It‘s been long overdue that I write about this Edo State-born legend who is taking the world by storm by virtue of what I call the Nigerian Spirit. Where do I even start from? What is the Nigerian Spirit? The Nigerian Spirit is a hustler. She walks barefooted. She eats raw meat. She is warm within but aggressive without. She does not agree. She nor dey gree for anybody. She is resilient. She is passionate. She is creative. She is industrious. She has no time to waste time. She is a supreme realist. She understands that the odds are heavily against her but she refuses to give up until the end. She is strong. She has no time for nonsense. She is straightforward. She tells you what she wants and goes after it without waiting for you. Everyone fears her. And others envy her. Because she dey represent. And guess what? That’s exactly what Victor Osimhen proudly represents.

I know the sport‘s column recently mentioned something about his random drug testing. That‘s when they went to the streets of the internet and rooted out Osimhen’s training video. Osimhen trains differently from other footballers. He practices by carrying heavy objects and running over long distances. By running up and down staircases. By repeatedly jumping over old rubber tyres. By playing with the home-based team like he is still an up-and-coming footballer, which he is not.

He was asked in a private interview, “Why are you humble, upon all your money?” He said, “Your bank account balance is another man‘s daily income. You have to bring yourself down for people to raise you up.” Let them keep testing, they‘ll find nothing. The only drug they would find in Osimhen’s veins is the Nigerian Spirit. As a nation, we must tap into this Nigerian Spirit if we are going to be taken seriously. The ways are steps we can take:

Return to our origins: A great number of our failures result from us not actually staying true to who we are or what we can do best. There are too many bandwagons to jump on. Suppose we return to what makes us unique?

Resilience: We live in an ultra fast-paced world and many people lose their patience and get frustrated easily and give up when things get hard. When we start a new venture, after a while it gets boring and mundane and we burn out. Frustration is actually a good thing as it shows that we have probably expended ourselves in some worthy cause, have learnt from vital lessons and had positioned ourselves for some chances of success.

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Dream big dreams: I plan to write a screenplay on this guy. When Osimhen began his career, he used to hawk sachet water in go-slow (traffic jam). He thought he was suffering but he had his vision on his future, and what ached within him was a chance to fulfill his destiny. I remember the movie ‘Queen of Katwe’. The chess coach, David Oyelowo, said, “Those boys are playing to win or lose, but you, you are playing to save your life.”

And guess what? They won. It was the best motivational speech ever. When Osimhen saw where he was coming from, he understood that the odds were stacked against him, and the only way he could break free was to dream big dreams. That is the reason it takes up to three or four defenders to mark Osimhen, because everybody know say the guy dey vex.

Regardless of the fact that we came in second place, our Edo man Osimhen has taught the whole world in his own way the value, the essence of the Nigerian Spirit, a.k.a, “Nor Gree For Anybody”. Personally I am proud of my Edo man, Victor Osimhen, as he showcases our Edo Spirit to the world. I wish him all the best and many more. He deserves it.

*Nosazeme Aimiuwu is an ambitious screenwriter who writes from Ugbowo, Benin City.