Category Archives: Sports

A conversation with myself: What if I ran for president?

A conversation with myself: What if I ran for president?

This conversation with myself started at the end of the 2012 London Olympics. Nigeria had just failed to win any medals in the Olympic Games for the first time since Seoul 1988, even though 55 competitors represented the country in the Games. The United States and China won 104 and 88 medals respectively to lead the medal standings, but they also sent 530 and 396 competitors to the games. I compared our performance with Botswana and Kenya who sent 4 and 47 competitors and came back with 1 and 11 medals respectively. Mathematically speaking, that is 1 out of every 5 American athletes, 2 out of every 9 Chinese athletes, and 1 out of 4 athletes for both Botswana and Kenya. In essence, these two African countries performed better than the medal leaders, but I digress. I wondered how much support was provided to the athletes before the event and how prepared the Nigerian Olympic Committee (NOC) had been for London 2012. I read an article that suggested that the substantial investment from the NOC came very late, while a ministry official said that was not an issue. Either way, with the Nigerian national football team failing to qualify for the 2012 African Nations Cup and the issues at this recent Olympics, I concluded that sports are just not a priority on the national landscape anymore.

Then I thought, “Could I do a better job if I ran for President of Nigeria?” What would I base my platform on? Would I focus on investment in the development of science and technology? Increase electric power access from 36% to 60% of the population? Investment in development sports programs? Healthcare and welfare programs for the less-privileged? Like the different secretariats of the Bokamoso Leadership Forum, the issues at the national level are wide and varied and the methods to address must follow suit. Yet as President Barack Obama said recently, “If you want to be president, you have to work for everybody, not just for some.” Essentially, while you might be passionate about one or two things, you have to spread your energies to various projects so you don’t lose a portion of your electorate. The question is do the leaders fail because they try to accomplish all these things at the same time rather than focus on one? Or they fail because they focus only in one and leave out others? Is that a recipe for failure as the national leader?

I asked myself: what I am most passionate about? And the answer came easily because it’s always been advancing science and translating it to technological viability. Therefore, I am better suited for a place where I can focus on strengthening those ideas as opposed to spreading the wealth to other things I am not as passionate about. The self-argument moved to wondering if that was a task for a person in the public sector (using funds from the federal, state and local budget) or for a person in the private sector (using funds generated from capital investments)? That is a debate that has been going on for centuries. It’s the reason for the divide in American politics and elsewhere and one that even economics can’t come to a solid agreement on.

In the end, one thing became partially clear to me: While the title and position of president is relevant, the role an individual has to play is more important. This is what our forum is about: Generating leaders who are held accountable for their roles. A leader doesn’t necessarily have to be someone who is working in government, but they are a person who wants to see their passion spread to others; spread in just a way that it ignites the others to take that idea and run with it to other people. That is our goal and I hope that as we continue to converse and share our ideas, that you join us on this journey of honest conversation and self-reflection.

Portraits of Olympic Dreams Running out of Africa

Portraits of Olympic Dreams Running out of Africa

Tweet Twice this year, the Olympic stadium in London stood on its feet and cheered Mo Farah as he crossed the finish line. The gold medal winner of the Men’s 5,000 and 10,000 meters made his country proud, and instantly he became a hero because no British man had ever won any of those twoContinue Reading

‘Exiled’ African Athletes, Career and Sport Citizenship Challenge

‘Exiled’ African Athletes, Career and Sport Citizenship Challenge

Tweet by Gerard Akindes In their slide show In pictures: Africa’s exiled Olympians[i] , BBC Africa highlights some African-born elite athletes who will be representing non-African nations at the London Olympic games in 2012. On a similar note, prior to the 26th African Cup of Nations in 2008, BBC Sport presented a comparable article TheContinue Reading

Sports as the new platform for development: New route, old paradigm?

Tweet The United Nations declaration of 2005 as the International Year of Sport and Physical Education marked a significant step in the connection of sports to international development. This forward looking milestone had the effect of bringing sports and physical activities to the global stage whilst recognizing its potential of mass mobilization. Specifically, the endorsementContinue Reading

Reflections on the Autobiography of Kwame Nkrumah

Tweet In the Winter Quarter of 2010, Bokamoso Leadership Forum members read through The Autobiography of Kwame Nkrumah. A couple of articles will be dedicated to reflections by the members on the ideas stuck out to them in the book. We would love for you to join in the conversation by posting commentsBose MaposaStemming fromContinue Reading

Morocco: Better luck in 2030

Tweet In the minds of South Africans, May 15th 2006 is synonymous with great achievement and is a warm-up for a giant leap towards a global event: The 2010 World Cup. However, in the minds of Moroccans, this particular day may not make any sense for some while it may give a feeling of inferiorityContinue Reading

International relations and diplomacy: Reflections on SA 2010 and the power of sports

Tweet by Kombe Kapatamoyo a former graduate student at Ohio University. Kombe is currently a PhD student at West Virginia University. The World Cup next year will be South Africa’s largest sports event. It will not only bring many nations together in one part of the world, but the world’s attention will be focused onContinue Reading

South Africa 2010 World Cup Preliminary Groups

Tweet The groups for the preliminary round of the World Cup have been selected and the groups are as follows Group A South Africa Mexico Uruguay France Group B Argentina Nigeria South Korea Greece Group C England USA Algeria Slovenia Group D Germany Australia Serbia Ghana Group E Netherlands Denmark Japan Cameroon Group F ItalyContinue Reading

In Semenya’s shoes: The deconstruction and reconstruction of gender and sexuality

Tweet by Bose Maposa and Siphokazi MagadlaFor any track and field athlete, the World Championships are the main event, the center stage to prove their worth in the world league and claim their place amongst the greatest. Qualifying to attend these games is an honor in itself; winning a medal a glory; whilst a goldContinue Reading

One year after Xenophobic Attacks: Strengthening Bilateral Relations between Nigeria and South Africa through Tourism

Tweet By Mustapha Kurfi Nigeria and South Africa are two of the largest nations on the African continent, with different historical antecedents yet sharing multiple attributes of post-colonial state. While Nigeria has a population of about 150 million people, South Africa has about 50 million; Nigeria underwent the Civil war while South Africa witnessed theContinue Reading