THE GOD OF DROGBA
TIME magazine came with its latest list of 'The 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE IN THE WORLD.' And who did they choose? Which iconic face did they put on their cover? Our very own Didier Drogba!
Didier Drogba, the lion King of Africa. Didier Drogba, the Elephant captain of Cote d'Ivoire. Didier Drogba of the Blues. Didier Drogba of Chelsea. Chelsea, the Champions of England. Drogba, the outstanding player of the English Premiership League and the winner of its Golden Boot with 29 goals - three goals ahead of Wayne Rooney, the 'White Pele' of England.
As I clutch the magazine, my heart is filled with pride, joy and thanksgiving. Thank you Lord. Praise be to your name, Jehovah. Only you can do it. Only you can pick an ordinary boy out of Africa and turn him into an extraordinary man, standing tall with giants like Bill Clinton.
You are the Creator of stars, superstars and supernovas. In your divine light, we shine, we sparkle. We sparkle with all the talents that you have endowed us. Every man has a talent of God inside him. Look inside yourself, and you will discover it. And when you discover it, put it on the hill for it to shine, so that the world would glorify Him that gave you your talent.
In this beautiful world of ours, everybody is a potential goal scorer. Everybody is beautifully made to score goals. Boy, when are you going to score your own goal? When am I going to score my own goal? How many goals must we score to hit the cover of TIME magazine? What must we do to be listed among the 100 INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE IN THE WORLD?
This is the list that no amount of money in this world can buy. You just have to work hard to merit it. You just have to fight to win the crown. It is just like the Olympics. No amount of money can buy you an Olympic gold, silver or even bronze. You just have to earn it. You just have to run for it, jump for it, swim for it or shoot for it.
Next month is the World Cup month. If the World Cup were to be affordable, the richest nations of this world would buy it so many times over. But the World Cup cannot be bought or rigged, like the Nigerian presidential title - which the late President Umar Yar'Adua repentantly confessed to.
The World Cup is about talents. It is about skill. It is about organization. It is about discipline. It is about strategy. It is about teamwork. It is about preparation. It is about luck. It is about the totality of everything I have stated. Next month, the scorers would come out smoking, fully dressed in the colours of the national team. They would be kicking, shooting, jumping, feigning, and fighting to win the Holy Grail of soccer - a cup encrusted in solid gold. The World Cup.
Ah, the thought of the World Cup fills me with both happiness and fear. I am looking forward to exciting fixtures. There would be Goliaths pitched against Davids. Superdogs versus underdogs.
Stronger nations versus weaker nations. My heart beats each time I think of Nigeria facing the soccer juggernaut called Argentina led by the inimitable giant genius of a small man. May God help Nigeria. May we not suffer disgrace in the hands of the enemy. Let us pray for our country. With one voice, let's ask for God's intervention. As a country, we have always believed in miracles. It would take a miracle for Nigeria to survive and move to the second stage of the World Cup. Come and let us sing our favourite song: He is a miracle working God…He is the Alpha and Omega, He is a miracle working God. For now, that is the only song we can sing. That is the only song we can depend on. Let us sing it night and day. Maybe God would have mercy on us against the genius of Lionel Messi. Nigeria's survival has always been hinged on miracles. One way or the other, we always manage to come out of the fire, by dint of miracle, by divine intervention.
Looking at Didier Drogba, how I wish he belongs to us.
How I wish he belongs to Nigeria. If it were possible, I would wish Nigeria exchanged Mikel Obi and two extra Super Eagles players in a batter for Drogba. But the thing is, Cote d'Ivoire would never, never exchange Drogba for all the oil of Nigeria. To his people, Drogba is as priceless as Leonardo Da Vinci's painting of Mona Lisa. Cote d'Ivoire would rather go to war than lose Drogba to Nigeria. To his people, Drogba is more than a player that carries the hope and the joy of his country. On the streets of Abidjan, Drogba is a bottle of beer that intoxicates his people with his scoring prowess. He is a powerhouse. He is a peacemaker. He is an inspiration to the youths about the possibilities and the riches that await them, if they work hard, if they use well their God-given talents.
My dear boy, Drogba did not emerge as an accident. Drogba is a creation of Drogba. He dreamt his own dreams; he set his own goals; he worked hard at it; he got a mentor by name Jose Mourinho who gave him the wings to fly. Boy, you can fly like Drogba, if you try. God has given you the wings. All you have to do is to find it and use it. It is only by trying to fly that God will give you a helping hand. God helps those who help themselves. Success is not by accident.
When God wants to bless you, He does it at His own pace and time. Ask Drogba. With God, you don't need to be too much in a hurry. You can't hurry God. Just as you can't hurry the sunshine. At God's own time, the goals will come. Ask Drogba, the Chelsea striker whom God blessed with three beautiful goals last Sunday to climax an 8-goal thriller against Wigan to win the Premiership.
From the blast of the whistle, Drogba was in a hurry to score. The opportunity to score came when Chelsea won a penalty. Drogba wanted to take the penalty but Lampard, the regular penalty specialist, would not allow him. A morality play was unfolding here. Lampard's unspoken message to Drogba was: 'I don't care so much about your winning the Golden Boot. What I care about is the team winning first. The team comes before you.'
Drogba, as to be expected, was angry. He felt betrayed. He was disappointed. He seemed to be saying: 'I can kill two birds with one stone: winning for the team and myself.'
But then, God had his own plans for Drogba. He unleashed one bicycle kick that only the Great Pele would have executed, but the goalkeeper parried it away for a rebound and the much-awaited Drogba goal. Not once did Drogba score, not twice, but thrice. A hat-trick! Oh, I was so happy. I can imagine Chelsea fans all over the world and back home in Abidjan, drunk with happiness and Drogbamania. The Ivorien captain is in hot form. Drogba can play and win for any team in the world.
In my heart, I said a prayer for Drogba and for all my fans: As you read this piece, the God of Drogba would bless you and make you a champion in all your endeavours. He would provide you with the assist to score your goals. You would score, not just once. You would score and score until your shots tear the net and fill it with goals. Beloved, your net shall be filled with fishes. All you have to do is to launch deep, in Jesus' name.
To score genuine goals, you need to have a goal. You need to define your own goal. You need a vision, a mental map of where you want to go. You need a plan. You need a strategy. You need a ball. You need a boot. You need a jersey. You need stamina. You need determination. You need discipline. You need a team. You need a good coach, to guide and motivate you to score. You need a Jose Mourinho. Even the billionaire owner of Chelsea, Abramovich, has learnt his lesson: that to be rich does not necessarily make you wise. I am happy for Abramovich. Thank God, another Special One is back in Chelsea. I am happy too for Jose Mourinho, who is making waves in the world today. You too, will make waves in Jesus name. Your children would make waves.
Congratulations to all my Chelsea fans. And congrats to Manchester United for fighting a good fight, even though they lost and we won. May God double our victory, as we fight for another trophy and a double anointing today.