NAME: Ayuba Israel LEVEL: 300 DEPARTMENT: Sociology POSITION: Defensive Midfielder
Private Campus (PC) – where did the name ‘Kante’ come from?
Kante (K) – well, like you already know, Kante is a footballer in Chelsea FC in England and he was a defensive midfielder. And so when I first came to this school, people did not know my name and my style of play was so defensive and I was actually aggressive towards the football thing so they thought the best thing to name me was Kante since they did not know my name.
PC – You know there are other clubs that have been existing in Bingham for as long as some of us can remember like *Barclays and *SARS. So what I sit about FUSION that made you join them and not the others?
K – You know, I didn’t come to FUSION because I knew I was going to meet bigger stars, that’s not my purpose of coming to FUSION. I came to FUSION for two things. I know that I can be a star on my own. Staying on other teams means that I’m going to be staying under the shadow of another star. I wanted people to see my own brightness. That’s number one.
The other thing is just in support of the first point.
I actually needed playtime. Since I’ve been in this school, I’ve always warmed the whole bench. If there was never a bench, the grass knew my boots. Like really. So I really needed playtime and I’m actually enjoying playing on this team.
PC – So from what you said it means FUSION is actually putting in what they’re promising by giving you a platform?
K – Oh yes. Especially for someone like me. FUSION has really kept to their promise. I’ve been able to wear the jersey number they promised me. I’ve been able to play the position they promised me. They’ve been able to appreciate my game play and that’s basically what I need. I need someone to appreciate me.
PC – How long have you been with FUSION? Since the beginning or did you just join recently?
K – I was with FUSION since from its inception. I believe as soon as they talked to me.
PC – What is a typical training day like for you as a player?
K – Personally, I’m a lazy boy so….
PC – Your honesty is refreshing
K – Yeah so I’m actually a lazy boy. I hate to jog. I hate to do cone works and other exercises. But as an aspiring professional footballer, I know that it’s necessary for me and so I just force myself to do all those things. It’s not like I enjoy them personally. But then what I enjoy most is ball play. But when you talk about jogging, exercises, nah, that’s not my thing.
So a normal day on the pitch, I’m not excited to come because ei’m afraid of all those exercises.
PC – But do you think the trainers put in enough work?
K – Oh yes! They even do more than they’re supposed to do. I think they go extra miles.
PC – Before this session runs out, where do you see the team headed? What goals have been set that you think will be achieved?
K – Where I see the team going… we’re going to be champions for this whole season. That’s what I see. That’s a promise I’m making. I trust myself and my teammates. We have potential. Like I said, we’re the superstars of BHU but it’s a family.
PC – “Family for champions” yeah?
K – Exactly.
PC – Of all the matches you’ve played both friendlies and since BFL started, who are your toughest opponents as a team?
K – From what I’ve played so far, I think we’ve just played two teams, (Barclays and Northcube), honestly if you’re talking about opponents in general, I see them as equal ties.
And I don’t see them as very challenging. What I pick as a challenge is in individual players.
PC – Okay
K – And those players for me, I think there’s Matthew in Barclays, he’s a strong guy though an obstacle to some extent. There’s a defender, Habib in Northcube, that guy is actually an obstacle too. Then there’s a Northcube striker, Kefas and Barclays striker, Wonderlyon. But then that’s why I told you I pick individuals as a challenge but as a team, nah, I think my team is strong enough to stand any of them.
PC – As a sportsperson/athlete what is one thing you have to say to other players especially football players? A piece of advice or anything of the sort.
K – Especially following the events that happened this evening, I think this advice is necessary. If you’re admiring me personally, please admire my skills and ability to play. Do not admire my attitude. I have a bad character on the pitch. I just need to be honest that’s why I’m saying it. I know I have a bad temper but I’m trying to work on it though. Ii exhibited something and it wasn’t so good to my teammates. So my advice basically is “learn to play football without anger” because once you get angry, you’re not just the one that is affected. It’s so psychological it affects your other teammates. And so just put in determination, passion and hard work in whatever you do.
I take everything I do seriously. I wish you’d ask me about my own grades as well.
My life is quite balanced.
PC – Everything is balanced for you?
K – I’m not bragging but everything is so balanced. I don’t know what you consider a 4.2 but then…
PC – Wow. That’s carrying everything comfortably.
K – Yeah but then for someone that plays football, I think I’m comfortable where I am right now.
PC – You mentioned earlier about having intentions of playing professionally in the future.
K – Oh yes.
PC – Is there any team you’d like to join? Do you have intentions of joining the Super Eagles to move form there or you just want to keep training on your own and see how it goes from there?
K – I almost said “God forbid” when you said Super Eagles.
PC – Please tell us why before you go on. No patriotism here?
MM – I almost said “God forbid” because I don’t think I can play for this country. It’s always so messed up. Seriously, like so whack. Basically, I can’t play for Super Eagles. Well if the opportunity comes, I can’t bounce it. But then professionally, I want to play for any team that is well recognized in the world. But then I have two teams in my head that I’m always admiring; that I always look up to.
I have Chelsea FC and I have Barcelona.
PC – Of course the two top dogs of soccer these days.
K – Yeah well Chelsea has been going down the drain. But yeah, they’re still good.
PC –It happens, it’s football.
K – Yeah but they’re still good.
*Barclays - Football club in Bingham University *SARS - Football club in Bingham University
This interview was conducted in November, 2019. All references made are correct as at time of interview.