This story first appeared in the May 2016 edition of the Arsenal Magazine.
How would you describe your country?
Very passionate. They love sport, all kinds of different sports, and really love to win.
Name three things that are great about your country?
I’d have to pick out how passionate about sport they are again. Then you’ve got the food, which is really nice and the people are really nice too.
And something you would like to change about your nation.
That’s a tough one – I don’t really know what I’d want to change to be honest.
What’s your favourite food from your country?
Definitely jollof rice. It’s rice served with tomatoes, onions and different spices, plus meat. I think it’s quite popular across Africa – it’s definitely my favourite.
Which sports are popular, other than football?
I think athletics are very popular but the people in Nigeria just love football.
How much of an impact has your uncle, Jay Jay Okocha had on you?
A big one. I played a lot with him when I was young and he taught me a lot of skills. When he was playing for Bolton I used to play with him in his back garden. I also used to go and watch him when he was at Bolton and a little bit when he was at Hull. I remember one time he was playing for Bolton and I was lucky enough to go and watch with my dad. Then we were just having a kickabout and he came over, showed me something and then I’d be like, “How on earth did he do that?!” Then I would go away and spend the next few days trying to learn it.
What’s a typical phrase from your country?
Oh boy, I wouldn’t know.
Where are the best places to go on holiday in your country?
From my experience I’ll say Lagos. I went with my cousins and really enjoyed it. The people there all really love football. Because of my uncle, we stayed in a nice place too, which was good.
Where would you like to go in your country that you haven’t been?
I’m not too sure about that.
Who is the current President/Prime Minister of your country?
I know it was Goodluck Jonathan for a while but I’m not sure who it is now. I grew up in England but I love going back.
Tell us – if you can – the first line of your national anthem?
Erm, arise oh compatriots?
What languages do you speak?
I speak English and I can understand Igbo, which is spoken where I’m from.
What languages would you like to speak?
I would love to speak French. It sounds cool. Sometimes I’ll hear the French players in the squad speaking it and think it sounds good. I want to be able to join in.
Tell us somewhere in the world you would like to visit?
Definitely America. My auntie stays in Texas sometimes and I’d like to see what that’s like.
What was the first trip you ever made outside of your country?
I haven’t actually been on many. I’ve been everywhere with the team though. When I was playing in the UEFA Youth League we went all over Europe.
Can you name the capital cities of these three countries?
- Chile – I don’t know that one. (Santiago)
- Scotland – Is it Glasgow? Oh no, it’s Edinburgh!
- USA – I know this one, that’s Washington DC.
And can you name the countries from their Presidents/Prime Ministers?
- Angela Merkel – Not a clue. (Germany)
- David Cameron – That’s the United Kingdom.
- Vladimir Putin – He’s Russian, right?
Where is the next World Cup being held?
- Russia again.
Who won the World Cup in these years?
- 1966 – That was England.
- 1990 – I wasn’t born then – was it Brazil? Oh I don’t know that one. (West Germany)
- 2002 – That was Brazil. I watched that one.
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