Onazi Ogenyi has had a steady climb from the Under-17 national team, the Golden Eaglets from where he shot into prominence when he featured for Nigeria in the U-17 World Cup which Nigeria hosted in 2009 to earning a place with the Super Eagles.
Following his superlative performance at the Africa Nations Cup in South Africa where Nigeria emerged eventual winners, the midfielder has become a news maker of sort. Recently supers-port.com engaged him in an interview session while he was on holiday before the Serie A resumes.
Tell us who Onazi is?
I was born in Jos and come from a family that has three brothers and I’m the last born in the family. I pretty much grew up in Jos and that is where my career started.
How has the experience been so far in the green and white shirt?
It’s a great opportunity and great experience that every footballer wants to get and I always give thanks to God for giving the grace that has seen me manage to secure a chance to feature in this level for my country.
You were focal in Afcon which saw your team win the title, was that your greatest achievement as a player?
It is certainly one of my greatest achievements since I started playing football and I’m happy I got the opportunity through God’s grace to feature in the greatest competition in the continent. The country was in search of the title that evaded them for a while and we managed to bring it back home.
Well, every player has a role model out there, who makes you tick and why?
I can’t single out any individual. There are great people out there who inspire me and I manage to pick certain aspects from all of them.
You missed out on the Confederations Cup, what’s the extent of your injury?
I suffered a knee injury and it wasn’t that terrible and by the grace of God I’ll be going back to club since I’ve recovered.
As a young Nigerian footballer, what do you think the upcoming players should do in their bid to thrive?
Most important thing they should value is hard work, discipline and pray to God and they should as well play as if everything is dependent on them on the field of play.
How has Serie A treated you so far?
It’s been a perfect experience for me and it’s a good platform for young players to learn with every chance given to prove your worth because if you fluff you chance you lose your opportunity.
What do you do when not playing football?
I’m a good gospel musician and I play instruments. This is one of the things that make me stay indoors, I love music.
What do you make of Nigeria’s World Cup chances?
We are not there yet, all I can say for now since we are in the campaign is that God’s grace will see us excel and go through to the tournament.
What do you make of African football?
African football is really progressing and I was surprised that Cape Verde eliminated Cameroon to qualify for Afcon. Other countries also played well like Burkina Faso and that highlights how greater they climb up in terms of level of play.