Hard to miss

I hardly publish another man’s work except it meets all the criteria of vision, likeness and “edutainment”. Even though I don’t always fully align with all the tiny fractions I have put in quoted “italics”, I still hope you enjoy this bit.


So by this time tomorrow, Neymar will get his first alert of 248 million naira. And every Thursday, like “drug money“, it will be dropping like that! Chaiii, that one is too much oh, but “what is the guy playing self”?

Well, it is no longer news that last week Thursday, August 3rd, 2017, one of the biggest contract ever in the history of world football was signed. Neymar Da Silva Santos Junior officially signed for Paris Saint Germain from Spanish giant Barcelona after they met his buyout clause of €222M. Hours later the news of his weekly earnings of about €515,000 or 248 million naira broke the internet. I will be the last person to dispute if Neymar is worth all that money because I have watched the guy and I can tell that he is good. He is talented, his dribbling skill, finishing, ease of taking defenders one-on-one and the shooting accuracy with both feet are all admirable, but above all these Neymar is simply a very strong and saleable brand. By Sunday, when PSG line up against Guingamp FC Neymar will get the first chance to show the watching world (will you watch the match?) why PSG is paying that much for his signature.

The ideal scenario will be for Neymar to open his account with a hat trick in that match and win the man of the match – and that is exactly what I wish him. But most amazing, most confusing and perhaps now annoying about that contract is what Nigerians have made out of it here at home. Most of us have misrepresented not just the worth but the significance and implications of that deal. Most social media users (including professionals) have made serious attempts to demean ‘education’ by comparing the monetary rewards that it offers to what football offers. I heard that A is no longer for Apple and B is no longer for Book. I understand that the new way of teaching children ABCD (in Nigeria) is to let them understand that A is for Attack, B is for Back pass, C is Control the Ball, D is for Defence and indeed every single footballing terminology is now used in learning the English Alphabet, and at the end of the day the lesson to the child is simple – you must play football whether you like it or not.

But I think that is dangerous, we can’t promote this ideology as a nation otherwise I am afraid of what the future holds. We will not be doing our generation any good if we encourage them to ignore education for the pursuit of money. Of course, you should know that I am a key promoter of the fact that going to university is completely useless if it is all about the degree, but for God’s sake how can someone who is actually a graduate want to make it look as if it is all about the degree? In the first place why is the emphasis not on “what Neymar can do” but on the fact that he doesn’t have WAEC result? Is PSG paying him that money because he didn’t go to school or because he has proved himself competent enough in his chosen career? I think the emphasis should rather be on what someone can do rather than his academic qualifications otherwise all those without a secondary education will easily be earning like Neymar already. Don’t be deceived. 248 million naira per week is massive, in fact it is out of this world and you only get a better understanding of how big it is worth when you compare it with the average salary of a first class graduate here in Nigeria. You know you will need to earn 1 million naira average salary for 20 years and 8 months to hit that figure(bro when will you retire?), but guys, let’s still not blow it out of proportion because there is another comparison.

Now, if Neymar without a WAEC result (according to those who claim to know) earns 248 million per week, how much does Bill Gates (who actually went as far as Harvard) earn? Mind you, Bill Gates went to school as far as Harvard, the whole talk of him dropping out is widely misrepresented. He didn’t drop out because he was not good enough, he didn’t drop out because he was irresponsible, in fact he had a meeting with the school authority when it became obvious that he needed more time to work on the Microsoft idea and in his exact words he told the school that he was going on a ‘leave of absence’ and should return if the idea failed to work as planned. He didn’t leave the school empty, he left with the knowledge he had acquired, he left having made friends and built a network of like minds, he left having access to mentors from the school (for me, these are some of the most important reasons of going to university in the first place, and not just for that paper called certificate). With that knowledge and skill acquired directly or indirectly by going to school, Bill Gates was able to build Microsoft and in 2013 he earned 11.5 billion dollars in a single year. That figure would give you 1.38 million dollars per hour. What it means is that the 248 million naira Neymar earns in a week is what Bill Gates earns in 30 minutes. Don’t be deceived. Why would I rather be a Bill Gates than a Neymar? Why would I rather point my kids to Bill Gates than to Neymar? It is simple.

