INTRODUCTION: My names are Tony Nwakaeme. I play for Trabzonspor and the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
GhettoLiFEtv: You are one of the biggest football Stars in Europe out of Ajegunle right now. What was your growing up like in the ghetto?
Tony Nwakaeme: I think am just a normal guy. I don’t think I should call myself biggest Star right now. We have other players also that came out of Ajegunle like Dickson Nwakaeme, Odion Ighalo, Brown Ideye. So, I have to give respect to these guys… Growing up was not
easy. You know Ajegunle – how the ghetto is. But at the same time, I think am one of the lucky people that God decided to show Mercy. And this is where I am today.
GhettoLiFEtv: How easy was it for you to break into playing in Europe?
Tony Nwakaeme: It was not easy. It was a lot of upside down. I was in Denmark. I was in Sweden I was in Italy. I have been moving for years. But today, when people see me they feel like, maybe, it was easy for me. I lived in Italy for one year without club. It was never easy. But we thank God for where we are today.
GhettoLiFEtv: In what way did your ghetto experience contribute to who you are today?
Tony Nwakaeme: It makes me to remember where I come from. And at the same time, it makes me to know that I should not think I have arrived yet. Because I know how it is coming from the ghetto.
So, the little I have achieved today, it makes me feel like, if you can achieve this, you can achieve more. You just have to keep your head up and keep doing your thing. Never think you have arrived or reached there yet.
GhettoLiFEtv: You have featured in the Super Eagles before but have been left out for some time now. Are you still interested in playing for Nigeria?
Tony Nwakaeme: Yea! I’m always open. Almost every foreign journalist ask me the same question. For me, am always open. If they give me the chance – thank you. If they don’t – the same thank you!
The National Team is a little, maybe, two percent of my career. So if I can achieve it without the National Team, I don’t need to give up because they don’t call me. I need to keep on achieving. If I have the chance – cool. If they don’t call me, all the best to those that are there.
GhettoLiFEtv: What should the football loving Nigerians expect from Tony Nwakaeme going forward?
Tony Nwakaeme: They should expect good football – more experienced player; More entertaining player. Those who know me, they know me very well. Just come to the game and enjoy yourself!
GhettoLiFEtv: Let’s talk about giving back. As a football star that God has raised from Grass to Grace, how are you helping other stars to rise out of Ajegunle?
Tony Nwakaeme: As a football player, it’s not really easy. But, that does not mean if I see an opportunity I will not try to help who I think I could help. And also, I’m not the guy that likes to put the news out if I help. For me, I don’t need to blow my trumpet by myself. But you can just ask around, they will tell you.
GhettoLiFEtv: Your advice to the Youth, especially those struggling to break through in football?
Tony Nwakaeme: They just have to follow their dream, first of all. It’s not easy. But, make sure it’s your dream. I would say I followed my dream as a football player. But, at the same time, I will say football chose me, I didn’t choose football. You just have to know if you are really a football player. Because, some people. I don’t want to sound rude, but I think some people don’t have the talent. They feel because football is paying other people, they want to play football.
You cannot play football like that. You must have it inside of you, then you come out to play it. I wish everybody the best. And again, you have to pray for the Grace of God, because it is not by power. Anytime God says is your turn – it’s your turn.