This piece is to subtly draw the attention of the Anambra State and Federal Governments of Nigeria, as well as Nigerians and the media regarding an 11-year-old, primary six Nigerian, Chinonso Eche – who has made his mark as the youngest Nigerian and African Guinness World Record holder in Freestyle Football today.
Young Eche is the 3rd child in the family of eight, an indigene of Anambra State who currently resides in Warri, Delta State.
On 14th November 2019 at the Warri Township Stadium, Eche attempted and broke a record for the ‘most consecutive football touches in one minute while balancing another ball on his head’.
Eche went ahead to conveniently record one hundred and eleven (111) touches – a world record!, which was later approved on December 12, 2019. He was officially awarded a Guinness World Record Certificate on January 22, 2020. The previous record was 50 touches, Eche doubled that with extra strokes added.
Eche has been in the news since July 2019 and has trended on all Social Media platforms for his all-round football and freestyle football skills . He has also participated in the Nigerian National Freestyle Football Championship and African Freestyle Football Championship where he competed with other much older African counterparts.
On 6th February 2020, the World Football governing body, FIFA, on their official Twitter page and website, identified with his imperious achievement and further encouraged him to be a future star he destined to be.
It is discouraging that since the event took place on November 14, 2019, nothing has been done in Nigeria to recognize the multi-talented Eche who again has joined numerous and notable Nigerians to have written the country’s name in gold on the African and global spaces.
Chinonso Eche is a rising young star that needs to be encouraged and supported to further achieve his dreams in the Freestyle Football sport and also academically. We have seen his fellow younger Nigerians get massive support – the likes of Success Adegor (dem go flog flog until she tire) – the young girl who was chased out of school. Recently, there was also “the mummy calm down” boy, the young internet boxing sensation Sultan Adekoya, among others.
Eche has also brought good name to his country Nigeria, a compilation in September by the Official Guinness World Record showed he was the only African on its 2021 documentary.
Encouraging and supporting him will help him realize his dreams as the little boy is still struggling with his parent in Warri. He has barely got the recognition his kind of feat would normally attract.
Eche remains optimistic that his country has not forgotten nor neglected him, but is waiting patiently for the that moment he will be celebrated. There is no better moment than now.
This a clarion call to the Nigerian governments and well-meaning individuals, including corporate organizations, and also importantly, the media to support this very young Nigerian talent.
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