Winning the game on home turf

Wilson Orhiunu

Wilson Orhiunu qed.ngFirst Gentleman with Wilson Orhiunu

Email: Twitter: @Babawilly

Home is a stadium and the stadium is home. Soccer fans know this essential truth. There is an advantage when stakeholders play their game on home turf for the winds are never contrary at home. The stadium is a metaphor for the home and family life as exists at home is best understood by watching football matches at the stadium.

Unfortunately, this great arena which should house the beds on which dreams are made can be transformed into a theatre of nightmares. Big fights happen in stadiums. The rumble in the jungle; that great boxing contest between George Foreman and Mohammed Ali that happened in Kinshasa, Zaire at the then named 20th of May Stadium on the 30th of October 1974 was a fight that changed lives. Foreman lost the fight, his confidence and title while Ali gained the whole world albeit temporary.

Fighting at home produces a disease that usually ends its course when those involved are dead and buried. There is no tablet that can cure one battered by financial, emotional, sexual abuse in the home.  It stays permanently save a miracle happens. Yet most fights happen at home with children as the non-fee paying audience. Movies need just a few gun shots and nudity to receive an adult certificate, but in home fights, bad language, live violence and the tearing of clothes occur. In the home, everything is certified PG.  The kids grow up mixed up like a tropical mango, orange and guava juice. May look tasty but still mixed up. Some say boxing should be banned. They have a good point. What really needs banning however is fighting in the stadium. Domestic contention leads to violence that lingers long after the bleeding wounds have healed.

Least I get depressed writing this; we move swiftly along. Stadia host large concerts where everyone can let their hair down – same in the home. Furniture gets rearranged and the party starts. The family that dances together would grow old together and peacefully so. I can remember all the parties that occurred in our house growing up. No one ever forgets quality merriment. I also recall visitors chatting away in the living room with cartons of Star and Gulder in the middle of the room. Parties scar you for life, but in a good way – something to look back on and smile about.  It was in one of those parties that I wandered to the fridge aged about six and took a bottle of Gulder to the bedroom armed with my plastic cup and proceeded to drink till I passed out. I have been reliably informed that I slept for about 24 hours while vomiting in my sleep. Now when people ask me why I don’t drink alcohol I say it is for religious reasons but perhaps I should also mention that I was scarred as a child at my home stadium.

A home should have music, fun and laughter. What is the use of 25 rooms with no one smiling? The football manager sets the tone in the home ground. Through skilful man management he can bring out the best in all his players especially his star striker. This is how my friends and I learnt how to bring fun to our homes for we recognise that the wife is the Lionel Messi of our Nou Camp while we, the guys are the managers. In our case we do not substitute or send out on loan our prized asset but rather we keep madam match fit with various tactics and strategies which I cannot go into here (our opposition might read this). Lest I forget, all matches in stadia worldwide have a referee dressed in black. In the home however, that referee is money – enough money to keep the family in the black. Being broke means seeing a red card and expulsion from the field of play with an added three-night bedroom ban. Money is such an important factor in the home and everyone obeys the whistle that referees blows.  No one moves without that high pitched sound informing the players that it is ok to get in motion.

Don’t revival and evangelical meetings hold in stadia? Rearrange the living room furniture and voila, prayers start here. The home must have a spiritual side for not everything can be explained cognitively.

Sometimes, the training ground and gymnasium are located on other sites apart from the stadium. So qualities that are needed for progress might be acquired outside the home but you always come back to the home fans to show what you have learnt or earned.  What is the point in earning good money at work and going to another team’s ground to pay for a new turf when the turf in your own stadium is patchy. The same goes with buying expensive aso ebi for distant family while the home team are dressed with worn kit from five seasons ago.

So, my lady friends, when you see your man sat in front of the television to watch the match, give him love, peace and the freedom to the remote control for what he will learn in the next 90 minutes will enhance your life for ever. Remember, charity always kicks off at home!