The Efficacy Of YouTube
Many of my “detractors” dub me ‘old-fashioned, reluctant to enjoy the fruits of latest technology, etc – actually all this is false. My perspective has always been that we should not be slaves to technology. Common sense, integrity, empathy must always have primacy, after all our ancestors (even those in the western world) some hundred years ago never had access to all these marvels we enjoy today; yet they lived full lives! However, I was reminded of how wonderful modern technology is the other day.
I was in Pretoria city in South Africa, briefly, meeting some young writers. One of them, who loves football a lot, told me that he had read a book of mine (of essays). He said: “I particularly enjoyed the few chapters there dealing with soccer. It was wonderful the way you were praising a former great Nigerian footballer…” he struggled to remember the name.
“You mean Segun Odegbami?” I asked.
He smiled. “Yes, the former winger, striker, for Nigeria, decades ago. You praised him so much, even calling him the best player you have ever seen in your whole life! Despite the likes of Pele, Maradona, Messi,” The youngster grinned. “Surely sir,” he went on, “that praise was too much. You were very young then, hence your exaggerated worship of Odegbami.”
It was my turn to grin. “Is that so? Well let me tell you, I stand by what I have written in that book, a personal opinion, yes, but one I still believe; having published countless articles on world football around the world,”
He said: “Such a pity it can’t be proved. That was over 30 years ago; and where would we get old reels of the player in action? You said he played in the late 70s and 80s, mainly in black Africa....”
“It can be proved, to a certain extent,” I said, “even if it’s just a few clips. I know as a matter of fact we can see him in action on YouTube on the internet.”
“YouTube?” the young writer looked incredulous. “Isn’t that for music?”
I grinned again. “More or less everything is on YouTube,” I said, “movies, sitcoms, music, and sports. You the young ones should know that!”
So we went to YouTube on the internet. I went straight to “Nigeria winning the 1980 Nations Cup” section. As luck would have it, the very first few seconds of the reel showed Segun Odegbami on a typical fantastic run down the right flank, with his uncanny speed, feints, and curling crosses. A few minutes later, the focus was on Odegbami scoring his two cracking goals against Algeria in the 1980 Nations Cup final.
Afterwards, the young writer stared at me with some disbelief. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like that before,” he vouchsafed. “What dribbles! And such incredible speed for such an omotelele (very tall man).”
“That’s nothing,” I said. “You saw only a few minutes of him in action. People like me watched him for 90 minutes in many games for club and country,”
“A great player indeed,” the young man reiterated, squeezing my hand.