Wednesday, June 08, 2016

RIP Stephen Keshi, Death is a Bastard

The Big Boss, how I will remember him.
I saw the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations final at a bar in Ogudu. It was not a nice place. It smelled of vomit, the boys were loud, and the waitress was rude. I am generally averse to rough places, but it did not cross my mind to leave. It was the first time in thirteen years that we were in a final and we had a real chance to win. I wanted to witness the making of history.

I screamed when Sunday Mba scored, danced a jig when the referee blew the final whistle, and fist pumped the air all the way back home. It was a big deal. Stephen Keshi had done what many foreign coaches couldn't do - win the Nations Cup. The excitement was palpable, and for a brief period we united as one country behind the win.

Stephen Keshi was good for Nigerian football.

Stephen Keshi was a great Super Eagles player and coach.

Stephen Keshi died last night.

*****

This post chose itself.

I have written many posts (200920122013, and 2014) chronicling the evolution of my perspective about death, but I had to write one more today when I woke to the news that the Big Boss was dead.

I hate that people die. I have repeatedly expressed my wish that people didn't have to die. I wish we could all live forever in happiness and great health with the people we love. But it doesn't happen that way.

Death, the bastard that widows spouses and orphans children, eventually comes for all of us.

So what can we who are fortunate to remain alive do?

We can choose to live.

We can choose to do things that make us happy and spend time with people who value our company. We can choose to overcome the nearly universal fear of failure and contribute our best. We can choose to experience nature to the best of our ability. We can choose to experience the adrenaline rush that comes with doing something that scares us. We can choose to help other people find their footing in life.

Rest in Peace, the Big Boss.

Death sucks.

Let's live.

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