The inspiring tale of how Aide Brown Ideye, Super Eagles forward who currently plays as a central striker for Greek soccer giant, Olympiakos suddenly moved up the ladder within a space of 10 years is somewhat baffling to surprising to so many observers of the round leather game.
He may not have that intimidating height nor clock 30 yet, but his exploits in Europe so far has indicated that he is presently Nigeria hottest striker abroad.
According to Kara Goldin, CEO of Hint Water, success is knowing that what you are doing is helping you and others lead a better, happier, healthier life.”
Going by such definition, can we really tag Ideye as successful yet? Before we answer that question, let us go down memory lane and see how the young lad moved from grass to grace within a space of 10 years.
The story itself is somewhat a turnaround given that the mother banned him from playing the game as a 14-year-old through fears he would get caught up with criminal gangs on the streets of Lagos.
After his father Joel died, she even sent him to her sister’s remote village eight hours away to keep him from football and, as she saw it, trouble.
A decade later Ideye, 26, is West Brom’s £10million record buy and, after initial difficulties, beginning to make good on his price tag.
‘My mum stopped me going out with them. She was upset. Each time I told her I wanted to play football she would say, “No you’re going to be with your friends”.’
Ideye was sent to live with his aunt but eventually ran away to train with his old coach and finally told his mum he wanted to make a 200-mile trip to Bayelsa State to play regularly. ‘She didn’t accept. That’s how I left. I went to Bayelsa State then Ocean Boys. Then bam, bam, bam.’
The bams are Neuchatel Xamax in Switzerland, Sochaux in France, and Dynamo Kiev in Ukraine, where he scored 33 goals in 74 games and earned most of his 24 Nigeria caps.
Once he had signed professional forms, Ideye patched up his relationship with his mum. Tears flowed. ‘When I got the contract in Switzerland I went back home, sat with my family and had breakfast, dinner, lunch, everyone happy.
‘Afterwards she called me into her room and said, “I’m sorry about everything, your dad is late and I am the only person who can guide you. I looked at what your friends were doing and believed if I left you that is how you’d become.” I said, “I get that.” She started crying. She could not believe she tried to stop me becoming what she is enjoying today.’
Well, that is one remarkable turnaround story!
Back to the question, can we or can’t we describe this heart-moving narration of a struggling one-time street lad a success story? The answer is up to you.
There is one take-home lesson from this story though – whatever you hands find to do, do it with all your might as the scripture admonished (Ecclesiastes 9:10, Colossians 3:23-24). You never know when your breakthrough will come. It could be short time or a long time process. Just persevere a bit…
Compiled by Adebayo Folorunsho-Francis with additional report from Culled from Daily Mail