Shocker: Two Africans in Race for Ballon D’or

OH MY WORD! THIS DOESN’T HAPPEN OFTEN WHERE TWO AFRICAN FOOTBALLERS ARE SHORTLISTED FOR THIS AWARD.

Source: African News

Source: African News

Alright this definitely has to be the sweetest news since the invention of cotton candy –forgive the kid in me but this trend has got me jumping in excitement. Every true African soccer fan would surely share my joy unless you have a problem with other people making progress. It doesn’t come around very often that an African footballer let alone two, are shortlisted for the prestigious annual Ballon D’or. The recent 30 man nominee list for the award sees the entrance of Liverpool forwards Sadio Mane (Senegal) and Mohammed Salah (Egypt). Although the award is being tipped for favourites like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionell Messi, Antonio Griezmann, or Luka Modric to clench the award but there’s hope for Africa.

Source: Cristiano/Instagram

Source: Cristiano/Instagram

The world is set to see the current award holder Cristiano Ronaldo (5 times Ballon D’or winner) either relinquish or retain the title. He also is the oldest player shortlisted as he is 33 years old. I have my money on him relinquishing the title as I am hopeful it will shift to one of the two African footballers nominated this year- I believe in miracles. I am sure a large number of people would have their reservations as to why the title holder will retain it but we will reserve that for another article.

Here is the Full list of Men’s nominees for the Award

• Sergio Aguero (Manchester City, Argentina)

• Gareth Bale (Real Madrid, Wales)

• Karim Benzema (Real Madrid, France)

• Edinson Cavani (Paris Saint-Germain, Uruguay)

• Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid, Belgium)

• Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus, Portugal)

• Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City, Belgium)

• Roberto Firmino (Liverpool, Brazil)

• Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid, Uruguay)

• Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid, France)

• Eden Hazard (Chelsea, Belgium)

• Isco (Real Madrid, Spain)

• Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur, England)

• N’Golo Kante (Chelsea, France)

• Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur, France)

• Mario Mandzukic (Juventus, Croatia)

• Sadio Mane (Liverpool, Senegal)

• Marcelo (Real Madrid, Brazil)

• Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain, France)

• Lionel Messi (Barcelona, Argentina)

• Luka Modric (Real Madrid, Croatia)

• Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain, Brazil)

• Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid, Slovenia)

• Paul Pogba (Manchester United, France)

• Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona, Croatia)

• Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid, Spain)

• Mohamed Salah (Liverpool, Egypt)

• Luis Suarez (Barcelona, Uruguay)

• Raphael Varane (Real Madrid, France)

Source: The Sports Man

Source: The Sports Man

French winger with African decent; Kylian Mbappe sets record as he becomes the first footballer under the age of 20 to be nominated for the award twice in a row. I guess there’s something cooking in the African blood stream this season. Although Africa has seen the rise of giants like Didier Drogba (Cote d’ivore), Samuel Eto (Cameroon), Yaya Toure (Cote d’ivore), Kanu Nwankwo (Nigeria), and Jay Jay Okocha (Nigeria), who all at some point could have clenched the award but didn’t, we are yet to see an African attain this feat.

Leave us a comment if you TINK any of these two African players would make it to the final 3 and which one of them would most likely lift the trophy.

Nike; I Likey

NIKE IS STARTING MOVEMENTS AROUND THE WORLD WITH AMAZING ADS #JUSTDOIT

Source: AdWeek

Source: AdWeek

I remember back in the day I had a friend who sincerely wanted to become a writer and he was stalling on picking up the pen due to some thought that he had piled up in his head that he was never going to be good enough, then something happened. We were sitting in my father’s house one day watching television and someone walked in with a pair of shoes and my friend got up and left without saying a word to anyone.

I went to see him the following day and he said to me that he went home to write because he saw something that changed his life. Apparently he had seen three words written on the shoe box which were three words “just do it”. Till this day he loves to write and he wears only Nike.

If you have been paying attention to all of Nike’s just do it campaigns you will realize that this is beyond advertising, it’s about connecting to the deepest parts of people’s mindset, to spark up something. The attention has shifted from just selling but to making giants out of consumers and this will invariably lead to increased sales. People want to know that you just don’t want to take from them but you are willing to give back.

As Nike celebrates its 30th anniversary it may seem that the brand has developed a huge interest in athletes like Colin Kaepernick, Serena Williams and Caster Semenya who have had their fair share of controversy in recent times. Although this move started uproar with the rise of counter hashtag #JustBurnIt but Nike handled it with some style and the #JustDoIt campaign is unruffled.

We like what Nike is doing because they are TINKing. Nike is using their ads to start movements all over the world and it is spreading like wild fire. I’m just waiting for weekend so I can stroll into a Nike store to add to my collection.

This ad was done to inspire Latino women to get the more involved in sports. Now you see what I mean?

K.O from the Man with the Iron Fist

FLY LIKE A BUTTERFLY STING LIKE A BEE, HE WILL KNOCK YOU OUT EVEN IF YOU WERE THREE.

Source: Telegraph

Source: Telegraph

Ok so this guy just gives me a lot of joy, if you don’t know him it means you have either been in a coma for the last couple of years or you have beaten both Russia and the USA to be the first to live on Jupiter and didn’t get the right PR. He is not a bird, he is not a plane, he is Nigeria’s own iron man, delivering the iron fist to the face of his opponents, and his name is Anthony Joshua. I just felt like one who was announcing the boxer’s entrance into the ring.

