Popular

John Obi Mikel Learned His Father Had Been Abducted Just Hours Before Nigeria Faced Argentina

"I was told that they would shoot my dad instantly if I reported to the authorities or told anybody," recounts Nigeria's national team captain.

UPDATE:

John Obi Mikel has released a statement, thanking Nigerian police for their efforts in helping rescue his father, and informing supporters that his father has returned home, where he is now recuperating.

Continue for the full story:

Last Tuesday, as soccer fans gathered to watch Nigeria take on Argentina in what would be their final 2018 World Cup match, the Super Eagle's captain John Obi Mikel learned some harrowing news: his father, Pa Michael Obi, had been kidnapped as he headed to a funeral in Southeastern Nigeria.

As Kwesé ESPN reports, despite what he had just learned, Mikel went on to face Argentina, as he was told by kidnappers that his father would be killed if he were to alert authorities just four hours before kickoff. The kidnappers demanded N10 million ($28,000) for his father's safe return.


"I had to shut it out of my head and go and represent my country first. I was told that they would shoot my dad instantly if I reported to the authorities or told anybody," Obi told Kwese ESPN. "I played while my father was in the hands of bandits," he continued. "I had to suppress the trauma. I took a call four hours before kickoff to tell me what had happened."

His father and his driver, who were being held in the city of Egede in Enugu State, spent 6 days in captivity, and were rescued after a "gun duel" took place on Monday between the kidnappers and policemen, which forced the kidnappers to flee and leave the victims behind, the Nigerian Police confirmed in a statement on Tuesday. Obi senior, was taken to the hospital to recieve treatment for injuries he sustained.

Mikel spoke out about the incident for the very first time on Tuesday, revealing that he kept the information from his coach as well as the Nigerian Football Federation.

"I did not want to discuss it with the coach because I did not want my issue to become a distraction to the coach or the rest of the team on the day of such an important game, he said. "So as much as I wanted to discuss it with the coach, I could not do it."

Despite being rocked by such difficult news, the player decided, that at that time, it was best to focus on representing his country on the world stage. "I was confused. I did not know what to do, but in the end I knew that I could not let 180 million Nigerians down."

Music
(YouTube)

The 8 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Tekno x Mafikizolo, Yaw Tog, Muzi, Seyi Shay x Yemi Alade, M.anifest x Juls and more.

Every week, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Keep reading... Show less
News Brief
Seyi Shay & Yemi Alade's vibrant collaboration in 'Pempe' is the perfect way to usher in the weekend.

Listen to Seyi Shay & Yemi Alade's New Track 'Pempe'

Seyi Shay & Yemi Alade's vibrant collaboration in 'Pempe' is the perfect way to usher in the weekend.

Nigerian artists Seyi Shay and Yemi Alade have teamed up for an explosive collaboration titled "Pempe". The track is Shay's first official project for this month and follows previous numbers including "Tuale", "Gimme Love (Remix)" featuring American artist Teyana Taylor, and "Murda" which were released in 2020, 2019 and 2016 respectively.

Keep reading... Show less
Supplied

Kimberly Anthony’s Bold Take On Fashion

Dubbed one of the coolest fashionistas in Paris, the Togolese creative talks her brand G.Y.D. Studio, journey up the fashion echelons and creating clothes that encourage authenticity.

Dressed immaculately in a swathe of angles and textures, Kimberly Anthony welcomes me with an enormous smile while elegantly seated upright. She is as pristine as I expected, but the explosive laughter that shakes her entire body throughout our chat reveals a soulful woman with a spirit so generous, even she can't contain it.

The Paris-based tastemaker-cum-model, known as @Kimberlyskinny on Instagram, may have gone down the habitual path of having enough social media followers to warrant creating her own clothing brand, but hers has been a full circle and earnest journey. To bring her bold vision to life, the Togolese creative worked with local artisans back in Lomé. Her collection of oversized garments invoke long, hot summer days and make a mockery of formalities.

Born in Togo and briefly raised in Ghana, at age seven Kimberly moved to Paris' stark and unfamiliar streets — which now at 26, she inhabits with ease. Her brand G.Y.D. Studio has created a stir beyond her own expectations — she is suddenly in higher demand than ever. With her confidence deservedly overflowing, she raises her glass with a toast to my first question.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Shekhinah Experiences 'Trouble in Paradise' on Her Latest Album

Shekhinah's sophomore album 'Trouble in Paradise' is a candid journey in overcoming heartbreak.