The African Cup of Nations has come and gone, but there are lessons to be learned from the competition, particularly the victory of the host nation and their tortuous journey to becoming champions.
In the group stage of the tournament, the Ivorians lost two out of three group matches but still got to the final. Notable among the defeats they suffered was losing 4-0 to Equatorial Guinea. It was a humiliation for the host nation, as they lost in front of thousands of their fans.
Ivory Coast had to mobilize support for Morocco in order to beat Zambia so that they could qualify out of the group stage.
By providence and some element of luck, they had a second chance and started taking it with seriousness and tenacity of purpose.
One of the lessons to learn from the victory of the Ivorians is that sometimes you may start badly in life, but that does not mean you will end badly. It is very possible to have prepared, worked hard, and labored rigorously and still find yourself struggling to make progress. When you find yourself in such a situation, you don't have to give up. You just have to keep pushing, fighting, and believing that failure is a temporary setback and that you can emerge victorious.
Another lesson from the victory of the Ivorians is that in life, when you have a second chance or opportunity to right your wrong or to act on something, don't play with the second chance. Give it all the seriousness it deserves and strive to make it better. The Ivorians were lucky to qualify for the second round, and they picked it up game after game. Each one of us must approach life gradually. We must focus on one thing at a time with determination to excel.
In addition, taking a look at the progression of the Senegalese team, they didn't lose any match at the group stage. But when they played against Ivory Coast, which lost two of their group stage matches, they were eliminated. What's the lesson here? The race is not for the swift. That someone has gone ahead of you in life doesn't mean you cannot overtake the person or the group of persons. All you need to do is keep grinding and working on yourself. With your determination to triumph and the availability of superior grace as a system of advancement, you can always succeed.
Having displayed teamwork, zeal, and individual brilliance in their build-up to the finals, the Super Eagles of Nigeria weren't as hungry as the Ivorians were in the final of the match. After leading by a lone goal in the first half, they sat back only for the Ivorians to keep the pressure on them, and in the end, the Ivorians came from behind to clinch the prestigious trophy. In life, learning to keep the momentum going is one of the secrets to victory. Even when it appears that you are losing the battle, keep the pressure on. Keep pushing hard, and with time, you might find yourself lifting up that trophy you had dreamt of and singing the victory song that you have longed to sing.