On wednesday in Ukraine, Portugal had the biggest assignment any footballing nation could ever have. They were to square up against the ‘sexy football’ boys of Spain. A lot had been said about La Roja prior to the tournament. One pertinent question everyone kept asking was “can they retain their title?” Spain is known for its ‘tiki-taka’ football, but in this tournament, the tiki-taka brand has not been as effective as it used to. It’s public knowledge that La Roja has lost its killer instinct in the final third. All passing and no penetration. As a result of this, everyone expected Portugal,led by their talismanic speed daemon,Cristiano Ronaldo to give the sexy football boys a run for their money, if not actually, ‘stealing’ the money all together. Well, the Portuguese came, they saw, and they believed tiki-taka! For 90 minutes, Ronaldo and his gang threatened to be a match for the men in red, but in extra time, they were forced to disappear into oblivion. I watched the game with keen interest, and at the end, I was able to deduce the following morals which I believe to hold true in other facets of life.

1. THE PATIENT DOG DOESN’T ALWAYS EAT THE FATTEST BONE: Portuguese speed daemon, Cristiano Ronaldo had been impressive in the first 90 minutes of play but went missing in the 30 minutes of extra time. Big deal! No superstar in a team playing against a Barca-Madrid filled Spanish side always stays in limelight for the entire duration of a match. You must go MIA at some point – no thanks to the tiki taka routine of the Spanish side. During the penalty shoot-out, CR7 opted to take the fifth penalty for his side. But he never had the chance as two team mates of his lost their earlier spot kicks and the shoot-out was put to an end abruptly by Cesc Fabregas when he coolly slotted his shot home to send Spain through. Ronaldo was patient,but he never had the chance. In whatever you do, know that as much as patience is a virtue, you must learn when to strike. Learn to take what rightfully belongs to you ‘violently’ if you have to. Sometimes,you just have to be a Nani(who stopped Bruno Alves half-way when he(Alves) wanted to take his penalty kick the first time, and took it instead), not a Ronaldo.

2.NO MATTER HOW GOOD YOU ARE, YOU CAN BE REPLACED AT ANYTIME: Everybody knows Xavi and what he brings to the game. But on the night, the Spanish midfield maestro had to be replaced in the second half. Xavi wasn’t playing badly, but the coach had a better idea. In whatever you do or in all your achievements, never relax on your laurels. Step up your game or risk being replaced by somebody who has a better idea. Ask MySpace about Facebook!

3. NOTHING CAN STOP A DETERMINED MAN: Sergio Ramos made the headlines sometime in May when he played his penalty to Mars instead of into the net in front of him in the Champions League game between his side, Real Madrid and Bayernmunich. His coach, Jose Mourinho must have regretted giving him this advise prior to the game: “If you want to make it in life,aim for the skies.” Ramos took the advise to the extreme. On wednesday, Ramos atoned for that sin when he confidently replicated a Pirlo panenka-style penalty. Only a lad who is determined to forget the past and face the task in front of him could have done that. In life, your past matters as much as you let it.


I was at the E-centre,Yaba on saturday to see the noise-making movie, *********. Can you guess the movie in question? Avengers? Nah, I already saw that in my dream the night after it became public knowledge that there was a new movie like that. Thanks to my high level of imagination. Once I learnt the movie was about a number of Marvel’s super heroes coming together, I instantly imagined their mission would be to save the world. And how right I was! The noise-making movie I went to see was MIB 3, and good Lord was I disappointed?! Never seen a movie so so monotonous in storyline as MIB3. Of course,there were great moments,but if I had known it was 90% comedy and 10% action(???) I would have chosen to watch a Charlie Chapman’s (hope I got his surname right. Charlie is so so 70s. Forgotten.) movie at home instead.
After the movie, I strolled into a bookshop at the E-centre and guess the first book that caught my attention? Okechukwu Ofili’s “How Laziness saved my Life.” I ‘know’ Mr Ofili and have read about the book, but seeing the book right before me was like beholding a new born. The joy, the smiles and then the urge to touch and feel same. Finally, I had the much talked about “lazy” book in my hands. Without hesitating, I paid for it and left. I didn’t just buy the book because of the rave reviews I had read about it,neither did I just buy it because of it’s quality print. I bought it for two other reasons: because I wanted to live longer and also because I wanted to earn extra cash.
To mark the publication of his second book. Mr Ofili is organising what I tag the “Lazy Contest.” To partake in the contest, all you have to do is buy the book “How laziness saved my life.” Send in a “lazy” picture of your self reading the book at work and the receipt of purchase to ofili@ofilispeaks.com. You automatically qualify to win a Bold 9930 or its equivalent ($300). For more on this contest,visit www.ofilispeaks.com/contest/

The pictures you see above are entries to the contest and they have come from all around the world. Yours faithfully is still thinking of the “laziest” pose ever to take! Ehe, to how I hope to live longer by partaking in this contest, what do doctors say about living a cheerful,happy,smile-filled and funfilled life? It enlongates your lifespan. Looking at the pictures above, tell me you didn’t laugh your brains off? Yeah, you may have just added a few inches to your lifespan unknowingly! And peradventure I win the contest, I will be $300 richer! Whew!
I rest my case!


I took some time out during lunchtime to visit the Art Gallery, Art Place at Magodo. I was impressed with what I saw and wished they were my creations instead. My visit there reminded of one thing, my aborted dream – to be a fine artist ****sobbing**** Don’t get me wrong; I love my current life and potential career,but I wish I can still live the life of a fine artist. By the way,who says I can’t study fine art again(of course,not in a tertiary institution) ? I could still learn it part-time! Hmm, that’s true oo.


If you had the opportunity to interview God one-on-one, what questions would you ask Him? I dreamt I had an interview with God. God asked, “so you would like to interview me?”
“If you have the time,” I said.
God smiled.”My time is eternal,” He said. “What questions do you have in mind for me ?”
“What surprises you most about humankind ?” I queried. God answered:
“That they get bored with childhood, they rush to grow up,and then long to be children again. That they loose their health to make money and then loose their money to restore their health. That by thinking anxiously about the future, they forget the present, such that they live in neither the present nor the future. That they live as if they will never die, and die as though they had never lived.”
God’s hand took mine and we were silent for a while and then I asked, “As a parent,what is one major life lesson you want Your children to learn ?” God answered, “To learn they cannot make anyone love them. All they can do is let themselves be loved.”

I woke up from the dream, stunned at God’s marvelling revelations. If you have the opportunity to ask God pertinent questions, what questions will you ask?