My story as hawker to Africa’s football king – Osimhen

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Newly crowned CAF 2023 African Player of The Year, Victor Osimhen, on Tuesday penned a gratifying message to celebrate his top prize.

In an extended message posted on his X account, the Napoli striker told an inspiring story of how he started as a hawker on the streets of Olusosun in Lagos to becoming a global icon in football.

On Monday, the Napoli striker beat Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi and Egypt’s Mohamed Salah to the star prize at the awards ceremony in Marrakech.

Reflecting on his journey to stardom, the 24-year-old wrote, “As a young boy who came from the streets of Olusosun, who had to hawk in traffic almost every day of the week while growing in order to survive the numerous challenges my family and I were facing, becoming a Treasure in Africa and World Football was a wild dream. Words can’t express the joy in my heart; this is a very special moment for me.

“My football journey has been a rollercoaster of highs, tough lows and emotions. The goals, echoes and jubilation of victories keep me going even when the critics, hate and pain of defeats hit me hard in the chest. The support of my amazing family, my fans most especially my Nigerian supporters and the love for the beautiful game of football motivates me to aim higher daily.”

He added, “Losing my dear parents in the course of this journey leaves a scar in my heart as they have always been my major driving force for success since I was a kid, may their souls continue to rest in peace.

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“To my wonderful family thanks for always having my back and loving me so much. I wouldn’t have made it this far without your esteemed support.

“To my fans and Nigerian supporters, your dedication in supporting me on the good days and bad days do not go unnoticed, even amidst the arrows of hatred thrown at me y’all still stood by my side. I am grateful.

“Winning the CAF Best African Player 2023 is a testament to my hard work, your love and support. I am so proud of myself for achieving this prestigious award.

“Thank you CAF, to all the coaches I have played under both local and international, your wisdom and knowledge have played huge roles in guiding my footballing career, thank you so much.

“I am sure my parents in heaven are smiling at me, this is for you.

“I also congratulate Chiamaka Nnadozie and Asisat Oshoala for their prestigious awards. Dreams do come true! Thank you, everyone, GOD is the greatest.”


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