Russia 2018 is upon us.
Nigeria is one of the African countries to show off melanin and swagger in that uber-cold European country and we, Nigerians, are excited.
As you know, nothing unites Nigeria better than a good game of football involving the Super Eagles.
As we speak, brand endorsements are flying up and down. And this rash has also caught up with the music industry.
Shortly after Nigeria qualified for Russia in 2017, Naira Marley teamed up with Lil Kesh and Olamide to wax, ‘Issa Goal’. A playful song modelled for the Shaku Shaku dance, it draws a hilarious inventory of goal possibilities.
The puzzling deployment of “Olosho issa goal” shows the extent to which ‘goal’ has been mobilized from the ecstatic but arduous act of putting a ball behind a goalkeeper to a motley of possible pleasures. No matter, the hum of the song is delightful and it sure will make you dance.
A few days back, Nigeria’s official song for Russia 2018 was released. You probably guessed right if you said it was the usual suspect. Phyno and Olamide. ‘’The King of the West and East’’.
The Pheelz-produced ‘Road 2 Russia (Dem Go Hear Am)’ has that Keggites shtick about it. The song’s briskly-paced percussion will make midriffs quiver and the ululations buried within the song ensures it is a set-piece that exploits our idea of what a football song is. This is a song made for gyrations!
It is Tony One Week all over again but with that Olamide and Phyno commercial feel. Even though a video has not been released, every Nigerian can direct one from memory. A fast-paced game of Super Eagles heroes on replay. Brilliant passes with that masterstroke of genius—a goal!—and then the celebratory dance. Of course, you guessed right, it is Shaku Shaku.
Imagine our boys in their best haircuts, wearing that lovely green Nike jerseys, hands fasten to an X sign in front of them whilst their legs dribble on the same spot. Shaku Shaku is a goal!
Of course, imagination is PR. We are in a tough group and we need more than beautiful jerseys to qualify for the Second Round. Judging from our recent friendlies, our performance is not exactly superb but what we lack in performance we make up for in optimism.
Enter Adekunle Gold and Mayorkun’s duet, ‘Believe Anthem’. This guitar-based song is prophetic and Adekunle Gold is enthused when he sings that we must get the trophy because we love it more than everyone else.
It will be nice for Nigeria to lift the trophy, but it sure takes more than mellifluous singing, optimistic tweets, bumbling dance steps and stylish costumes.
We broke the internet a few days back when our squad shared their arrival pictures in Russia. They looked nifty and flamboyant like pallbearers at the final burial rites of a Yoruba Patriarch.
Musa Okwonga said it best in his series of tweet comparing countries at the world cup to his favourite rappers. He wrote of Nigeria, “If football nations were rappers, Nigeria would be MF DOOM. We’re never quite sure which version is going to turn up, and the only thing we have come to expect is chaos and brilliance in equal measure.”
Shaku Shaku is a goal!