What exactly is the point of assignments?
With a single question I have managed to summarize the first ten years of my young life. For reasons akin to overconfidence and intelligence (or the acute lack of), I never took school work serious.
I was more concerned about the Champion’s league match that would be broadcasted live on NTA than I was Teacher Joseph’s assignment. My mum was utterly against this, understandably.
I remember a night around the year 2002 during the African Cup of nations. With my Dad and I ready to watch Senegal play Cameroon, the lights went off. My dad, who wouldn’t miss the game for anything, left for his friend’s house that had a power generator. I insisted on following him. Mum said no.
On realizing that no amount of persuasion would soften her stance, I subtly sneaked out, in the night, to watch at a nearby barber’s shop. Your guess is as good as mine, she found out and found me, took me in the midst of the group of old men I was watching with and beat the sh*t outta my destiny. I was 7 at that time.
I remember, also, how I missed the obligatory school assembly (and Uncle Joseph’s Good morning MATHS) to watch Julius Ahgahowa score for Nigeria against Sweden during the 2002 Korea / Japan World Cup, Nigeria would go on to lose the match 2-1 thanks to an Henrik Larrson brace.
As obvious as it seemed that I was not the serious type, I almost always managed to finish top 3 in my class.
It was like I was programmed to finish 2nd or 3rd (depending on other students’ performance). And apparently that was about was expected of me at home. My mum always said “you’ve tried, but you can do better” which pretty much sounded like “nice work you absolute genius”, after every second best performance.
And then there was Williams who always led the class. Williams was queer, he was quite different from the rest of us students. Even at such tender age, Williams always seemed to be aware of the prize at stake. But, unlike the rest of us, he never came to school in tidy uniforms; they were either dirty or tattered. Strange too was the fact no one (students) knew his parents, they never showed up for school events, parties etc. What was certain, however, was that albeit Williams didn’t have the best of resources to work with, he always led the class.
So when I saw Sanchez out-jump two obviously taller players to score Arsenal’s opener against Burnley, It struck me that perhaps there is in fact a correlation between circumstance induced motivation and excellent results, that perhaps that was what set Williams apart from the rest of us.
And that’s probably why Saurez like Sanchez churned out series of exceptional displays during his teenage years so he could move to Europe and live with his one and true love, it’s also perhaps why in training Ronaldo tied weight to his ankles to build his strengths.
These fellows are haunted by the thought of being good; which is dangerous. To them, being good is not an option; it’s a reminder of the existence of failure.
You could see that too, when Sanchez moves, he’s hurrying, and anybody in his way is regarded as an anachronism to be bypassed, an obstacle to be eliminated.
And that, my friend, is why we’re so lucky to have him.