBackOurGirls and release the #KasaraniConcentrationCamp we come together with our big brother. We stand with our big brother when she lost her sons and daughters who lost in the bombings in Abuja recently. We mourn with her and celebrate her sportsmen just like we celebrate her singer and daughters.
So today we forget our petty differences remember our similarities and support our own.
Mungu ibariki Africa.