Picking up from the previous interview with Onyeka Mbanu, this time around he tells us about life in Ghana, his short term goals, amongst other things.
Recall that since he left Nigeria, he has been alternating between the United Arab Emirates, where he coaches, and Ghana, where he’s been playing some competitive Tennis, “I always come back to Ghana during the holidays,” he said.
Ghana has become a home for Mbanu, and according to him life in Ghana is peaceful. In his own words:
“Life in Ghana generally is calm, it’s a place where you could collect your thoughts, it’s a very stable environment. It has a very (very) vibrant economy, now things are working out well out here for me since I got here.
“It hasn’t been too hectic for me with daily activities and the other places [UAE] I’ve been, it’s all been great. It’s been a breath of fresh air for me, I love this place, I like it here a lot.”
Out there in Ghana, Mbanu has participated in three of their national tournaments, finishing as runner-up in one of them and emerging champion in another. The one he won was the Accra Senior Open, a tournament he believes is on the same level as the CBN Senior Open or the Dala Hard Court, here in Nigeria.
“I won the tournament and it felt really great,” he said about the Accra Senior Open that held just last month in Ghana. “I just played well and I am really happy with my results, being a finalist and also the winner is a great feeling. I just wish I could play more tournaments in the future, hopefully I’d do that next year.”
The 26-year-old, who was one of the star players when Team Tombim won the Inaugural NCC Tennis League in 2015, has told us that his plans for the future is outside Nigeria. Along with his other plans of playing in tournaments in Europe, he’s also revealed that he’d be starting an Academy in Ghana.
“I have a whole lot of plans for next year. I’m starting an academy in Ghana, so I’d be coaching a lot of kids and we want to make it a big thing here.”
After becoming the first junior player to reach the CBN Senior Open semifinals in 2011, Onyeka got selected to represent Nigeria at the 2011 African Games(formerly called All African Games) in Maputo, Mozambique. Mbanu didn’t disappoint, as he justified his inclusion by winning the Doubles Gold Medal at the 11th Edition of the African Games, partnering Clifford Enosoregbe, after they overcame fellow compatriots, Lawal Shehu and Candy Idoko.
He’s now looking forward to 2021 to work on his plans and make something for himself, away from Nigeria.