Leicester City’s Nigeria import, Wilfred Ndidi, has told a grass to grace story of his childhood and challenges faced while growing up.
Ndidi, whose father was a soldier, was born and raised in Lagos. H said he had to battle through selling fruits on the streets of Lagos while navigating his father’s ”hostility” towards his football aspirations.
According to the 23-year-old Ndidi, he had to help his mum sell fruits and food in order to sustain the family while he kept playing football and hoping for a breakthrough.
Ndidi rose to prominence featuring for Nigeria at the 2013 Fifa U20 World Cup in Turkey before he was signed by Genk of Belgium, then in 2017 he joined Leicester city for £17m.
Speaking to the Out of Home Podcast, Ndidi said;
“Though we had some ups and downs and trying to meet up with some bills, I was always there for my mum,”
“My mum was a food vendor and I supported her by hawking. I don’t regret that because growing up was really tough because it was all about survival. There were no fruits that I didn’t sell.
“I was the market boy and I was known mostly for selling groundnuts because it comes out every season. Just name them – I sold peppers, tomatoes and avocado. We basically sold fruits that came with different seasons. All these were done to survive in the military zone and outside.”
On several occasions, Ndidi said he got punished for playing football.
“It was difficult because my dad wanted me to go to school but there was no money,” he continued.
“What made it easier for me was that when he was transferred out of Lagos. I had the freedom because when he was around if I go out to train and he gets home before me, I have to explain where I was coming from. When I tell him I went to play football, I get whooped.
“There was a time I got whooped with a cow skin ‘Koboko’ and it was like a tattoo on my body. I couldn’t wear my shirt because when I put my clothes on, it becomes sticky and it’s painful. It was a military kind of discipline.”
Unlike other kids, Ndidi says he never had a chance to train with his age group.
“Growing up, I didn’t get a chance to play more with my peers because they were training in the evenings while the bigger guys were training in the morning. I was training with the bigger guys but just for ten minutes because I was too small,” he added.
“They always put me in when everyone is tired and also for them to be able to give me the training bibs to wash and bring the next day.
“My mum kept complaining because I didn’t have the time to wash them because I had to go hawk for her, but before I return, she would have washed them. That was the routine until I left my mum for Nath Boys.”
Wenger, perfect candidate to become new Arsenal chairman – Martin Keown
Former Arsenal defender, Martin Keown, has said legendary manager Arsene Wenger, would be the perfect choice to become the new Arsenal chairman.
Sir Chips Keswick retired from the position last week, after spending 15 years on the board.
Keswick admitted he always wanted to leave, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made him bring his decision forward.
The Gunners are now looking for Keswick’s successor and Keown insists Arsenal should look no further than Wenger.
“It would be something special to see Arsene Wenger come onto the board.
“I don’t think so somehow, I think he’s said recently he doesn’t want to do that, never saw himself as someone who would sit on the board but they could do a lot worse.
“You know that I feel that would be almost the perfect answer for Kroenke, the young Josh Kroenke, he needs that older person perhaps around, someone with the experience,” Keown told talkSPORT.
Aisha Buhari adopts kids of late Para-Powerlifting champion, Ndidi Nwosu
Four-time para – powerlifting world medalist, Mrs Ndidi Nwosu had been laid to rest at her Umuagbada, Umuoba, Eziachi Orlu, home in Imo State.
Speaking at the funeral of the late sports ambassador, the wife of the president and grand patron, Nigeria Para Powerlifting Federation, Hajia(Dr) Aisha Buhari, who was represented by the Deputy Governor of Enugu State and Matron of the Nigeria Para Powerlifting Federation, Hon. (Mrs) Cecilia Ezeilo expressed shock over the death of the late sports ambassador, Mrs Ndidi Nwosu.
She said that through her Non-Governmental organization, she will carter for the late Ndidi ‘s two children. Hajia Buhari described, Ndidi as a “great Nigerian”, saying:
“She came, represented Nigeria in international Para Powerlifting championships and came home with medals.”
The wife of the president prayed God to grant Ndidi eternal rest.
In her funeral oration, the Deputy Governor of Enugu State and matron, Nigeria Para Powerlifting Federation, Hon. (Mrs) Cecilia Ezeilo said she was touched by her death.
Rohr must win trophies, not just qualifying for tournaments – Akanni
An ex-international footballer, Wahidi Akanni, on Tuesday said with the re-appointment of Gernot Rohr as the manager of the Super Eagles, winning trophies should be his major focus rather than qualifying for major tournaments.
Akanni said this in an interview with Newsmen in Lagos.
The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) recently renewed Rorh’s contract as coach of the Super Eagles for another two and half years.
“Well, having been on the job now for sometime, he’s got a good knowledge of the players in the team, I will expect to see a certain play pattern for the team that can make him achieve what NFF has set for him.
“Nigerians will expect better results than just qualifying for tournaments. Nigeria needs to win trophies.
“It is no longer enough that we qualify for major tournaments, we ought to have moved passed that and set new goals,” Akanni said.
Recently, the minister of Youths and Sports, Mr Sunday Dare, stated that the NFF could terminate the appointment of Rohr whenever they felt he was falling short.
But Akanni wondered whether Rohr needed such reminders at this time.
“My opinion will be that, he’s just renewed his contract, he should be allowed to work.
“Dangling harsh or sack tunes on him now is not good for the super eagles, in as much as I am not a fan of foreign coaches.
“He was employed as the coach, he should be allowed to work and until he doesn’t perform, then he can be relieved of his job,” the former Lagos FA boss said.
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