Land that he loves, our Sierra Leone


Nahim Khadi shows them what it takes to succeed


Nahim Khadi , The Patriot 

Nahim Khadi’s instant success as President of Sierra Leone’s  beleaguered football  association has shown that if any man  really loves his country he would work very hard to succeed in his national vocation for the betterment of that country.

It takes nothing but patriotism to answer the national call and succeed . Where others with more  flamboyant academic letters like Justice Thola Thompson failed miserably, Nahim Khadi , without an LL.B, Masters or P.HD  but patriotism firmly embedded in his heart, has scored a resounding success  that should be the envy of all.

Only an unschooled hermit does not know the importance of sports to a nation’s local and international pride. Those in tune with reality know too well that sports has become one of the most pronounced vehicles for the acquisition of international respect and conspicuousity. Many economically hapless nations have  used sports to make  up for it in the area of international respect . Countries like Brazil, Argentina, Columbia  are third world nations like Sierra Leone but they are highly respected in the world because of their accomplishments in sports.

Secondly, in a world full of frustrations and all manners of anxieties, one of the easiest preoccupations  to keep the people happy is sports. Leaders who know the opium of joy that sports is go allout to provide it in copious intensity in their national agendas.

Sports also  binds the people of a nation together and promotes national unity and cohesion. When Brazil played in Nigeria in 1969 , at the heat of the Civil war, both the Federal and the Breakaway Biafran forces declared a ceasefire for one day to enable the nation to watch the match. And it was said that soldiers from behind rival battlelines cheered the national team together and even shook each others’ hands after the game. They resumed fighting after the dust of the game had settled. That is how much sports can unite a nation. And if one needs to know how much a nation is being neglected by its leaders,  he only needs look at the country’s sporting program.

Sierra Leone has always been a neglected nation. Most recently, not only did the people have no food on their plates or a place to lay their heads. They had nothing on the national  agenda like sports to relieve their tensions and frustrations . And it was not because of want of sportsmen and women. The country is bursting at the seams with talented people in all areas of sports, but alas, the men to make the nation savor these talents were not there.

There were men holding the positions of leaders of the Sierra Leone Football Association but they did not accomplish a thing. They failed because they were not patriotic. They did not love their nation enough to realize what the country  was missing . They did not care enough for the starving people to provide what they were crying for, in the name of sporting entertainment.

All those holding the name of SLFA President in vain  were concerned with were power struggles, lining their pockets and perpetuating their own personal agendas.  As a result of their inept, inefficient and impotent performance, Sierra Leone had no local soccer program and the national team died an unnatural death.  People longed for the good, old days of superfluous soccer matches in vain. As names like Mighty Blackpool , East End Lions, Real Republicans, Ports Authority , Old Edwardians, Regents Olympic etc.  died, frustrated soccer fans turned to the EPL  and embraced foreign teams like Manchester United , Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, etc. Televised English Premier League matches were all they had.

But all that is over now. The National Soccer league is back and fans now have their weekend football entertainment once again.  Mighty Blackpool is back. East End Lions F.C.  is back. The May Park Boys Old Edwardians  are back. Also, the national pride–The Leone Stars -have been rebuilt and last weekend, they gave our neigbours something to think about when they thrashed Liberia 2-0 , Gambia 1-0 and Guinea 2-0 to win the 4-nation soccer tournament.

All praise to Nahim Khadi, the true patriot, who loved his country enough to realize that he had to do his work. If others in positions of responsibility in Sierra Leone can just emulate Mr. Khadi, the nation will be up and running again. His achievement assumes even greater significance as it comes at a time when Sierra Leone has been denied debt relief by the 8 richest nations in the world for non-performance and  the hopelessness  of the government in power.

And those who have followed soccer for long know that this is  not Mr. Khadi’s first achievement. He is the  patriot who dipped his hands into his own pockets in the past to help build up soccer giants like Old Edwardians and East End Lions. There was a time in the late 70s and early 80s when Edwardians were famous for wearing the best sports jerseys  in Sierra Leone in addition to playing  some of the most exciting and entertaining  soccer . Edwards showcased  brand-new jerseys in almost every match  and they represented the country in the Africa Cup-Winners Cup and later the Champions League. .Khadi spent his own money to ensure all that.

We hope other Sierra Leoneans will emulate Nahim Khadi who infact hails from a family of soccer promoters in Sierra Leone. .



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