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Perpetua Nkwocha A Soccer Player Turned Coach For Afghan Immigrants In Sweden

by Milicent Atieno
Perpetua Nkwocha A Soccer Player Turned Coach For Afghan Immigrants In Sweden

At Innov8tiv, we focus so much on technology and while at it, we have been highlighting just how discriminated against women are, within the tech space. However, in this article, we will be focusing on sports. Truth be told, sports is man’s thing!

Care to prove me wrong? If you are a woman, answer this; when was the last women’s soccer world cup? Which team won? Who is the current best female soccer player?

If you know the answers to the above questions right off your head! Then, good for you; you are one of the very few women that like football and keep track of women’s football affairs. If you didn’t know the answers and had to turn to the good-old Google, don’t beat yourself up. I also didn’t know; I had to Google down the answers.

But the facts remains, most women don’t like sports. And those that do like soccer like in this case, almost all of them watch soccer where it is men’s team playing. Very few women that like soccer will watch women soccer teams play. And let’s not even go there; wondering just how many men that like soccer would sit down watching women soccer teams play.

That is why it with great pleasure that I write about the story of a Nigerian female soccer player, Pertpetua Nkwocha. She is has been voted multiple times as African soccer champion and also has crowned the African Women’s Footballer of the Year.

Nkwocha career as a soccer player has seen her travel from her home country Nigeria, to the far-east China, and to Sweden where she’s currently based. She has been living in the northern town of Skelleftea, in Sweden for about seven years now. Where she has been playing professional football, and also coaches the local teams.

The BBC feature her for her new role as the coach of a group of Afghan teenagers; part of the hundreds of young migrants who sought refuge in Sweden in recent months fleeing the war in their home country.

Nkwocha told BBC, “I feel that it’s similar – which is why I have to try to make them happy because I know where they came from. I feel so glad that I connected with them, and we started this project together. We try to make them feel welcome, try to make them feel happy, try to make them get friends and associate with other Swedish [people].”

She is a member of a project that began November last year, set up by her club Clemensnas IF that brought together the local football association and the Swedish church. The project seeks to give the immigrants and refugees something constructive to do with their time.

You can read more about Pertpetua Nkwocha experience coaching the young Afghan immigrants in Sweden at the BBC website.

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