Source: Baltimore Sun

Source: Baltimore Sun

This youngster, just 28 years old has been enjoying a sweet streak of victory. He is certainly in his McFadden and Whitehead moment, “ain’t no stopping him now, his on the move”.

Source: DailyMail

Source: DailyMail

His most recent victory was the iron fist he landed on Alexander Povetkin’s jaw which totally knocked him out after the 7th round on the 24th of September.

Source: Daily Updates 247

Source: Daily Updates 247

The 3 times heavy weight champion now has 22 victories dangling from his belt and now he is on to take down some more top guns as he has identified opponents for his next three fights, Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury and then Dillian Whyte.

Watching the champ release those guns in the ring is a beauty to watch and I’m sure that many young people all over the world, especially Nigerians would not just enjoy the beauty of his success but also admire the pain of hard work and tenacity.

With fury in his eyes, passion in his fist, amazing work ethics and a great smile, Anthony Joshua is set to take the world one punch at a time. The next contender had better watched his jaw because Joshua would certainly knock him out.

Concoction Is Creeping Into Africa

… TO PLAY OR NOT TO PLAY, YOU’VE GOT TO PLAY ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.

Source: ESPN

Source: ESPN

There are many things Africans love and this is certainly not one of them, or so I thought. I know Africans love their lives –that’s why we don’t act too many horror movies because we can’t just imagine putting ourselves in such dilemmas, I know we love money –check our music videos and movies you are sure to find this true, we love intellectual prowess – this is based on the number of Africans doing remarkable things all over the world, we also love to have fun –this I do not need to explain. Although I have always known that the only African nation that loves what this article is about is South Africa, however, recent findings have proven me wrong –concoction is slowly creeping into the continent.

Ever seen the movie Concoction by Will Smith, where he tried to play the role of a Nigerian doctor? Great movie, the movie was about American football also known as Rugby. The game is great, I love the strategy and keen planning for every event but I have an issue with the constant clashing of heads, just saying.

Source: Ghana Crusader

Source: Ghana Crusader

Rugby started way before the 19th century and is currently grossing hundreds of millions of pounds globally and right now, Africa is the new ground the sport has to conquer as many African countries have begun to show great interest in the game. This shouldn’t be a problem as Africa is known as the home of sports with a large interest in every event especially soccer.

We TINK rugby will thrive in Africa because many African men seem to be built for the game; having broad shoulders, strong belly, strong bones and a mean outlook –I’m already intimidating myself because I am the exact opposite and I’m African, why me? *Crying.

A 2018 report released by APO group on African rugby showed that there has been a phenomenal increase in participation and registration to play the sport by Africans. Increasing number of player registrations shows growth over 66% in 2017 against an overall global increase of 27%. Registration growth in Senegal and Nigeria 2012-2017 is over 292% and 282% respectively. African countries where average growth rate is above 35% includes; Zimbabwe, Uganda, Senegal, Tunisia, Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland, South Africa, Nigeria, Madagascar, Kenya, Cameroon, Morocco, Zambia.

Source: Independent

Source: Independent

Soon we will begin to stay glued to our screens to watch our team clash heads in order to get the ball beyond a straight line. Therefore, brands and organizations should start considering jumping on this bandwagon to give their brands some visibility and also give some young people some form of livelihood as they apply themselves to play –although with the steady growth and good investment in the game, this trend is inevitable.

Just TINKing, that’s what we do here.

Show Me the Money

OK LET’S BET, AT THE END OF THIS ARTICLE YOU WILL BE STUNNED, PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS.

Source: Unsplash

Source: Unsplash

You are right to be excited, the numbers are huge and the enthusiasm is massive. Gaming, particularly sports betting in Nigeria is blowing up and it’s blowing up good. Every young person I know plays some form of sports betting or the other. Just last week, my mother asked me to help her open an account on one of the leading sports betting sites and I was stunned. The woman is well above 60 and she doesn’t even watch as much football as I do but she said and I quote “if the numbers are this huge and people are making some free money, then I want to take my slice of the pie”. You can imagine how shook I was.

Source: Wp

Source: Wp

Sports betting industry in Nigeria is currently worth well over $2 billion and Nigerians are betting nearly N5 billion daily. Now you’ll see that that your N100 slip that you want to use to win N1 million is worth something to the industry. Sports’ betting in Nigeria has remarkably evolved from physically going to a shop to play pool to betting online on virtually every sporting event around the world.

Source: Poco Movie Plex

Source: Poco Movie Plex

This industry is growing at an exponential rate owing to a few reasons which includes; the increasing population of youth in the country –65% of Nigerians are young people, a technologically savvy generation, the extraordinary love for sports, the growing interest of females in sports and most especially, the need to make some quick money. Trust me; if you live in Nigeria, you need to make some money.

I have tried my hands on betting recently and I must say it is really addictive. The hope that you may get it right the next time drives you to play again, no matter how many times you lose money you always want to get that money back by betting the next weekend. And this is actually economically good for the country as income generated tends to enter into the infrastructural development purse in form of tax and other fees imposed on betting companies.

Source: YNaija

Source: YNaija

Despite the existing challenges, I am certain this exponential growth that’s currently being experienced in the industry is not about to slow down, as technology is sure to take it to the next level with newer and better innovative designs. Plus the large number of betting platforms available to people and having amazing incentives will continually woo more participants. Tell me, who doesn’t like to make some money that he didn’t have to work so hard for?

So are you stunned? If you aren’t, I’m glad you don’t know where to find me because you aren’t getting your money.