If you go by the figures, you have already seen it above. If you want to look at the future, then you will know that Neymar is 25 today, but will he still be playing football at this level at 35? What if in an unfortunate situation where he breaks his leg tomorrow (no one prays for that, but it does happen), that will be the end of everything, football doesn’t even provide for pension or gratuity. But “Gates can sleep for the rest of his life” and the billions will keep flowing because alert has been set on auto run, he has ‘programmed’ his business directly into his bank account – with his knowledge (you need education to set up that kind of system).

What if you are looking at relevance and significance, how many millionaires have Neymar made or will he ever make in his lifetime? Bill Gates has made 3 billionaires and over 12,000 millionaires. I asked someone what Neymar will do with this money, and he said Neymar already has a private jet, now is the time to get a yacht and start paying for the penthouse of all the 5-star hotels in the world. Do you think someone who is well schooled will choose to spend the money that way? Don’t be deceived. Education is still the key, education is still superior, “education has birthed technology and technology is where the money is and not football“. The most valuable club in the world according to Forbes 2017 rating is Manchester United and they are worth a whopping 3.69 billion dollars to edge both Barcelona and Real Madrid. But how whopping is that compared with the worth of Apple, Google, or Microsoft? In fact the total worth of the top 20 football clubs in the world (including Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, PSG, Arsenal, Manchester City, Juventus, Liverpool) is 29.6 billion dollars. Mark Zuckerberg can simply pull out a cheque from his back pocket and buy those 20 clubs without even discussing with the board of Facebook (that sounds like an insult but that is the fact). That is how powerful ideas are, that is how powerful knowledge can be, that is how powerful education can be. What would you rather choose for your child? Don’t be deceived.

The standard of education in Nigeria has dropped so badly that it is beginning to lose its relevance, but rather than turn our backs on it completely, rather than encourage our children not to go to school, rather than insult it the more, we should champion a course on how to make it what it ought to be and more attractive. We should teach our children the real importance of education and not just to come out and get a good job. Trends are changing, the world has evolved and our educational system must evolve and not allowed to dissolve. Don’t be deceived. Send your children to good school if you can afford it, and after that allow him or her the freedom of choice and if he or she chooses to play football he will be buying football clubs and earning 10x what Neymar earns today. I choose to go to school, learn how to build and buy existing businesses. “I choose to go to school, learn how to employ the grace God has given me to serve humanity“. I choose to go to “school” and learn how best my ideas can be a solution to the problems of the society. What do you choose, for yourself and for your kids? Don’t be deceived.

Written and copyrighted by ©Kachi Ogbonna,

Founder, HTS Business School.

Founder, Youth Initiative for National Transformation.

Author, How They Started.

Edited and adapted by Wonuola Olawale for readers.


By Wonuola Olawale

Its all about human sustainability and energy.
Meet WonuOla.OlaWale. She is a social energy entrepreneur. She loves God and his people. She blogs to help "idea" young minds i.e. inspire.develop.employ.activate. She was the Business Intelligence Director/Initiator, now Board Chairperson of her own company, Sixters Energy. She also worked as a Project Manager for RootHub, a fast growing entrepreneurial hub community while she served as a Research Personnel with the University of Uyo in service to her country Nigeria. She has had several international experiences including working with Chevron, interfacing with Shell, and worked on international energy projects across the globe including CCS- carbon capture and sequestration in the United Kingdom, Flow Assurance in China and Enhanced Oil Recovery projects in the United States. She enjoys reading, smiling and meeting people. She's an advocate of gender equity and not equality. An avid supporter of non-stereotypes and a lifestyle of excellence. She is who you want to talk to in developing lasting solutions in the field of energy and human sustainability.

Wonuola Olawale es me llamó

One reply on “Hard to miss”

Very good submission. Not as if the educated ones don’t understand but it’s only blown out of proportion. A quick reminder. Tevez an argentine earns more than Neymar. He earns 615 thousand pounds per week in China after tax and the world didn’t go gaga. But Neymar ears 515 thousand pounds per week and virtually everyone’s going gaga. I guess that’s just the difference between a star and a superstar. To be candid, nothing can replace education. It’s very key, it’s the bedrock


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