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New book on Nigeria's football history


By day, 2015 Tutu Fellow Wiebe Boer is an impact investor who works with partners to increase access to commercial energy products and services.  By night - or in his spare time - he is a Nigerian football historian. 

Dr Wiebe Boer's latest work on Nigerian football, a book titled The History of Football In Nigeria - A story of Heroes and Epics, is to launch in Lagos on 10 June 2018.  It's been favorably reviewed by no less than Aliko Dangote, the President and CEO of the Dangote Group. 

In his review, Dangote says Wiebe tells a "positive and unifying story of Nigeria - one that focuses on what we have in common".  What people may not know is that this is not Wiebe's first shot on goal when it comes to the history of football in his country.  His PhD in African History from Yale University was an 898-page treatise titled Nation Building Exercise: Sporting Culture and the Rise of Football in Colonial Nigeria

For anyone who has shouted at the TV when their national team is playing, he taps into deep passions.

A Story of Heroes and Epics: The History of Football in Nigeria tells the hugely significant story of the rise of football in colonial Nigeria as a unifying cultural force in the country. The book touches on the origins of the game in Nigeria, the history of organised football, the institutions that produced the early football stars, the first Nigerian players to play abroad, Nigeria’s first international matches, the earliest rivalries, and narratives on football’s incursion into the southern and northern regions of the country. , are some of the subjects that form the basis of this incredible social history of Nigeria.

This social history of Nigeria allows you to discover key historical characters that range from the colonial officers, western missionaries and school principals to the Nigerian political leaders and founding fathers who influenced the rise of football as both a popular pastime and a unifying force for the country.  

If you'd like a clearer insight into understanding Nigeria’s intriguing relationship with football and how the game has played such an important role in the construction of Nigeria's national identity, this is the book for you.

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