John Derbyshire On The "Wisdom" Of Importing Nigerian Football Players: Goodluck!
Print Friendly and PDF

I have, as regular readers know, a mild onomastic fixation. That is to say, my attention is easily snagged by odd, curious, or suggestive names.

For example, I got some good mileage out of Goodluck Jonathan, who was president of Nigeria for the first half of this decade. Mr. Jonathan conceded electoral defeat in 2015 and I'm happy to say is still alive.

Apparently that auspicious forename has preserved Mr. Jonathan from the fate of some of his predecessors—for example, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, (right) first prime minister of independent Nigeria,  last seen lying face down in a ditch outside Lagos with a very nasty case of lead poisoning.

(Why do I still remember Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, who went to his reward 54 years ago? Because of his wonderfully mellifluous name. Just roll it round on your tongue a few times: Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. See if you can forget it.)

Well, here's another auspiciously-named Nigerian: Joseph Adeyem Wisdom Ogunbanjo, (right) nineteen years old, a sophomore at UC Berkeley planning to major in engineering.

Mr. Ogunbanjo  [banjoe_13 on Twitter] who is 6ft 3in tall and weighs 240 lbs., was a linebacker on the University of California football team until being dropped last weekend.[Update: Former Cal football player arrested after attack on police officer, by Emilie Raguso, BerkeleySide, December 9, 2019]

What was he dropped for? Nothing you'd associate with wisdom. Last Sunday midday he flagged down a police car, then tried to hijack it and steal the officer's service weapon. Fortunately other officers showed up and took Mr. Ogunbanjo into custody, where he remains, charged with two felonies.

From Nigeria. So there are two hundred million more where Joseph Adeyem Wisdom Ogunbanjo came from. Open those borders!


Print Friendly and PDF