Tribute to a Legend at 30

Born John Michael Nchekwube Obinna on 22 April 1987 in Jos, Nigeria. He captured the hearts of Nigerians when he represented the Nigeria under-20 team at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship where won the Silver Ball for the second-best player at the tournament. 

He made his debut for the Nigeria senior team on 17 August 2005, when he came on as a second-half substitute in a 1–0 friendly win over Libya. The versatile legendary player has definitely paved a successful career for himself both in Nigeria and abroad.

Here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about the former Chelsea and Super Eagles midfielder, John Obi Mikel:

1. John Obi Mikel was born as John Michael Nchekwube Obinna on 22 April 1987 in Jos, Nigeria.

2. His father is Michael Obi. His father runs an inter-state transport company in Jos, Nigeria.

3. He commenced his official football career at the age of 12, when he was picked as a talented footballer to play in Pepsi Football Academy.

4. He was later scouted to play for the top-flight club, Plateau United, which has produced top European leagues stars like Victor Obinna, Celestine Babayaro and Chris Obodo to mention a few.

5. He later went on to a trial at South Africa club Ajax Cape Town, ultimately joining Oslo-based club Lyn Fotball in Norway.

6. He won the U-20 Silver Football after being voted the tournament’s second-best player in 2005. Second to the magic Loniel Messi.  He was also awarded with the African Young Player of the Year award in 2005 and 2006.

7. He made his debut for the Nigeria senior team on 17 August 2005, when he came on as a second-half substitute in a 1–0 friendly win over Libya.

8. On 12 August 2011, his father, Michael Obi, was the victim of a suspected kidnapping in Nigeria.

9. In 2013, he was named by the Confederation of African Football in the team of the tournament alongside teammates Vincent Enyeama, Efe Ambrose, Victor Moses and Emmanuel Emenike.

10. He made his FIFA World Cup debut during the 2014 tournament in Brazil, earning a man of the match award in the

Super Eagles’ opening game against Iran and helping the team to reach the knockout stage for the first time since 1998.

*Its also important to note he lost his place in the Chelsea team for representing Nigeria at the Olympics. How patriotic can that be?

Happy 30th birthday celebration Great man and Legend.


​George Junius Stinney Jr; the youngest person executed in U.S.A.

This week on History, we share the controversial story of a the youngest person ever executed in the history of the United States.  
George Junius Stinney Jr. (October 21, 1929 – June 16, 1944) was, at age 14, the youngest person executed in the United States in the 20th century. The question of Stinney’s guilt and the judicial process leading to his execution remain controversial. Stinney, who was black, was arrested on suspicion of murdering two white girls, Betty June Binnicker, age 11, and Mary Emma Thames, age 8, in Alcolu, located in Clarendon County, South Carolina, on March 23, 1944. 

The girls had disappeared while out riding their bicycles looking for flowers. As they passed the Stinney property, they asked young George Stinney and his sister, Katherine , if they knew where to find “maypops”, a type of flower.When the girls did not return, search parties were organized, with hundreds of volunteers.

The bodies of the girls were found the next morning in a ditch filled with muddy water. Both had suffered severe head wounds. Stinney was arrested a few hours later and was interrogated by several white officers in a locked room with no witnesses aside from the officers; because there were no Miranda rights in 1944. Within an hour, a deputy announced that Stinney had confessed to the crime.
No written confession exists, only a few handwritten notes a deputy who was present during the interrogation. Reports said that the officers had offered the boy ice cream for confessing to the crimes. According to the confession, Stinney (90 lbs, 5’1″) wanted to “have sex with ” Betty and could not do so until her companion, Mary was removed from the scene; thus he decided to kill Mary Emma. When he went to kill Mary, both girls “fought back” and he decided to kill Betty, as well, with a 15 inch railroad spike that was found in the same ditch a distance from the bodies. According to the accounts of deputies, Stinney apparently had been successful in killing both at once, causing major blunt trauma to their heads, shattering the skulls of each into at least 4-5 pieces. The next day, Stinney was charged with first-degree murder. 
Jones describes the town’s mood as grief, transformed in the span of a few hours into seething anger, with the murders raising racially and politically charged tension. Townsmen threatened to storm the local jail to lynch Stinney, but prior to this, he had been removed to Charleston by law enforcement.
Stinney’s father was fired from his job at the local lumber mill and the Stinney family left town during the night in fear for their lives.
The trial took place on April 24 at the Clarendon County Courthouse. Stinney’s court appointed lawyer was 30-year-old Charles Plowden, who had political aspirations. Plowden did not cross-examine witnesses; his defense was reported to consist of the claim that Stinney was too young to be held responsible for the crimes. However the law in South Carolina at the time regarded anyone over the age of 14 as an adult.

The jury returned a guilty verdict and Stinney was sentenced to death in the electric chair. When asked about appeals, Plowden replied that there would be no appeal, as the Stinney family had no money to pay for a continuation. 

The execution was carried out at the South Carolina State Penitentiary in Columbia, South Carolina, on June 16, 1944. At 7:30 p.m., Stinney walked to the execution chamber with a Bible under his arm. Standing 5’1″ and weighing just over 90 pounds, he was small for his age, which presented difficulties in securing him to the frame holding the electrodes. Neither did the state’s adult-sized face-mask fit Stinney; his convulsing exposed his face to witnesses as the mask slipped free, “revealing his wide-open, tearful eyes and saliva coming from his mouth “. After two more jolts of electricity, the boy was dead. Stinney was declared dead within four minutes of the initial electrocution. From the time of the murders until

Stinney’s execution, eighty one days had passed.

