Maureen Mmadu: Celebrating Four Decades Of Accolades And Beyond

Maureen Mmadu: Celebrating Four Decades Of Accolades And Beyond

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By Amaechi Agbo,

(Bestchoicesports.com.ng Editor)

Birth, the entrance of a new child into a family in Igbo land and Africa generally, is heralded with joy, celebration and ululation.

In my village for instance, the birth of a child is so celebrated that the following Afor market day, the mother of the woman who put to bed is expected to go to the market with powder to celebrate the entrance of the child to the family. Popularly called “powder nwa” Child’s powder, sharing such in the market depicts acceptability and thus whoever robs the powder in his or her face has identified with the child.

One other thing is that, there is a myth behind the sharing of powder in the market; one myth has it that barren women or wives who are married but have found it difficult to conceive, when they rub the powder, they would conceive the fowling month. How truthful this is, remains a subject of proof

May 7th, 1975 a shining star arose from the East and like the Three Wise Men in the Bible, went across the globe in search of gold, crowns and trophies in women football.

The last daughter of an Igbo man, one would have found it strange how her father allowed her at the age of 7 to start playing football.

And unknow to her she was treading into “men’s world” her passion for the beautiful leather game, not minding she was in a male dominated street in Onitsha, Anambra State, spurred her to play with the men. She was not afraid of their bullying because she was determined to excel.

Her mother’s initial strong criticism of her and disapproval of her interest in football was a huge block. But her father’s interest and encouragement smoothened the path for her. In these two scenarios, it was understandable why the parents acted differently – the mother wanted to protect her last angel; the father wanted to give her last Gold, what would make her happy.

Thereafter, like an early morning flower, the 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in) lady blossomed. From street football, she joined club football, played for various Nigeria clubs such as Ado Babes, Jegede Babes, Pelican Queens from where, like a matured eagle, she could no longer perch on small trees. Because a good product, the Igbos say, sells itself, having amassed 15 goals a season with Ado Babes, it was from there that her ladder to glory took off.

She went to Norway and mesmerised the fans with her football ingenuity. Played for different premier league clubs in the country such as IL Sandviken Klepp IL QBIK, Linköpings FC Amazon Grimstad (2008), Kolbotn IL and Avaldsnes all in the Norwegian league.

Her debut for her father land, the Super Falcons in a match in 1993 took her to a leap in her career and she never relented. She was a very regular starter with the Super falcons during her days so much so that she became the only “century player” in the team. That is, the first Super Falcons player to clock 100 caps in appearance for the team. She did not just end at that, he made it 101. A record she still holds till today.

When she decided to bare goodbye to her playing career, she took into coaching and got the UEFA Coaching Licence C. As a player and coach, she has won several accolades as she marks over four decades on earth.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s with all humility and appreciation to God, the Creator of the universe that Nigerians and indeed the football followers today celebrate an icon, an achiever, a humble/shy coach of the Super Falcons; a coach whose position as Super Falcons assistant coach was taken away literally during the African Women’s Cup of Nation in Ghana last year such that a curator was allowed to sit in the technical area during Falcons’ matches against what is globally and professionally permissible in FIFA matches; but she put up a dogged spirit to ensure that the team emerged champions. 

Today, former Super Falcons midfielder/attacker, MAUREEN NKEIRUKA MMADU marks her 43rd birthday on earth.

Like Super Eagles Captain who played a crucial match for Nigeria against Argentina in last year’s FIFA World Cup knowing that his father was kidnapped, Coach Mmadu, had her own share of enduring pains just to serve her fatherland. In 1998 during FIFA Women’s World Cup, she played a match while she lost her mother. In 2004, the same scenario played out when she lost her father while on national duty. In both cases, however, the family concealed the deaths to allow her concentrate for her national assignments.

How else can one describe a patriotic Nigerian than this? Today, Coach Marueen Nkiruka Mmadu marks her over four decades of accolades and beyond as she celebrates her 43rd birthday with pump and toast.

The coach, however, will be on flight this evenimg to Abidjan, for the commencement of the 2019 West Africa Football Union Women Zone B championship with her soldiers to secure another accolade for Nigeria.

From all of us at Best Choice Media, Publishers of Bestchoicesports.com.ng, Happy birthday coach Maureen Nkeiruka Mmadu. Continue to soar higher. We are proud of you.

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