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Here is What Happened When Nigeria Became First African Team to Qualify For The 2018 World Cup



Nigeria’s Alex Iwobi (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring during the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifying football match between Nigeria and Zambia in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, on October 7, 2017. / AFP / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI

Nigeria’s Super Eagles beat Zambia’s Chipolopolo to become the first African team to secure a spot at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ after a 1-0 win in Uyo earned them an unassailable lead at the head of Group B.

Alex Iwobi’s 73rd minute goal secured a sixth FIFA World Cup appearance for Nigeria. Prior to Iwobi’s goal, the Eagles found it difficult to break down a resolute Zambian side who were unfortunate to see a first half goal ruled out for offside.

Zambia captain, Kennedy Mweene, said he is proud of his team, despite Saturday’s defeat.

What Happened Next?

Nigerian multi-millionaire gambling tycoon, Kensington Adebutu

According to a press release issued by the Communications Director of the Nigerian Football Federation,  81 year old gaming tycoon, Kesington Adebutu donated N50 million (Approximately $140,000) to the Nigerian national soccer team for becoming the first African team to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The multi–millionaire business mogul was in great mood after placing his wagers on Beteasy. He was full of praises for the Super Eagles for their determination, professionalism and commitment throughout the qualifying campaign. He urged the team not to rest on their oars, but to prepare hard to be worthy ambassadors of Nigeria and Africa at the FIFA World Cup finals in Russia next year summer.


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Yomif Kejelcha Has Set A New 1-Mile Indoor World Record



Yomi Kajelcha set new indoor mile record

Ethiopian Yomif Kejelcha on Sunday 3rd March set a new 1-mile indoor world record. The previous record was set in 1997 by Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj. Yomif Kejelcha finished at 3:47.01 to break the previous record of 3:48.45. Three weeks earlier, Kajelcha came close to breaking the record but missed by hundredth of a second with a time of 3:48.46.

The 21-year old runner trumped the former record by 1.44 seconds in Boston. Yomif Kejelcha who is a two-time champion of 3000m came to Boston with the intention of breaking the 1500m and 1-mile world record. Although he missed the former, his split time of 3:31.25 is the third-best all-time indoor behind Tefera and El Guerrouj.

Yomif Kejelcha’ lap performance at the race

The race began with Sowinski, the indoor bronze medalist leading. However, Kajelcha got his big break from the pack after the first 409 meters. The indoor 1-mile record is one of the longest in tracks and field. Yomif Kejelcha cruised through the 809m in 1:52, leaving no doubt about his intention. He hit the bell at 3:18.54 and ran a time of 28.47 in the last lap to break the 22-year old record. Second-placed Johnny Gregorek also put himself second on all-time America indoor list with 3:49.98.

After crossing the finish line, Yomif Kejelcha did not hide his joy. The moment the result was displayed on the scoreboard he did a series of celebratory jumps amid the cheering crowd. This was a clear contrast to his mood after the Millrose Games miss on February 9. Yomif Kejelcha current record shows great improvement from his 2018 season.

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Other Africans that hold world records

Africans fare well in the track and fields and Yomif Kejelcha is another addition to the record book. Both in the male and female categories, a large number of Africans hold the world record. In the indoor men’s category, Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele holds both the 2000 meters, Two miles, and 5000 meters world record set in 2007, 2008 and 2004 respectively. This also makes him the highest African world record holder in the indoor long distance category.

In the female category, Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba has no rival in the long distance race. Dibaba holds the world record for the 1500 meters, 1-mile, 2000 meters, 3,000 meters, Two miles, and 5,000 meters. However, her most recent record was in 2,000 meters in 2017.

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Nigerian Makes History At The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)



Kamaru Usman made history on the 3rd of March 2019 by becoming the first African UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) Champion. Usman, 31, achieved the feat by beating the defending champion, Tyron Woodley in Las Vegas. Woodley became the champion in 2016 and has defended the title four times before his loss to the Nigerian fighter. After his crowning, Kamaru Usman said,

“Can’t nobody handle me? I’ve been wanting this fight, and I’ll be honest, I might be the best striker in the world. But when it comes to mixing this stuff up, I’m the best welterweight on the planet right now.”

