By – Oma Akatugba
My name is Momoh. I left Nigeria in April 2016. I went to Kano, from where I went to Niger, to Agadez precisely, and I saw a lot of people there too travelling. I wasn’t the only one, because of the situation of 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 travelling. It wasn’t that easy.
I spent 3-4 months in Libya, from there we moved to Tunis, and we spent about one month there and from there we moved to Italy with a balloon called boat (dinghy). It’s very dangerous, a lot of people died but I was lucky to be alive today because God wants it.
French Cruise: God In Cruise Control
When I came to France, my uncle asked me what I was doing in Nigeria and I told him football as a striker but I was a goalkeeper in Nigeria and he said he was going to look for a club for me. He got a club (didn’t mention name) to play as a striker and it went on and the club told me I have to wait before I get a licence and I said no problem. After some time, their goalkeeper was injured and I asked to be given the gloves that I can stay in goal. I played a friendly and made a lot of saves and they said I was a good goalkeeper and why did I say I was a striker, after which I confessed to being a goalkeeper and I trained as a goalkeeper henceforth. It was difficult and not that easy because there were a lot of people there.
I played at Saint. Brice FC in French Division 6, it was not easy but my uncle was encouraging me even though sometimes I got tired and wanted to quit because of the cold weather but my uncle kept pushing me to pull through and I respect that because he wants me to turn out good. Many times I trekked to training about 30 minutes, it wasn’t easy, with that encouragement and God’s help I became first choice goalkeeper.
The journey on the desert was not easy and I don’t advice anyone to go through that way because a lot of people died there. For me, it was just God that said I’ll make it that’s why I’m alive today, now I’m happy because I passed through the desert and now a football player.
I thank God for everything but it wasn’t easy. I know God will give me the best in this career.
I came to France as a refugee and now football is changing my life. I’m going to become a professional footballer, it hasn’t started but I know it will happen. It will happen.
The Lucky Child- Momoh
After moving to Belgian 4th Division side, KSK Ronse, Momoh’s career is on the up and he’s living his dream steadily.
Ronse play in the Belgian 4th Division A and were established in 1987 from the fusion of Assa Ronse and R.F.C Renaisien.
Momoh will play in a 5,021 capacity stadium in Belgium and has gotten a great chance to forge ahead with his career from a great position.
Some years ago, he could have been in the news as one of the victims of a boat mishap in the course of trying to journey through large seas and deep waters as an illegal migrant, but his luck shone.
In 2016 when Momoh went on that life-threatening and perhaps, life-saving journey, 5,143 Africans died while trying to cross illegally to Europe.
To date, many Africans die on a daily basis in their search for pastures greener and that makes Momoh a lucky child, just as his name suggests.