Meet Ernest Okonkwo, Nigerian Football Commentator in Late 20th Century  

Ernest Okonkwo

Ernest Okonkwo was a sports commentator for the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, but he was best known as a football commentator. Okonkwo was one of Africa’s greatest, if not the best, football commentators.  

He was a Nigerian football commentator famous in the late 20th century.  

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Where is Ernest Okonkwo From? 

Ernest Okonkwo

Ernest Okonkwo (born 1936) was a Nigerian sports commentator and journalist who worked at Radio Nigeria. He was from Nando in Anambra-East Local Government Area, Anambra State. 

His Commentaries 

Below are some of his commentaries… 

“Iron Gate Emmanuel Okala throws the ball to ‘Chairman’ Christian Chukwu. Chukwu taps the ball to the ‘Dean of Defence’ Yisa Sofoluwe; Sofoluwe sends a telegraphic pass to ‘Midfield Maestro’ Mudashiru Lawal. Muda Lawal dribbles two defenders and sends the ball to ‘Mathematical’ Segun Odegbami.” 

“Odegbami dilly-dallies, shilly-shallies, and locates ‘Elastic’ Humphrey Edobor. The storm is gathering near the opponent’s goal area and it will soon rain a goal. Edobor turns quickly to the right and returns the ball to Odegbami. Odegbami kicks the ball towards ‘Quick Silver’ Sylvanus Okpala who shoots an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile from outside the penalty box. It is a goal, it is a goal, Nigeria has scored.” 

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“He beats Christian Chukwu, he beats Christian Madu, he beats Christian Nwokocha. He beats three Christians in a row! Who is this man? He must be a Muslim. Oh! It’s Shefiu Mohammed sending a diagonal pass to Baba Otu Mohammed”. 

“Okey Isima, with a short pass to Sylvanus Okpala. They both play in Portugal. They can communicate in Igbo, they can communicate in English, they can communicate in Portuguese and they just communicated with the ball.” 

“Nigeria has scored Nigeria” (after Godwin Odiye’s own goal against Tunisia in 1977). 


He was also credited with giving nicknames to many Nigerian players such as… 

  • Segun Odegbami- Mathematical
  • Sylvanus Okpala- Quick Silver
  • Yisa Sofoluwe- Dean of Defense
  • Adokiye Amiesimaka- Chief Justice
  • Emmanuel Okala- Tallest
  • Christian Chukwu- Chairman
  • Aloysius Atuegbu- Blockbuster
  • Kelechi Emetole- Caterpillar
  • Idowu Otubusen- Slow Poison 

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His Death 

He passed away on 7 August 1990, aged 54. 


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