Kamaru Usman

Kamaru Usman

The win extends Kamaru Usman’s win in the mixed martial arts (MMA) to 14 while preserving his unbeaten record. Usman also told the press in a post-match conference how he has been walking around in a supportive boot after suffering a fracture.

How it happened at the T-Mobile Arena octagonal cage

The UFC combines boxing, jiu-jitsu, kickboxing, and wrestling. In the opening stages, Kamaru was a lot cautious in his attack. He attempted a couple of takedowns which Woodley repelled. Usman finally tamed Woodley with strings of punches and dropping elbows.

The judges unanimously scored the fight 50-44, 50-44, and 50-45 in favor of Kamaru Usman. His mother was the first to hug him after the announcement. Usman celebrated his victory with his daughter in the ring amidst the cheering spectators. He held her to his chest and kissed her cheeks.

Kamaru Usman’s childhood and career

Kamaru Usman was born in Nigeria and spent part of his childhood in Auchi, Benin City. He migrated with his parents to Arlington, Texas as a child. His wrestling origin goes back to his high school days in Texas. Usman took traces of his origin with him into the ring by wearing a mouth guard bearing the Nigerian green and white color. In the post-match conference, he greeted the journalists in Arabic and switched to pidgin.

“Nigeria, I have told them, we would do it, I told them we never fail. And we have done it today”.

Today Kamaru Usman bears the moniker, the ‘Nigerian Nightmare’. However, he is not the first to bear that nickname. Other Nigerians like Christian Okoye, the former Kansas City Chiefs American Football and Samuel Peter, the former professional boxer earned that nickname during their career. Usman also invited these two to his match.

Francis ‘The Predator’ Ngannou

Francis Ngannou

Kamaru Usman is the reigning champion in UFC welterweight. However, he is not the only African revered in the MMA. The Cameroonian heavyweight fighter, Francis Ngannou has also gained a reputation as ‘The Predator’. Ngannou lost a title fight against Miocic on January 20, 2018. However, he has won his last two fights by either a KO or TKO.

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This Tanzanian Woman’s Soccer Video Has Gone Viral, Even President Trump Thinks It’s Amazing



Hadhara Charles Mjeje has a viral video that is a rave on the Internet. Mjeje displays her amazing soccer ball juggling skills in an 84-second video to the admiration of onlookers. Mjeje doesn’t need a fancy sports kit to execute 154 moves, rather, a skirt and flip-flops are enough. The 29-years old attributes her skills to over six years of practice rather than black magic as some speculate. In a video with Ruptly (a German news agency) the mother of two sons said,

“Some people think that I use black magic but I don’t. There is nothing in this ball. I use my talent which I have developed for six years of practice. It is pure talent, not black magic.”

Akin Sawyerr was the first person to share the viral video on Twitter on February 16, 2019. Sawyerr captioned the video, “Talent is evenly distributed, opportunity isn’t”. The video shows Mjeje juggling the ball with all her body parts including her head, neck, shoulder, chest, hand, knees, and legs. The post now has over 120,000 retweets and 390,000 likes.

The Journey So Far

So far, the video has received over 9 million views including an endorsement from the United States President, Donald Trump. Trump simply commented ‘Amazing’ as he retweeted Sawyerr’s Saturday evening tweet.

Mjeje has taken her keepy-uppy skills to different countries including Cameroon, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, and South Africa. She now has a place in Malawi where she charges approximately $4 for two-minute performance. According to her, the money provides for her sons and pays off other family bills.

Piers Morgan, a prominent UK TV personality also shared the video while hailing it as ‘Brilliant’.

Mjeje’s Role Models and Dreams

While many are already comparing Mjeje to some of the great players in Europe she reminds us that some of them are her role models. She said,

“I admire players from different teams such as Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Ronaldinho.”

Mjeje wishes to one day become a professional footballer like her role models. While many pour out their admiration for her incredible skills, not all Americans seem to be happy with the president’s retweet. They prefer the president focus on fixing the country rather than tweeting about random football videos.

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