If you want something done, ask a woman
By Tony Ubani
The recent triumph of Tobiloba Amusan who became the first Nigerian athlete, to be crowned champion at all levels of athletics in the same year and the only Nigerian(dead or alive) to break a World Record has once again brought up the issue of the strength or power of women in sports.
Team Nigeria finished at the top of the African medals standings at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
As expected, Team Australia dominated the entire competition with the most golds as well as an overall medals haul while Teams South Africa and Kenya came in behind Nigeria in second and third place respectively as far as the continent’s representatives were concerned.
Nigeria’s 12 gold medals were won by women. Six of the nine silver medals for Nigeria were also by Women. Eight of the 14 bronze medals for the country were also by the Women.
Thus overall, 26 of Nigeria’s 35 medals were won by the Women.
Without the Women, Team Nigeria would have covered their faces in shame and enter the country from the back door just like they did at the London 2012 Olympics.
And like Tanya Shree wrote; ‘’A world without women is like a life without care, love, respect, importance, understanding, responsibility and aim’’.
Women deserve to be celebrated for their extraordinary contributions to society, remarkable triumphs and unmatched fearlessness.
Despite the rough terrains in Nigeria, women have continued to thrive and beat the odds.
Marilyn Monroe may have had Nigerian women in mind when she said, “Strong women don’t have ‘attitudes’, we have standards”. Truly, Nigerian Women have set standards for men in sports, thereby down-playing the old saying that referred them as the WEAKER SEX.
In Nigerian sporting circles, we have seen women who embodied resilience, perseverance, confidence and courage like Tobi Amusan, Chioma Ajunwa, Mary Onyali, Falilat Ogunkoya, Glory Alozie, Blessing Okagbare, Blessing Oborududu, Odunayo Adekuroye, Ese Brume, Chioma Onyekwere, Asisat Oshoala, Funke Oshonaike, Ikpeoyi Ifechukwude Christiana, Alice Folashade Oluwafemiayo, Goodness Chiemere Nwachukwu, Adijat Adenike Olarinoye among others.
And like Dame Pauline K. Tallen, the Honourable Minister of Women Affairs said; there is indeed a need to celebrate Nigerian Women and Girls, as they continue to redefine Nigeria in the eyes of the world.
‘’The young women on the Team Nigeria to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham have risen to the challenge of changing the narratives for the image of Nigeria for the best, by hurling in gold medals to place Nigeria on the global arena as the best African Team in the competition. As I watched these amazing amazons embrace the Nigerian flag with infectious joy, to the amazement of the world, I was more than ever convinced that the future of this Nation lies in the indomitable spirit of the Nigerian lWoman. If they can do it in sports, they can also bring about a robust and strategic approach in addressing the challenges of the Nigerian State. Women, I should say, hold the ace and must be given the opportunity to showcase their potential’’.
The Nigerian women have spoken. And like Margret Thatcher once said, If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman’’.
12 Nigerian gold medalist from Commonwealth Games in 2022
1. Tobi Amusan. (100m hurdles)
2. Ese Brume. (Long Jump)
3. Amusan. Ofili. Nwokocha. Chukwuma. (4 x 100 meters)
4. Chioma Onyekwere. (Discus)
5. Miesinnei Mercy Genesis (Wrestling)
6. Oduntayo Adekuoroye. (Wrestling)
7. Blessing Oborududu. (Wrestling)
8. Folashade Oluwafemiayo. (Powerlifting Para)
9. Rafiatu Folashade Lawal. (Weightlifting)
10. Adijat Adenike Olarinoye (Weight lifting)
11. Goodness Nwachukwu. (Discus Para)
12. Eucharia Njideka Iyiazi (Shot Put Para)