Okala : Celebrating Babuje – One Of The Greatest African Goalkeepers

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It gives me great pleasure to celebrate my friend and compatriot. Last Sunday, May 17, he turned 69. He told me on Tuesday how he spent the day very quietly at home with his family in Enugu. But then, we spoke some more.

We went back in time to the early days of our earliest encounter, our relationship, our shared experiences and where we are now.

We spoke about how the times have changed, from when he was the most famous footballer on the African continent to the present time, living quietly away from the klieg light in Enugu, watching with some pain how the foundations of a game laid with the sweat and blood of pioneer players and administrators, are being systematically eroded by interlopers and opportunists that have brought down and kept domestic Nigerian football on life-support. The times have truly changed, for worse.

The ‘problem’ with Babuje, for that’s what I call Emmanuel Okala, is that he takes everything in life very seriously. I recall our years in…



Source: Complete Sports