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Momoh: From being a refugee, I now earn €1750 playing in a 5th division club in France

Momoh tells of his remarkable journey, traveling to Kano before embarking on a long, life-threatening peregrination across the Sahara into Europe, and now earning a few thousand euros playing in France.

Momoh considers himself lucky to be alive. Unlike many who made the journey, the Nigerian endured unimaginable hunger and untold desert conditions to arrive Europe as a refugee. That was six years ago.

“I went to Kano, from where I went to Niger, to Agadez precisely, and I saw a lot of people there too traveling. I wasn’t the only one, because of the situation in Nigeria. Everybody knows the situation.

“From Agadez, we took a bus to Gatron before we crossed to the desert. It took almost one week before we got to Libya, it was not that easy because there were a lot of people dying because they were hungry, they fell from the Hilux carrying us because it was underground traveling. It wasn’t that easy.”

Momoh would spend another five months traveling from Libya through to Tunisia before entering Europe on a dinghy in search of football success.

With the help of an uncle, he was able to secure a club in France where he played as a goalkeeper. “It was difficult and not that easy because there were a lot of people there,” he said.

He trekked to training and battled bone-chilling cold. He sometimes considered quitting.

“I played at Saint Brice FC in French Division 6. It was not easy but my uncle was encouraging me. He kept pushing me to pull through and I respect that … with that encouragement and God’s help I became first-choice goalkeeper,” Momoh, who later had a stint with Belgian 4th Division side, KSK Ronse, said.

Today, the Nigerian plays for a fifth-division club in France and earns 1750 euros. In the sporting world, the climb up the rungs of the professional ladder can be slow and hard. Some never make it, but it’s clear Momoh is making progress.

“I came to Europe as a refugee,” he says. “However, my quest to become a professional is progressing slowly. I believe I will get there someday.”

Momoh has dared to dream; we can all dream with him.

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