ChickenBones: A Journal
for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes
The victory will also help to enhance the image of Nigeria as a country,
and reinforce its reputation as not only a football loving nation,
but also as a strong African and emerging market brand.
Boosting Brand Nigeria With the Golden Eaglets Win
By Uche Nworah
If there were any such team or group responsible for managing the internal and external images of Brand Nigeria, perhaps they would be thanking the gods now for the opportunities they have laid out for them on a golden platter, or rather on a golden cup. This can only be the stuff that brand management dreams are made of; to have your brand being thrust onto the global stage by the activities of a few young men still in their teenage years who through sheer endeavour have used their God-given talent to do themselves, their families and country proud.
Brand Nigeria received the biggest boost it could ever receive in its quest to put some shine on its already globally battered image on Sunday, September 9th 2007 when the Under-17 football team the Golden Eaglets beat Spains Under -17 in the finals of the FIFA Under-17 World Championship in Seoul, South Korea.
The victory was hard fought though and came after 120-minutes of full-time play. The goalless stalemate then led to a penalty shoot out but by then, the gods had already decided that it was Nigerias turn to shine once again. Nigerias Golden Eaglets scored all three of their spot kicks while Spains Under -17 were wasteful in front of the goal, one shot went wild while the Eaglets goalkeeper Oladele Ajiboye saved two of the Spanish side’s spot kicks.
For the records, Nigeria had previously won the Under-17 championships in 1985 (China) and 1993 (Japan) but has not managed to sustain the promise shown at the youth level and carrying over the same prowess to the Under-21 and senior teams.
This particular victory is important in many respects; it comes a few weeks ahead of Nigerias 47th independence anniversary scheduled for October 1st 2007, a much better birthday present therefore could not be more appropriate. The victory will help unite Nigerians and give them something positive to talk about in the coming months. The past few months have not been particularly cheerful ones, especially the disappointing conduct of the April 2007 general elections. The desperate situation has not been helped by the rising hopelessness in the land, increasing cases of crime and insecurity to lives and properties, poverty, killings and kidnappings arising from mass unrest in the Niger Delta region, etc.
The victory will also help to enhance the image of Nigeria as a country, and reinforce its reputation as not only a football loving nation, but also as a strong African and emerging market brand. The worth in advertising or PR dollars of the reports and mentioning of this victory in several global media platforms is actually unquantifiable, and beats the botched attempts by the former president Olusegun Obasanjo to sell Nigeria through paid-for spot advertisements on CNN.
One can only hope that the new government in Nigeria will capitalise on the feel-good factor resulting from this victory by engaging Nigerians in constructive discussions with the aim of finding out important areas of needs to be addressed through sound socio-economic policies. The YarAdua government should build on the euphoria of this victory and not let this opportunity pass Nigerians by.
Just like the patriotic tidal wave that swept through Germany as a result of the Jurgen Klinsman effect during the FIFA world cup hosted by Germany in 2006, Nigerian governments at the three tiers federal, state and local should key into this victory and use it to whip up an avalanche of patriotic emotions and feelings amongst Nigerians, they should tap into their now dulled and lulled senses of nationalism and patriotism as we all march towards a Nigerian national rebirth.
This victory by the Coaches Yemi Tella and Ben Iroha led Under-17 team should be used to rekindle the Can Do spirit amongst Nigerians once again. There is no better way to bring back our national self-belief than by showing how our indigenous coaches and home-grown talents can beat the best and hold their own anywhere in the world. The underlying theme should be that such winning ways are influenced by an enterprising spirit, that this is possible not only in football but that it can also be replicated across all the sectors.
For Brand Nigeria, this is a priceless PR coup and this is good as it gets. This is indeed Nigerias chance not only in PR terms but also in economic terms. Not only will the Under-17 team be poached by foreign football clubs from where they would eventually start remitting some of their earnings back to Nigeria to boost the economy, but a recharged and self-believing nation will also be more productive, creative and enterprising in the long run. The victory will also further enhance the marketability of the next Under-17 championships which Nigeria will be hosting.
For the government and their officials, including the several communication advisers including the Heart of Africa project team, the time to do this is actually now, before the euphoria of the win dies down and we all get back to our ways again.
posted 10 September 2007
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#10 – Covenant: A Thriller by Brandon Massey
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#12 – Don’t Ever Tell by Brandon Massey
#13 – For colored girls who have considered suicide by Ntozake Shange
#14 – For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree
#15 – Homemade Loves by J. California Cooper
#16 – The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper
#17 – Player Haters by Carl Weber
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#19 – Stackin’ Paper by Joy King
#20 – Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey
#21 – The Upper Room by Mary Monroe
#22 Thug Matrimony by Wahida Clark
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#24 – Married Men by Carl Weber
#25 – I Dreamt I Was in Heaven – The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter
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#11 – Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley
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#13 – The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell
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#17 – Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell
#18 – A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle
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#22 – 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino #23 – Chicken Soup for the Prisoner’s Soul by Tom Lagana #24 – 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields
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By Russell Simmons
Russell Simmons knows firsthand that wealth is rooted in much more than the stock market. True wealth has more to do with what’s in your heart than what’s in your wallet. Using this knowledge, Simmons became one of America’s shrewdest entrepreneurs, achieving a level of success that most investors only dream about. No matter how much material gain he accumulated, he never stopped lending a hand to those less fortunate. In Super Rich, Simmons uses his rare blend of spiritual savvy and street-smart wisdom to offer a new definition of wealth-and share timeless principles for developing an unshakable sense of self that can weather any financial storm. As Simmons says, “Happy can make you money, but money can’t make you happy.”
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By Michele Alexander
Contrary to the rosy picture of race embodied in Barack Obama’s political success and Oprah Winfrey’s financial success, legal scholar Alexander argues vigorously and persuasively that [w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as a system of social control (More African Americans are under correctional control today… than were enslaved in 1850). Alexander reviews American racial history from the colonies to the Clinton administration, delineating its transformation into the war on drugs. She offers an acute analysis of the effect of this mass incarceration upon former inmates who will be discriminated against, legally, for the rest of their lives, denied employment, housing, education, and public benefits. Most provocatively, she reveals how both the move toward colorblindness and affirmative action may blur our vision of injustice: most Americans know and don’t know the truth about mass incarcerationbut her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that.Publishers Weekly
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From The World and Africa, 1965
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update 14 December 2011