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Nigerian High Commission in South Africa Urges Caution During AFCON Semi-final

Nigerians residing in South Africa have received a cautionary note from Nigeria’s High Commission in Pretoria ahead of the upcoming African Cup of Nations (AFCON) semi-final clash between the Super Eagles and Bafana Bafana. The commission, in a statement issued yesterday, emphasized the need for restraint in both watching the match and celebrating if Nigeria emerges victorious.

The statement highlighted concerns over potentially inflammatory online comments made by some South African citizens, influenced by the impending semi-final match. Veiled threats against Nigerians, particularly referencing ‘Nigerians cooking jollof rice’ and ‘showing pepper to Nigerians if Bafana Bafana lose to Super Eagles,’ were noted.

In response, the High Commission advised the Nigerian community to be cautious of their statements, choose suitable locations to watch the match, and avoid engaging in loud, riotous, or provocative celebrations in the event of a Nigerian win.

Furthermore, the statement stressed the importance of maintaining the good conduct for which Nigerians are known and urged them to be law-abiding before, during, and after the match. Any provocations were encouraged to be reported to the appropriate authorities rather than reciprocated.

In a related development, following the surprising outcomes for Nigerian artists at the 66th edition of the Grammy Awards, singer Teniola Apata, popularly known as Teni, has called on the Super Eagles to secure victory in the semi-final against South Africa. Teni specifically urged star striker Victor Osimhen and his teammates to achieve a decisive win as a form of revenge for the defeat suffered by some Nigerian artists at the hands of South African singer Tyla during the 66th Grammys.

It is noteworthy that in 2023, the Grammy Awards introduced a new category called Best African Music Performance, with Tyla receiving her first and only Grammy nomination. This became her historic first Grammy award, surprising many fans who had anticipated accolades for artists like Davido or Burna Boy. The announcement sparked intense debates on social media, with celebrities and fans expressing their discontent with the results.

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