Tell us about yourself
I was born in London, then went back to Nigeria with my parents quite early, and had my schooling in Nigeria. I studied to be a Chartered Surveyor, graduated, but was also hoping to play football professionally alongside. This was not practically possible as it had to be one or the other. By my parents' influence, and partly because I was probably too lazy to play the game meaningfully (jokes), I chose school. I cut short my football career even before it took off! Having said that, I did make my mind up pretty early that I would stay in the game of football in whatever capacity for as long as possible and that is exactly what I did. I started to write for newspapers, journals and tv stations, analysing football right from a young age. And when, after graduation, I moved back to England - to Basingstoke - I continued. I proposed to the BBC that I would want to be their anchorman for African football and they accepted me, where I started my own column in the BBC Match of the Day magazine and also was the African presenter and anchor on BBC Grandstand in the 1990s. I moved on from BBC and did some work with SkySports, again covering African football, then ESPN America and SuperSport in South Africa. I also established my own publication - New African Soccer magazine, which was circulated worldwide until the era of online publications put paid to that.
I have lived in Basingstoke since 1996, and my family, my roots and my businesses are all here.
Congratulations on your recent appointment as President of the Basingstoke Rotary Club. Can you tell us about your role?
Rotary Club is one organisation that has been dear to my heart for so long. My dad was a Rotarian and growing up he took me to some of their meetings when I was much younger. So it sparked my interest. Now, having spent most of my life travelling the world following football, I couldn't really make the contribution to my community as I would have wanted to. And so, when I decided to start to wind down gradually but not completely, I joined Rotary to reconnect with the community that made me, and made my children and that was home to us. And to connect with the outside world too. My role as President though, is to bring much needed change and vibrancy to the club. To show the Basingstoke community that we care about all that concerns them and to use Rotary to draw like minds to come engage with each other socially, interact and network on business levels and do community work that gives that self-fulfilment that we all want.