OBI Ananaba CEO

My name is Nwaobilor Ananaba born in Aba Abia State in the south east  Nigeria west africa, born in the mid sixties growing up in the seventies all i remember enjoy doing was playing football bear footed usually in school and on the streets. The street  games are the most entertaining at that time.  As time went on around the age of sixteen  i found myself playing in the reserve team of a professional football club, my confidence and excitement grew as i worked incredibly hard to secure a first team position and sign my first  professional contract.

My parents made it clear that i should stop playing football and focus on my studies to become an engineer. With that my father made it totally impossible for me to  play football by continuously engaging me in other things that will stop me from training. it came to a head when my father said to me SON  i will disown you if you continue to play football instead of concentrating on your studies. The only option i had was to stop playing football which was devastating and very hard for a young seventeen year old like me who was highly motivated and determined to sign a professional contract.

I stopped playing  football to please my parents, but little did they  know that i have made up my mind to secure a visa to travel to anywhere in Europe to play the game i passionately love . It was an incrediblly difficult two years but finally, my opportunity came to travel to the United Kingdom in July 1987 so i had the utmost pleasure to inform my parent that i would be travelling to the United Kingdom to further my education  and my parents were over the moon for me and 

I arrived in the United Kingdom knowing fully well that i do not want anything to do with education but football. All that interest me was a trial.  Although it was not long when i got a break to try out with Leyton Orient football club in east london and Wimbledon football club. Leyton called me in for more talk with the possibility of giving me a contract only to discover that i am not permitted to work with the type of visa i had at the time. This news destroyed my confidence as a young African player in Europe on my own i should have listened to my parents and continue my studies back home. Regrettably and reluctantly i had to turn my back on football and find something else  to do. From factory worker to property consultancy, then exporting goods to Africa.

My irrational exuberance made me put my money where my mouth is in 2009 over   years after the career that i never had ended  abruptly. I decided to start looking for young Africans with exceptional and incredible talents and give them the opportunities i never had by giving then a platform to play in Europe and the rest of the world. I did this by building Obiaba Football Academy, which is the best managed academy in Nigeria and one of the best in Africa.


OBI Ananaba - CEO