The Audacity of Passion ( Part 4)
Written By Afolabi Sunday Olufemi
You must have heard this before when you make attempt to do something seemingly difficult and incredibly hard for the mortal. Many people are known as naysayers, and the first thing they will tell you is: this is mission impossible.
Recently a slang has been created to express anything that looks too difficult to be achieved, many will often say this is ‘impossi-cant’. This is a compound word created to mean it ‘cant be possible’, so in a hilarious manner, it will be put thus, this is ‘impossicant’.
With Passion; No Mission Is Impossible- George Weah’s Political Career will be our case study today.
Having successfully played his footballing career both locally and internationally with a resounding success in all ramifications and by all standards, George Weah decided to aim at another feat that would change the course of his life in its entirety.
Passion, as believed and explained by many, operates like fire, it burns in the bone and marrow of its carrier. With Passion, Mountains can become a plain; with passion, valleys can be filled. There seems to be no record of any great achiever who, at any point, would not be passionate about his line of action before recording an outstanding success. Passion is the lubricant for success. Passion is the main condiment to get other recipes together.Passion remains the tripod stand for the great success you aim at. Passion is the difference between your dream and your success being realized.
Jesus demonstrated what David said in the scriptures- ‘His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for Your house will consume Me’’
The zeal here can be the passion that we are discussing. That estra effort that comes into being because you believe you can do and you push for the success when others are resting on their oars.
The zeal here talks about Passion. It makes your Adrenaline to be high and as a result it becomes a catalyst to speed up the rate of reaction in you just as exymes do to chemicals. Little or no success can be recorded in life if one lacks the passion to achieve it.
George Weah , as quoted by the Wikipedia:
‘Following the end of Second Liberian Civil War, Weah announced his intention to run for President of Liberia in the 2005 elections, forming the Congress for Democratic Change to back his candidacy.
While Weah was a popular figure in Liberia, opponents cited his lack of formal education as a handicap to his ability to lead the country, in contrast with his Harvard-educated opponent, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Analysts also noted Weah’s lack of experience, calling him a “babe-in-the-woods”, while Sirleaf had served as minister of finance in the Tolbert administration in the 1970s and had held positions at Citibank, the World Bank and the United Nations. Weah’s eligibility to run for Presidency was also called into question as it was reported that he had become a French citizen in his footballing career at Paris St. Germain, but these complaints were rebuffed by the electoral commission in court and Weah was allowed to proceed.
Despite all the issues of dual citizenship that could have discouraged many people in his shoes, George believed in himself. He forged ahead. He refused to be distracted by the side attractions. He was focused and determined. He knew he could make it.
Another problem was his limited academic feat. He could not be compared with Johnson Sirleaf who was once a minister and a banker per excellence. She was once with Citibank as well as the World bank.
‘George Weah obtained a plurality of votes in the first round of voting on 11 October, garnering 28.3% of the vote. This qualified him to compete in a run-off election against Sirleaf, the second placed candidate. However, he lost the run-off to Sirleaf on 8 November, garnering only 40.6% to 59.4% for Sirleaf.
Weah alleged that the election had been rigged through voter intimidation and ballot tampering, and many of his supporters protested the results in the streets of Monrovia. However, after assurances that the vote was fair, several prominent African leaders called on Weah’s supporters to accept the result with grace and dignity, and Sirleaf became President. The African Union had characterized the elections as “peaceful, transparent, and fair”
The report then became so intense that it was a campaign issue, broadly circulated everywhere, yet Mr Weah was not bothered. Wikipedia records:
‘Weah’s lack of education became a campaign issue. He has been highly critical of those who say he is not fit to govern::
“With all their education and experience, they have governed this nation for hundreds of years. They have never done anything for the nation.” He initially claimed to have a BA degree in Sports Management from Parkwood University in London, however this is an unaccredited diploma mill, which awards certificates without requiring study.
George Weah Went To School Again
You remember the maxim ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going.’
