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Tiwa Savage, Victor Osimhen, Hilda Baci and the never-say-die Nigerian spirit

By Biodun Busari Afrobeats queen, Tiwa Savage; Napoli striker, Victor Osimhen; and gourmet chef, Hilda Baci are Nigerians who, again, have just reminded the world…

By Biodun Busari

Afrobeats queen, Tiwa Savage; Napoli striker, Victor Osimhen; and gourmet chef, Hilda Baci are Nigerians who, again, have just reminded the world that the Nigerian never-say-die spirit cannot only break old records, but equally sets new ones.

Victory is sweet, but the sweat, toil and guts are the bricks on which triumphs are built; and while many know this, there are only a few that are ready to pay this price. This is what Baci, Savage and Osimhen portrayed.

It may appear we have disturbing issues in Nigeria, the most populous African country. But this May 2023 is our stage to blow our own trumpet and boast of our strengths and celebrate the passion, resilience and hard work, which are the essential ingredients that cook our success.

If you are among the 200+ million Nigerians that reside in the highbrow areas of Lagos, Rivers, or Abuja, which project our lushness and affluence to the world, you can still live a more beautiful, wealthy life by breaking more records of success.

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To those who have stakes and control our trading arenas in Kasuwar Kwari clothing market in Kano, or Zaki Biam yam market in Benue, or Bodija foodstuff market in Oyo, or Onitsha industrial equipment market in Anambra, this moment is here to remind you that your efforts can be written in the annals.

Whether you live in the adorning sprawling slums of Makoko or Okpoko or find yourself in the Almajiri system that beautifies the North, let this moment be the driving force that the Nigerian audacity in you can surmount mountains and scale hurdles.

Nigerians are unique, they are born with lofty aspirations, nurtured with undying quests, schooled with zeal and forged with unrivaled diligence; and yes, we don’t give up, even in the face of failures and hardships, we defy all odds and become success global brands.

In this month of May and the year 2023, the globe paused for at least three moments to negate its own rotational task in its orbit, and salute our music star, Tiwa Savage; football sensation, Victor Osimhen; and phenomenal chef, Hilda Effiong Bassey, who stamped the proud trademark of Nigeria, the giant of Africa, in the world’s business.

On Thursday, 4th May, 2023, Victor Osimhen ended the 33-year Scudetto drought for Italian Serie A giants, Napoli, as his goal in a 1-1 draw against Udinese sent Naples, Italy, into wild jubilations. The goal was his 22nd, breaking the Cameroonian legend Samuel Eto’o’s record as the African with the most goals in a single Serie A season.

Days later, he went a step further, as the great Nigerian he is, took his goals to 47 to beat the Liberian and African icon George Weah, who held the record with 46 goals in 114 Serie A games.

And when the whole country was still in the euphoria of Osimhen’s records, Tiwa Savage stepped into the arena and made history on Sunday, May 6, 2023, when she performed at the coronation concert of King Charles III and Queen Camilla at Windsor Castle, London, England.

The world, not Africa alone, became her audience as she became the first Nigerian artiste to perform at the royal coronation; a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

And we never knew what was coming, we did not have a clue of what was cooking and Hilda Baci set the world agog, breaking the Guinness World Record for the longest cooking marathon by an individual.

Baci smashed the 87 hours 45 minutes record set by the Indian chef, Lata Tandon, a feat registered in Rewa, northeastern India, in 2019.

The 27-year-old Nigerian chef did not just break a record, she set a new one for cooking for 100 hours, the longest period for an individual; a feat achieved at Amore Gardens, Lekki, Lagos, on Monday, May 15, 2023.

What a time to be a Nigerian! What a time to have Nigerians doing exploits. What a time to tell yourself that you can achieve your dreams!

We have over 250 ethnic groups, and three major religions including a plethora of cultural beliefs, political differences, and ideological sentiments, but our creed as Nigerians remains the power to dare — we are always unfazed by obstacles because we are immune to limitations.

Osimhen, Savage and Baci did not hit the mark on the days we celebrated with them. They had had moments of despair when insults were hurled at them; they might have been dissuaded, dejected, neglected or rejected, but Nigerians never quit — a lesson you should take home today, regardless of your age, ethnicity, religion or background.

The trio have become our songs, kings hail them, compatriots cheer them, and history reckons with them because they are Nigerians with a never-say-die spirit.

We have icons in politics, religion, academia, sports, entertainment, business, and other fields, whether they are in the Guinness World Records or the Time, or broken or set one record or the other; they are the ones that have walked the paths of dignity, passion, determination to become successful and make Nigeria the envy of the world.

As for the rest of us at home or in the Diaspora, cheering our own, in the torrential rain or the scorching sun, while working assiduously to make a fortune and write our names with gold, we are the champions, because we are daring, and daring greatly.

There is no jinx that cannot be broken by Nigerians, let the world know this! And let this epistle be for Nigerians, as well as for the citizens of the earth — whether Jews or Arabs, Americans or Russians, conservatives or liberals, democrats or republicans, living in the city or countryside, you can achieve your goals with hard work and focus.

Whether you want to write a best-selling book, or climb Everest, or win Balon d’Or, or cover miles, or champion a cause, or any record at all, that will go down memory lane, you can never be stopped if you put all your might into it regardless of social depravities, economic woes or political maladies that stare our country in the face.

If you are a Nigerian, know this, both the blood that runs in your vein and the spirit in your human frame can earn you success anywhere, any day, if only you ignite and run with the never-say-die Nigerian spirit, as the world just witnessed in Victor Osimhen, Tiwa Savage and Hilda Baci, who have written their names in chronicles of life.

Busari, a digital media journalist, wrote from Lagos

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