So I took quite a long break from writing, two weeks to be precise, (which is weird for me because I’m usually always trying to scribble down something) so I could explore other endeavours and familiarize myself with the feel of my home which I seemed to have forgotten. I had thought that my mind could work up something really jauicy while I engaged in other menial activities, freeing up the part of my brain that dealt with creative writing but alas, I was mistaken. My brain cells seemed to die every day I did not exercise them so I knew I had to come up with something fast. I picked up on something that seemed like it did not have a story and was just a pastime for fun and relaxation and decided to draw out a form of inspiration from it. In short, I decided to write about #ZlatanFish.
Now, Volvo has been really creative with their adverts of late. The first was the one about their precision power steering with Jean Claude Van Damme which was a really creative concept with Van Damme stretching his legs to their limit while standing on the side mirrors between two Volvo trucks; at least, it had a story to tell about the Volvo cars. The next one I saw was really strange because it said nothing about the Volvo cars and just praised the awesomeness of Zlatan Ibrahimovic who is unarguably one of the best strikers in the world right now (If you don’t know Zlatan come out of your cave and seek civilisation because you need the help). The #ZlatanFish advert was just Volvo trying to promote its brand by using a native from its home country to sell their name. But I did not see that, instead I saw the big, powerful Swede come out and praise himself. Now, Zlatan has had a controversial career; being one of the best, he hardly ever get any recognition from the world footballing body FIFA, just the adulation of his numerous fans. From his days at Ajax to his current position in PSG, he has always done things out of the ordinary; whether it’s an amazing long shot from far outside the 18 yard box to a ridiculous backheel to dribbling more than half your opponents before scoring to returning a goal kick without the ball even touching the ground, Zlatan has done it all for his clubs. Even for his country, he has been ever-present; you know how Portugal had Luis Figo and now, they have Ronaldo, how Argentina had Maradona and now, they have Messi, how Brazil had Ronaldinho and now, they have Neymar, Sweden have only had one person: Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He singlehandedly almost took them to the World Cup and I particularly remember a friendly match against England where he scored what I can describe as the most beautiful goal I have ever seen since I was born, an overhead kick that defied common sense and reason and took an acute-angled flight path to the back of the net of the English goal. Zlatan is simply awesome.
The #ZlatanFish advertis on YouTube and it opens with Ibrahimovic talking about his home in Sweden and how cold it really is. He goes on to tell us he goes hunting to escape his family and they have begun to seem distant to him (His wife now smells like old potatoes and hairspray to him). He talks about how he did not qualify for Brazil and how he plans to get to Brazil by swimming so he becomes #ZlatanFish. At this point, “his child” breaks into a song talking about how her daddy did not qualify for Brazil and how, instead of screaming and shouting, he decided to become a fish and her confusion because fishes do not have legs. Zlatan finishes off by telling us about how he does not need bullets because he is lethal with just his stare. Throughout the advert, I remained amazed that this was a Volvo advert. I just watched a man with a huge ego and over-brimming with extreme confidence. I watched a man who believed he was capable of pulling off amazing feats. I watched a man who believed failure and mediocrity should tremble at the mere sight of him. I said to myself: “Damn!!! I would love that sort of confidence so I can gain recognition.” But I know with the fame comes the spotlight and the peering eyes of the public, my success would become everybody’s success and my failures would bring the sledgehammer of the public opinion on me. I would become a public figure, a celebrity and I am too afraid of that.
There are people who think humility is the only amiable virtue to be desired and that, one should not extol himself above others but I personally feel that a person should be able to motivate himself with words of confidence and praise his feats even if the whole world hears about it. A local proverb said: “The lizard that fell from a tree said he would praise himself if no one else did.” Self-adulation is necessary most times so that you do not lose sight of who you are and your goals to be the best. Now, some would see this as being arrogant and cocky but I say those are the mediocre ones, the timid ones that scared of public opinion on their actions and choose to remain on the same level with the crowd. If you can do the impossible, do it and stop hiding, trying to remain “humble”. Stop being scared of the spotlight which is truth the fear of what happens when you fail in the spotlight. Stand out and hold up your head up high above everybody. Brew your ego and increase your confidence such that you develop thick skin against public opinion. When people criticize you for different, pull off a ‘Kanye’ and forge a path for yourself. Dare to be different. Dare to do the impossible. #DareToZlatan