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How my parents relaxed the lockdown against my football career – Super Eagles midfielder reveals

Francis Achi

There is a popular pidgin parlance in Nigeria which says “better soup na money kill am”, this can be literally translated as delicious soup is powered by money. 

At the time he was growing up as a teenager, he had already shown some good qualities as a footballer, but his parents never wanted him to embrace the round leather game until he brought money home to show for his efforts as a secondary school student.

He was a bright student in Science class. Therefore, his parents felt football was a distraction, but the young teenager then continued playing the game secretly to avoid the wrath of his parents.

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Azubuike Okechukwu

It all changed when he emerged as the man of the match in a local game played at his neighbourhood in Suleja, Niger state which made some people to spray cool cash on him after the game.

Knowing him how difficult it was then for his parents to provide for him and his other siblings, the teenage football sensation, whom his parents vehemently opposed him playing football, decided to bring the money and presented it to his mother.

He informed his mother about the game, how he played very well and some people dashed him money, which he now brought home. His mother told his father about the cash gift and that was the beginning of how his parents relaxed the lockdown against football in his life and today he is a professional football playing his trade in Turkey with Istanbul Başakşehir, on loan from Egyptian club Pyramids FC.

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Azubuike Okechukwu in action

This was the situation of Azubuike Okechukwu, former captain of the Olympic Eagles of Nigeria as he narrated his football journey into stardom during the live Instagram interview on official channel of the Super Eagles of Nigeria @ ng_supereagles.

The midfielder said he knew while growing up that football was his passion and he is very glad that he is a professional now that profits from the game.

“It was not easy when I was young playing football. I grew up in Suleja. It was difficult for my family then. My parents never wanted me to be playing football around,” Okechukwu said @ng_supereagles on Instagram llve interview.

“My parents did not support my football until I brought money home. There was this match we played at Suleja and I was the man of the match. I was very small among the other players on the pitch, yet I played very well.

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Wanted to be a Medical Doctor

“After the match, some people gave me money because they loved my game.  I took the money home and gave it my mother and that was it.

“It was like, let’s give him the chance and support him. They relaxed the issue of not wanting me to play football. My mother especially never wanted me to play football but she gave it another thought . My father was also very reluctant.

“I knew the family I am from. Despite the fact that my parents wanted me to further my education, I knew it was going to be very difficult as that time judging by the financial status of my family.

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In action at the Rio 2016 Olympics

“I was good in science subjects and if not for football, I would studied to become a medical doctor, but I still thank God that my parents gave me their blessings to play football and there is no regret,” he concluded.

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