Do you know Nigerian singers who were footballers? If I mentioned a couple of them you'd be surprised.
For whatever reason(s), some Nigerian football stars became music celebrities after a while.
Some of them all along probably had it in mind to go into music production but their initial path in life took them into the world of soccer before they made U-Turn into singing.
Let's now take a look at the Nigerian singers who were footballers.
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Nigeria Singers Who Were Footballers
You may know his brother more than the man himself, but Emmanuel Babayaro definitely held his own weight during his playing days.
Popularly known for being the elder brother of Celestine Babayaro, who played for Chelsea, Newcastle, and Galaxy F.C, Emmanuel struggled to achieve his own fame without being compared to his brother.
Emmanuel, during his playing days, was a goalkeeper and his major stint was at the 1996 Olympics, where he withthe Nigeria team won the Gold medal.
His brother was also part of the team.
Before choosing to become a goalkeeper, Emmanuel, as a child, loved to play as a midfielder, but his younger brother would always coerce him to play as a goalie and would continuously hit him until he gave in.
He eventually fell in love with the position and was advised to stick to it as he seemed to play better there.
However, he never really got a significant breakthrough and, in an interview, stated he was frustrated out of football.
Abandoning his football career, he decided to venture into music, where he has been able to achieve moderate success.
He has featured some famous Nigerian singers for some of his tracks, including Cobhams. He once revealed in an interview with Hiptv news that he never left football for music and that it had always been a part of him since he was young.
Some of his songs include My Party, where he featured Brank.
He also owns his own record label, Rectitude music.
In the 1990s, John Akpoborie was one of the hottest players for the Nigeria National team and the Nation's best striker at the time, which is why it is pretty surprising that he was never seen as a legitimate option for the Super Eagles.
John spent his entire career playing in Germany, starting from the relegation league and building his way to the top-flight league.
He played for several clubs before settling for Wolfsburg, where he was their top striker.
Everything seemed set for the Nigeria striker until tragedy struck.
In 2001 when he was having the best time of his career, he came under the spotlight and was the target of worldwide criticism when a boat managed by his family was alleged to contain children sold into slavery.
Jonathan was immediately suspended from the Wolfsburg squad and was eventually laid off to Saarbrücken, where he played a little before retiring.
He eventually dabbled into music and released the 1998 we will win single but never found the fame he once enjoyed in football, partly due to the ship controversy.
In an interview with Supersport, Jonathan spoke about the slave ship incident and stated that it was a fake story cooked up by UNICEF to push an agenda.
He cited that despite the so-called slavery accusation, nobody was ever prosecuted. He stated that UNICEF would surely pay for damages done to his career, reputation, and family.
Emmanuel currently works as a player agent for Rogon Sports Management and fully resides in Lagos.
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Those are the Nigerian Singers who were footballers before delving into the entertainment industry – music especially.
This article was most recently revised and updated 3 years ago