A sad way to end a beautiful life.


Diego Frazao Torquato

​I came across a powerful picture that told a heartbreaking story  of a boy from Brazil named Diego ‘Violin’ Torquato. 1997- Apri 1, 2010.

Diego was part of the violin’s string orchestra named Afroreggae which became asymbol of hope” for the fight against leukemia and indignation against the crime.

Sadly, Diego contracted meningitis at age four, aggravated by pneumonia, and struggled with memory difficulties. He still managed to learn the violin. Diego, born and raised in the slums of Parada de Lucas, dreamed that the violin would take him to see the world. Sadly, shortly after this photo was taken Diego died of leukemia. 

The occasion which this picture was taken, was the funeral of his social project coordinator, Evandro João Silva, who was murdered in downtown Rio. 

Diego defiled the odds to play at the funeral of a man who gave him hope and took him off the dangerous streets of Brazil.

The newspaper O Globo reported the image “as one of the most exciting in recent memory”. 

Diego participated in the workshops of the group in Parada de Lucas and became the star of the orchestra’s string orchestra Afroreggae, an NGO that works to combat the trafficking of young people. 
In December 2009, he participated in the campaign to end years of Rede Globo. 

He was appointed in 2010 to Make a Difference Award from the newspaper O Globo. 
His childhood was marked by an environment involved in crime and disease, of which the last one led to the hospitalization of 24 days, where he suffered a massive infection after appendix surgery which led to the aggravation of the case. 
During this period, he was also admitted to hospital with acute leukemia Saracuruna but could not do chemotherapy at risk of the procedure. He depended on the help of machines to regulate blood pressure and had a cardiac arrest. Shortly after he died.

At Diego’s funeral José Júnior, the coordinator of Afroreggae stated,

I think the legacy of Diego is hope, it is the willingness to change, to transform“.

How will the world remember you?

What is your greatest legacy? 

Like Diego, life is an unfair play gound full of bullies an challenges. Yiu either get rolled over. Or you stand and fight back. Diego chise to fight back and continues to inspire millions around the world.

Live to Inspire!

Patriot or Citizen?

​If only Nigerian youths can show half of the commitment, passion and enthusiasm they show to Big Brother Nigeria and their contestants, the country would be great again.

Yesterday, I was fortunate to catch a glimpse of the much talked about show in a bar I usually watch football matches. 

To my surprised, the bar full to capacity but silent. I imagined Barca’s match had kicked off, but on seeing the undivided concentration on the faces of the gentlemen, Was Messi shot on the pitch? I feared the worst. To my amusement, Big Brother Niaja was been televised! Holy Kunle! BBN!

I settled on a seat near by. It took me 5 minutes to be abreast of past episodes. A young man who sat few seats away proudly gave us a detailed recap from day 1 to the applause of the audience. Ebuka Obi and Payporte must have been proud of him. You can bet I left few minutes later.

Watching Big Brother Nigeria, Football, Zee World is not a criminal offence by law, but i only wonder why same passion isn’t matched in national discuss.

The average Nigerian youth spends more time and resources on social media and other frivolities than on things that actually matter. 

How do you defend having more apps than more news related outfits on your device? How do you understand a social media generation, who are obsessed with likes and comments than important discuss? 

How many youths follow elected members of their constituencies on social media to? Fear not, Kim Kardashan, Nicki Minaj, Ronaldo, Justine Bieber, Zee World fill that gap. Patriot or Citizen?
Last week, a hard working young Jumia delivery officer tragically lost his life to thieves and cold blooded Nigerian youths who wanted Iphones they didn’t work for. Why kill a man who upholds dignity in labour, and in search for a legitimate living? 

How about the recent attacks on Nigerian youths in India? Youths like you and I.  As expected, the Nigerian youth kept mute, but thanks to bloggers it would have gone unnoticed.

Rather than demand for justice, resources and productivity is channeled to canvassing for support for  TBoss, Efe, Bisola, et al.  Patriot or Citizens? Our founding fathers did not die for this.

Rather than show solidarity with the slain Nigerian youth, who was one of us, we preoccupied our minds with the #KeeptheChangeBae euphoria, while the men in agbada were keen on a certificate drama from their chambers. 
How can we be taken seriously by the older generation when they can easily distract us?  Patriot or Citizens?

The Nigerian youth loves to follow the trend, rather than set the trend.

              -Mallam Ezera Emetu

Sad to admit, the Nigerian youth is more of a citizen than a Patriot. 

A citizen feels entitled, a patriot feels responsible for his country. We must graduate with distinction from being citizens to patriots, and cease being a social media generation only revelant on social media space.

We must take a hard look in the mirror and see why this country has failed our generation. Every generation negotiates terms and conditions they get, we must do same and cut a better deal. 
The internet would always be there. We fail Nigeria and posterity if we elect not to unite and fight the common enemy, ourselves. I hope we do better and become Patriots and Citizens on the lips of generations to come.

I have elected to be a Patriot. What have you elected to be?
Mallam Ezera Emetu.

Social Commentator, Active Patriot and Citizen