Do you know any Nigerian singers who were footballers? If I mentioned a few, you would be surprised.
For whatever reason, some Nigerian soccer stars have become music celebrities after a while.
Some of them probably still had in mind to go into music production, but their initial journey in life brought them into the world of football before making U-Turn singing.
Now let’s take a look at Nigerian singers who were footballers.
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You might know his brother more than the man himself, but Emmanuel Babayaro definitely held his weight during his playing days.
Popularly known to be the older brother of Celestine Babayaro, who played for Chelsea, Newcastle and Galaxy FC, Emmanuel has struggled to achieve his own fame without being compared to his brother.
Emmanuel, during his playing days, was a goalkeeper and his main stint was at the 1996 Olympics, where he with the 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 always forced him to play as a goalkeeper and kept hitting him until he gave in.
He eventually fell in love with the position and was advised to stick with it as he seemed to play better there.
However, he never really got a significant breakthrough and, in an interview, said he was frustrated with football.
Giving up his football career, he decided to go into music, where he was able to achieve moderate success.
He has featured 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 has always been a part of him since he was young.
Some of his songs include My Party, where he featured Brank.
He also has his own label, Rectitude music.
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In the 1990s, John Akpoborie was one of the hottest players in the Nigeria national team and the best striker in the nation at the time, which is why it is quite surprising that he never had been seen as a legitimate option for the Super Eagles.
John has spent his entire career playing in Germany, starting with the Relegation League and making his way to the top-flight league.
He played at several clubs before moving to Wolfsburg, where he was their top striker.
Everything seemed ready for the Nigerian striker until tragedy struck.
In 2001, when he was having the best moment of his career, he came under the spotlight and came under worldwide criticism when a boat run by his family was accused of containing children sold into slavery.
Jonathan was immediately suspended from the Wolfsburg squad and was eventually sacked at Saarbrücken, where he played for a bit before retiring.
He eventually tried his hand at music and released the 1998 single We’ll Win, but never found the fame he once had in football, in part due to the controversy on the ship.
In an interview with Supersport, Jonathan opened up about the slave ship incident and said it was a fake story concocted by UNICEF to promote a program.
He cited that despite the alleged slavery charge, no one has ever been prosecuted. He said UNICEF would surely pay for the damage done to his career, reputation and family.
Emmanuel currently works as a player agent for Rogon Sports Management and resides entirely in Lagos.
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It was the Nigerian singers who were footballers before they entered the entertainment industry – music in particular.