Super Falcons defender Glory Ogbonna, who plays for Turkish club ALG Spor Kulubu, shares her memories of celebrating Christmas while growing up, in this interview. “It is my duty
How do you expect to celebrate Christmas in Turkey?
First of all, season’s compliments to the management and staff PUNCH Sports supplement, it’s Christmas again but for me here in Turkey, it doesn’t feel like Christmas because our league is still running. After the match against Besiktas last week, we were given a six-day break and returned to training on Saturday. That’s the life I chose and I miss celebrating Christmas in Nigeria. It’s a wonderful time to be at home.
Growing up, how did you celebrate Christmas back in Nigeria?
Growing up in Nigeria and celebrating Christmas was wonderful. We celebrated together, went to church together and did so many other things with family and friends.
What was your favorite food on Christmas Day?
We used to eat rice normally, but Christmas seemed like a special time to enjoy rice and meat, so to be honest, I miss all that.
Even at Christmas, I’m a big fan of Eba, I like to eat Eba. When we had occasions to celebrate, there was always rice and all kinds of food, but I still went for my special food, which is Eve and Melon the soup So I will also say that my special food for Christmas is Eba and Egusi soup, although there would be a lot of food, I would enjoy it.
Did your parents take you to amusement parks or did you celebrate at home?
Growing up, the only place my dad usually took us for Christmas was to church. In our church, we usually have our harvests and it is marked once every December 25th. So if I was at home, it would be wonderful because I would join the church activities.
As a child, how did you feel the first time you saw Santa Claus? were you scared
(Laughs) My parents usually didn’t take us to see Santa and talk about me. My upbringing was not like that.
Do you remember the best Christmas dress your parents bought you?
Our parents bought us new clothes every Christmas when we were little. They went ahead and bought it for us and you know the joy of that, when your parents went shopping. And there were some hats with designs I’ll never forget, round hats, ‘Sister Mary’ hats. My mom and dad bought all of these for us, including my little brother’s clothes. I won’t forget it. So all these moments remain special and unforgettable for me. It’s unfortunate that I won’t be able to relive those moments. Gone are the days when my parents bought me clothes. Now, I’m the one buying them myself and I’m glad I’ve been doing it. They gave birth to us, trained us to grow up with care and it is now our responsibility to take good care of them. I thank God that I am at that level to take care of my family and I am happy. Although I am not at home, I have done everything necessary to ensure that my village has a wonderful celebration in my absence. Christmas is a time of celebration and I wish all Nigerians a happy celebration.
When you’re abroad, do you miss home at Christmas?
Yes, I miss the people in my house because it’s time for everyone to get together with their families and celebrate. That’s how we saw it since childhood but I miss it this time because I’m not at home. It was wonderful. I also miss the celebration, you know the meat, the rice, Eve and Melon and everything, as I said before.
You’ve been doing giveaways on social media lately. Was it because of the Christmas celebrations?
I usually do giveaways on Facebook, it’s not the first time. I did one in November and one in early December. It’s just a small way to reach me. It’s not that I have everything to myself, but more or less, I just like to approach people.