THE FIRST TEAM...
"I think part of the reason why I was drawn to the story of the Biggie Belt is because like many Black folks, there is so little I know about my own history. I don't have much passed down to me from earlier generations." - Aliya S. King
Recently, I started to think about why I was doing this blog. Was it to teach, entertain or make money? - I had no real tangible answers for myself nor others. Today, I went on VSB, a blog, now a daily digital magazine and came across an article titled "True Hip-Hop Stories: The Time I Learned The Legend of Biggie's Belt" . While reading the article, the quote above jumped out at me and it summed up exactly why I started this blog in the first place for young Nigerians but also anyone Black who might be interested in some of the history.
My first memory of a professional football game was about 22 years ago. I was about eight years old and there was a game on television. It was around 2AM. I prepped my body to wake up to catch the game and to my surprise, my aunts and uncles were all up to watch the game. The tournament was I believe the first gold medal for the under-20 national team. I remember the joy and excitement among family and friends when the young group brought home the top medal. Fast forward to 2009, I visited Nigeria and my uncle started talking about the effect of football on the nation. In his opinion, it was the only time the country was in harmony. No other team had such a profound effect on the country like the 1994 Super Eagles. I spoke with an individual who was at the welcome parade following the tournament hosted by the United States.
That squad was the best team in Africa and the best team Nigeria has ever put together. The team had players like Rashidi Yekini, Daniel Amokachi and Finidi George. When Rashidi scored the first goal it was late night in Nigeria and the whole country was celebrating. There was so much jumping around that we had to turn off the ceiling fan so noone would be caught in a bad situation. The streets were vacated, no cabs were working. We were on our way to the Quarter finals, up 2-0 before Italy came back and beat us. The boys let down their guards in that game. There were other African teams in the competition like, Cameroon but no team was better in Africa than Nigeria that year. When they came back, I still remember that they decorated a trailer in white and green, the Naija colors and drove through lagos. I remember seeing the truck go through Maryland, Ikorodu road and ending at the National Stadium in Surulere.
As remembered by a Nigerian living in Toronto, Canada.