BÉNIN – MY NEW LIFE, MY PASSION, MY PROJECT…..by ‘Tunde the King of Tuche (Joy without frontiers).

Should I go on? My commitment, my desire, my today.

I am happy. And I want to share it with you. I have been happy for a while but thought I would wait for some time to first enjoy it on my own (me-time-happiness) before I spread the word.

So it happened that sometime last month, I received a call that I will be a part of Gernot Rohr’s technical crew as he headed out to take up post as the Head Coach of the national team of Benin, now known as the Cheetahs (Les Guepards) – how apt to appoint such a fighter who never gives up at a time when they decided to step up from being mild squirrels (Les Ecruiels) to be represented by the fierce and fast cheetah!

Anyway the call came from Gernot himself who felt that we needed to continue the story of our association, which has blossomed into a very strong friendship, after the adventure we had in Nigeria.

I was (and did eventually) to join Benin as the Assistant Coach, Head of Scouting Operations and Mental Fitness Coach and Chief of Technical Staff (all that and more for me alone!!!) of the national team of the country that is growing in leaps and bounds and developing in all aspects surely but modestly and quietly.

It brings me joy that we went out there for our first round of games. No issues with my role. No issues with his. We did what we needed to do. We were respected as a team by the authorities who did all they could in their circumstances to make us welcome, a free hand and a responsive team altogether.

We played two games, and while we did not win, we did not lose either.

I tell you what…..it’s been great so far. We have only been in charge for a month or so, but it is good to be back on the beat.

This is my new life. It is a project to me. A challenge to bring Benin up as far as they can go in football and earn for them, the respect of the outside world.

The way they have received me and Gernot…and the rest of the crew, they deserve the best. And I intend to pour a lot of sweat into giving them the best.

Don’t I always say happiness – genuine contentment transcends just financial gain? I, the one who is known as AYOTUNDE – meaning JOY HAS COME FORTH – remains a living example of it.

I am bringing joy to Benin, joy unrivalled, joy with no barrier, in French, we say ‘Joie sans frontiere’.

This is my new, and I embrace it with thanks to the people of Benin, and to my great friend and mentor, Gernot Rohr, who has surpassed what many I expected more from, has and can ever have done.

By the way, do you know that in 2 games and with only 12 days in camp, I have been positively recognised by people on the streets of Benin more than expected – with thanks in mine and Gernot’s direction for coming to help their country?

Tell you what – we are condemned to help these people, we are destined to do great for them to reward their hospitality and kindness and love.

Ok…..I’m done. Wish me luck. Cos this really is my new, my passion, my commitment, and my focus. Another chapter in my life where modest but meaningful success will be the result! #TundeTalks

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