-By Austen Akhagbeme:
In faraway Oregon, United States of America, Oluwatobiloba Amusan, the Nigerian-born athlete was poised to do her country proud at the world athletics competition.
For a short moment in a long while, Nigeria had her national anthem sung on a world stage to the listening pleasure of many itching ears that have for long been bombarded with bad news of corruption, kidnapping, banditry, jailbreaks, murder, arson, known and unknown gunmen, political acrimony, you name it, emanating from Nigeria.
For a nation with a robust talent tank, enormous human resources and a rich deposit of natural resources, Tobi Amusan’s feat should have become a regular trademark in all spheres of national life but for the leadership snag that hangs on our neck like a damning albatross. This is sad.
Nevertheless, let us all savour the moment such as the 25-year-old Nigerian athlete has brought to us. For a moment, the world stood still for Nigeria as Tobi broke the world record while setting another all in one night.
The most emotional moment for me was when tears ran down the cheeks of the budding athlete as she sang the Nigerian anthem. What could be going on in her mind? Was she thinking about her remote upbringing in faraway Ijebu- Ode and her fellow secondary school classmates who never had the opportunity she had to go to America to hone their skills and redirect their talents?
Or was she merely thinking about the honour she has brought to a nation blessed with abundant resources but pilloried by greed while her youths are left with a blind compass of ethnicity and hate to navigate their way away from a forlorn future?
Tobi Amusan has become an epitome of our resilient spirit and an ingenious readiness to turn the apple cart no matter the hurdle. Her smashing 12:12 record-breaking victory in the semifinals and the eventual 12:06 final posting set her on top of the world and reflect the inimitable strength and agility resident in our youth if allowed to exhale and excel.
Just as the commentator said, “Nigeria, the proud African nation are on top of the world tonight”. This youth has truly done us proud. May the elders take a cue from Tobi Amusan.
- Austen Akhagbeme is a Columnist with Blank NEWS Online