Ibrahim Damilare Balogun, is the last born in a family of six. He is from the Balogun family of Akungba Akoko Local Government Area . He was however born and bred in Lagos and attended Methodist Primary School, Agege and Community High School, Orile Agege.
He had a tall dream to further his education at the tertiary level but as it has been for many Nigerians, finance cut short this dream. “I was processing admission into the University of Lagos, to study Banking and Finance but financial constraint, put a stop to this ambition. Two elder siblings are studying at the same institution”.
He certainly did not let this obstacle kill his desire to make a success of his life. Hence he fell back on his passion for football and decided to make a successful career of it. “I identified my latent talent in football and that is what he I am exploring. Football has been a passion since Primary School days and when financial constraints proved an obstacle in my academic pursuit, this passion became my saving grace”.
But this same Finance that killed his academic pursuit seems to be chasing him all over. “Like every other young chap exploring various careers, I would say finance is a problem. In other words, sponsorship. This cannot be underestimated. In 2008, when I was still with Sports Gate Fc in Shasha, Airforce Base, in Lagos, my coach and I tried out in Portugal but my manager wasn’t satisfied with the offer, so we had to come back to Nigeria. The same manager, David Akaba and I, also went to Julibal in Mali. In 2008, like the first one, the contract was nothing to write home about. We had to return to Nigeria. One of the rules is that the club will facilitate your coming into the country. So if you are not contented with their offer, you will have to return to your country and re- apply for another club. I have been invited to other clubs but my manager says Europe is better. But I have made up my mind that I will embrace any opportunity both locally and internationally”.
This confident chap, has a lot going for him in the game. “In 2005 – 2007, I played for Beckon FC in Ikeja League consecutively and I scored a nice goal against Pepsi Academy. I also played for Beckon FC in the Super Four cup, alongside clubs like Progressive FC, Olowolagba FC, Pepsi Academy and we emerged champion. I was also one of the Best Players during the 2006 quarter final, Beckon versus First Bank”.
He has lofty dreams. “I dream of being one of the best players in the world contributing to my country by playing for the Super Eagles. I pray to play for Bacelona or Bayern Munich and when I eventually retire, I will help young footballers actualize their dreams of becoming super stars”.
This Ondo State indigene is really impressed at the state of his things in his home land. “The last time I travelled to Ondo State was in October 2011 and I noticed that from Akure to Akungba Akoko, the road is well tarred. There was stable power supply, public borehole was also in use. Activities were going on smoothly. OSUA (Ondo State University, Akungba Akoko), University was fantastic. I will enjoin them not to relent on their efforts”.
His contact telephone number is 08082282477. He is expecting calls from those interested in igniting his footballing career, so that he can actualize his dreams and further uplift others.
“ Ondo State is one of the best states that encourages football and other sporting activities. The development there is also encouraging”. Kemi Akintan
Kemi Akintan, is another budding footballer. She has great passion for the round leather game and is prepared to contribute her quota to the game in general and female football in particular.
This SS3 student of Musford College and indigene of Ikale, Ondo State, was born and bread in Lagos State. According to her, “I discovered my football talents and passion early and it grew till today where I find myself. I am happy to have the support of my parents because we have great passion for sports in my family. When I started out as a footballer, they did not discourage me and it has been a nice experience so far”.
Why did this queen opt for football? “One of the reasons why I chose football was to contribute my quota to sporting activities in my country, Nigeria. I also want my achievements to encourage others, especially the young ones. I presently play for Young Talent Queen Academy in Agege, Lagos and my coach is Olowu Omololu Olayinka (Omoh), an experienced coach”.
She has some achievements in her kitty. “So far, I have taken part in some competitions, won medals in 2009 . I want Nigerians to watch out for more, very soon. My role model is Iniesta of Spain and I am inspiring to be like him and even surpass him. It is not impossible and with God, all things are possible. After all, he too did not start as a super star “.
Like many others, she is impressed with developments back home in Ondo State. “Ondo State is one of the best states that encourage football and other sporting activities. The development there is also encouraging