Friday, 24 August 2012

Hamadou Djibo Issaka: A clown from Niger Republic!

A young junior lawyer recently made his first appearance in an English court but that appearance turned out to be a disaster! He appeared in court 25 minutes after the commencement of the court proceedings. The presiding judge was obviously not amused and asked him to leave the court. While leaving the court, our young lawyer who was obviously mad at the judge posited that the judge should have been lenient with him by considering the fact that this appearance was supposed to be his first as a newly qualified lawyer. The judge as you would expect never gave a damn!

The young lawyer’s argument may seem palatable and definitely would generate sympathy from every corner of the world but the fact is that in England we have a tradition; our distinct way of doing things. One of these traditions is that lawyers do not come late to court otherwise the sanctity of the court would be violated. To be called to the English bar, a candidate must be worthy both in character and learning. A lawyer who cannot come to court early cannot be a good lawyer and is not worthy to be one. He must always be prepared and any behaviour contrary to punctuality is would not be tolerated. Lawyers are the best and are expected to always be!

Why am I telling this story? I am telling this story because I want to connect it with what happened today at the just concluded London 2012 Olympic. The subject of the story is Hamadou Djibo Issaka, the Niger rower who was entered for the London Olympics despite only having three months of experience in the sport. His performance was embarrassing and not funny and I do not see why anyone should even praise him for taking part in the game to make mockery of us all. At the last Olympic, the clown was a swimmer from Equatorial Guinea. Why must the clowns always come from Africa? Since when did Africa become a land of clowns?

It is true that Olympic is not all about winning but mainly about participating; but I am also sure that it is not a symposium where stupidity is celebrated. I cannot imagine that this young man woke up this morning and deliberately decided to turn this spectacular game into the worst show on earth! What on earth was he thinking? What was going on in his little dwarfed retarded mind? Did he wake up with a hangover?

Hamadou Djibo Issaka was simply not ready for the game and should not have been encouraged to come and make fun of himself in the full glare of the public! I thought people ought to wash their dirty linens in the private? Many friends are defending him, trying hard to persuade me that there is a sense in him participating in the game. I am not persuaded! I so much doubt it for I am yet to see the sense. His participation in the game reflects the state of Africa as a whole; lack of preparation and seriousness! He should not have been allowed to participate. A man who is not ready is not ready and there is nothing you can do about it. How on earth could he have done that? Where is the wisdom in his decision to participate in this event? Where is the wisdom in preparing for the greatest show on earth in just three months when other competitors have spent years and even decades preparing for it? Was he trusting that God would perform a miracle, the African way? Things do not work that way for I was taught that heaven could only help those who are helpful to themselves! You don’t pray for miracle, you work for it!  You must put in an effort!

A friend described his appearance in a very positive tone saying that it is a hallmark of African courage, resilience and spirit. Really? It seems to me that the African spirit means not taking things serious, not preparing for anything, not being ready, taking things for granted, African time and above all flying all the way from Niger Republic to embarrass his country and the whole of Africa hoping that ‘insha Allah’, there will be a miracle. Talks much about Africa and Africans...the African way!

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