Shina Peter: How To Be A True Naija Fan

After the “scintillating” victory against Cameroon in the Super Eagles’ last friendly game in Belgium, coach of the team Sunday Oliseh went on Twitter to give his vote of thanks and dedication though he may have failed to do so in the previous games.

The vote of thanks and dedication of the victory did not go round – just the coach’s preferred crowd. Oliseh dedicated the victory to all “true” Naija fans and that has left a lot of people puzzled on who a true Naija fan is and what it takes to be one.

Being a true Naija fan myself and in my ever generous nature, I have decided to share few tips on how to become one. It is only fair that I let other people into the small elite and privileged group who get special dedication and warm words from the coach.


Never ever question decisions:

Managerial jobs comes with a lot of scrutiny as it is in the nature of fans to raise eyebrows on virtually every decision made by the manager. From team selection to tactics and substitutions, fans always have a thing or two to say. For other managers, it may be alright but clearly, that is not the case here.

If you seek to improve your fan status and get the most revered “true” Naija fan title, you had better start approving every decision whether or not it goes down well with you.

It doesn’t matter if the manager says he only wants first team players in top leagues and he goes on to invite scores of unknown players. Neither does it matter if he deprives NPFL clubs of their key players at a critical stage in the league by putting them in camp for several days only to send them packing upon the arrival of foreign stars two days to a game.

All of these things should not matter to you. It is not your business. He is the manager, you are not.


Celebrate whatever result:

Fans hate defeat. Their desire to always see their preferred team trump every opposition places immense pressure on managers to deliver. They are result-driven and cannot stand negative result especially against seemingly smaller teams. But those are fans, not “true naija fans”.

As a true naija fan, you are compelled to celebrate any result and to also always dwell on ‘positive’. It doesn’t matter if we lose to Macadex Fc (they play in Isawo, Ikorodu) not to mention DR Congo in a poor fashion. It is your duty to always cheer the team regardless of the result.

And mind you, you can’t say there are no positives to dwell on in a game. Did Mikel throw a killer pass? If yes, then that’s a positive. Dwell on that. Even in the absence of any at all, celebrate the defeat. After all, a great man once said defeats are good because they make us appreciate victories better.


Believe and take sides only with the manager:

Fallouts between the four key stakeholders (management, coach, players and fans) are sometimes inevitable but let me quickly state that if, as an aspiring “true” Naija fan, you still think that you can fallout with the manager, then you have learned nothing and you are not ready yet for an improved fan-status.

Moving on, in case a fall out happens between the other stakeholders (minus you of course), your duty is to stand by the manager. It does not matter if he is wrong or not, support and listen only to his own side of the story. He is the manager and he knows best. He was appointed to take the team forward, you were not.

And there you have it! Tips on how to become a “true” Naija fan- like myself. What could be better? You get special mentions and dedications of victories from the manager and because you cannot criticize losses, when the team loses, it still feels like a victory. Decide what you want to be. A Naija fan who criticizes all day or a “true” Naija fan who sees and hears no evil all the way. Cheers!


Follow ‘Shina Peter on Twitter – @Shina_Pitta