This simply means when the situation becomes difficult, the strong will work harder to meet the challenge. Sometimes, when we are in a tough situation, inspirational quote or saying can help us calm down and focus on what we need to do but passion is the real answer that you need.
Without considering his advanced age, years of glory on top of his football career as the best footballer of his generation. A man who conquered Africa, Europe and the world with African Footballer of the year award, European Footballer of the year award and World Footballer of the year award 1995/1996 era, now to be enrolled as a university student for his first degree and not a post graduate academic programme.
Without much ado, the great man held the bull by the horn. He despised the shame, cared not about the scornful. He ignored the mockers, he refused to look at the side of the naysayers, he registered with Devry University to study Business Administration in Miami, United State of AMerica.
Wikipedia records it thus:
‘Weah then pursued a degree in business administration at DeVry University in Miami. ‘
As you know, there are some prices to pay for going back to school. He would have less time for fun. He would have to stoop low and be very humble to learn. He will forgo some momentary gains for future benefits. There would be some financial costs. He might lose some close associates. Some quick fix friends would see me as unserious and old in idea.
Despite this great step of going back to school, he had his eyes on the ball. He never lost focus. He fixed his gaze on the ultimate price. So, while he was still in school, he was following up the Liberian politics.
‘Weah also remained active in Liberian politics, returning from the United States in 2009 to successfully campaign for the Congress for Democratic Change candidate in the Montserrado Countysenatorial by-election. Some analysts saw these moves as preparation for a repeat run for the Presidency in 2011, and Weah did indeed later announce his intention to challenge Sirleaf in the 2011 election..
After a series of failed alliances with other opposition parties, the Congress for Democratic Change chose Weah as its 2011 vice presidential candidate, running with presidential candidate Winston Tubman.
In 2014, he ran for election to the Senate as a Congress for Democratic Change candidate in Montserrado County. He was overwhelmingly elected to the Liberian Senate on 20 December 2014.
Weah defeated Robert Sirleaf, the son of President Sirleaf, becoming the first Liberian international athlete elected to represent a county in the Legislature. He won a landslide victory, receiving 99,226 votes, which represented 78.0% of the total votes from the 141 polling centers, while Sirleaf, his closest rival received 13,692 votes, which is nearly 11% in the election marred only by a low turnout.
Following his election, Weah only occasionally attended sessions of the Senate and did not introduce or sponsor any legislation.
In April 2016, Weah announced his intention to run for President of Liberia in the 2017 elections, standing for the Coalition for Democratic Change. After winning the first round of the 2017 election with 38.4% of the vote, he and Joseph Boakai of the Unity Party went into the second round of the election. In the second round, Weah was elected President of Liberia, winning a run-off against Vice President Joseph Boakai with more than 60% of the vote.
Passion is very daring and extremely audacious. With passion, David confronted Goliath ( a war general) and he came back with victory.
With Passion, a football team that is lagging behind the opponents in a football competition with four goals down can bounce back and claim the victory in the same match within fifteen minutes. This is a confirmed case with Nigeria in 1988 against Russia.
Russia was leading Nigeria with four goals down and it was as if all the hopes were lost. However, the boys were never tired. Nigerian boys are always ready to put on the Green White Green jersey. They gathered momentum, they faced the enemies, they were focused and through the instrumentality of their passion, Nigeria was able to defeat a big enemy.
Your passion can be that hunger for a change. Your passion can be the strong desire for a good society where orderliness, peace and tranquillity can exist. Your passion can be the desire to make it in life, so it propels you to do the seemingly impossible.
What is your passion? What do you have passion for? What do you hunger after? David in Psalm 42:1 says ‘As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God.’
What do you long after too? Be passionate about it and you will see your dream come to reality.
I can tell you that you have a giant in you because there is a drop of greatness in everyone. What is missing in many is the Passion. Ignite the fire today and get moving, keep moving on towards the mark. Let that giant in you rise up today and face your attacker.
What many dont know is ‘ what you are afraid of, may actually be afraid of you too’.