Kennedy Boboye is on the verge of achieving an unprecedented feat as Coach of Plateau United.
The club is ten games from securing their first ever league title and it’ll be a long pursuit come to fruition.
While it’s a life long ambition for the former Striker, his wife knows how much clinching the NPFL title would mean to his reputation as one of the league’s biggest names.
In a interview with Esther Egbe writing for National Daily, Boboye’s wife, Hermannia shares her daily experience with the man pursuing what was hitherto considered mission impossible.
Let’s meet you Madam?
I am Hermannia Boboye nee Njagu,i am born second of four children to the family of Pastor Dermott Njagu from Boki LGA, Cross River State. Married to Coach Kennedy Boboye, And I am a Business woman.
How do you feel with with your husband topping the league table?
I am feeling on top of the world , but am still on my knees asking God to grant him one wish,to win the NPFL this season. We’re almost there, but we’re not gonna slow down or lose focus.
How have you been able to manage your husband’s regular absence at home considering the nature of his job?
His absence comes with the territory, So it’s my fate, I do my best to put the home together. I am a busy person too, It’s actually not easy though.
Since when have been married to one of the most Decorated Coach of NPFL?
We have been married since 22nd of June 2000 till date,we are going old together.
What is advice for other women married to a coach?
There are lots of challenges ranging of the their absence two things, we need to avoid the risks of side chicks, but we as their wives got to keep it together.
Hold their bad and good side and be rest assured they will always come back home. No need to nag, you nag ,you push them further away. You nag they lose concentration and that is not good for business.
What do you think, we should change in the NPFL?
Uhm, I honestly am not in a position to respond to that. I don’t even know deep down how it’s run in the 1st place.
I do know however that there been a tremendous improvement as per salary payments and the way a few other things as compared to a few years back when it was almost a taboo for a team to for an away match and draw or get a win.
Now i think there are really Fair Play. Lets keep it up. The government should compare the different teams to show some form of respect to their players in terms of salary payments to boost their morale.I think we’ll have better teams and players/management.
What is it like to be a wife of a coach in Nigeria?
Am no different from every other wife. I try to keep it that way because despite the fact that am a down to earth social being, deep down, am not a socialite.
I like to keep it simple. It’s not like when he was still playing abroad, when we would go strolling and you will see people walk up to you for a picture with them.
The more advanced countries have more respect and regards for the profession.
Here in Nigeria, if you’re not careful, you’re either mugged or kidnapped because they believe you got the money. I blame it on the economy though.
How do you feel when your husband is being owned salaries? What’s your reaction?
When the King is owed, the family suffers. It’s a devastating experience to have to work and not be paid your wages.
I support as best I could at such times but am proud to say with Plateau United, it’s a whole new game.
First time in history of my husband working in Nigeria I haven’t had to complain about salary payments.
I gotta hand it to Plateau United, they truly are the best team in Nigeria.
Which club can you rate best in Nigeria league?
I don’t about that but in my opinion the clubs doing well at the time are always rated the best. Like right now Plateau United is the best.
They’ve been in the lead since the beginning of the season except for few occasions when they were second.
What are those memorable moments you celebrate your husband as a coach?
Uhm…the times he’s been awarded Manager of the month and am hoping we’ll all celebrate him when he finally wins the cup.
What is it like to be a player and now a coach, compare the two which is more stressful?
He dreams, I dream with him, He fails, we both fail together, He wins, we win together.
Being a coach is more stressful, especially handling the team as a head coach or the technical adviser, It’s all on him if they fail, But as a player, he’s just part of a team, the blame goes to them as a group.
Have there been anytime you told him to leave coaching job?
No never, It’s not just a job to him, It’s his passion, Why would anyone want to take away anyone’s passion.
If there was one thing you will love to change in your husband, what will that be…Professionally or as a husband?
Now after 17 years and much experience, I would say absolutely nothing, because I know now that we are all put on this earth and given what we deserve.
We were both very young when we got married and we’ve faced a lot of challenges together. We’ve been there and seen it all, He’s the best husband there is.
Very forgiving yet outspoken, understanding but jealous, playful and fun to be around, He’s a modern husband, He has never for once refused his meal because he was angry.
How can you rate your husband?
On a scale of 1-10? I would give him an eight, not because he’s my husband but because he’s simply the best. His tactics are out the world, His skills as a player too were simply extra ordinary, He was born for this. He didn’t have to learn it.
You said you don’t watch his game live or TV when he is playing, why didn’t you watch?
Uhm, the tension I guess and the anxiety, I have to close my eyes most of the time.
Now the boys are growing up, I have to take them to watch live whenever he’s playing here in PH (Port Harcourt) and they never miss the opportunity of watching their father on TV, So those times I try to watch and run to my room when tensions are really high.
They come to me and give me info on how it’s going to calm me down & tell me when our team scores.
How do you calm him down when he loses an important game?
But for the most part, I just point out some faults and I tell him he’s the best ever and that they’ll do better in their next game. I don’t have the heart to watch either live or on TV when his team is playing so my husband listens attentively when I point out some mistakes.
To him it means am putting in some effort in what he does, His pains and worries are mine but i got to be strong.
What is your husband favourite food?
My husband isn’t much of a food person. He however loves my fisherman soup, Plantain porridge with periwinkle otherwise known as (piom piom) and fish peppersoup, snail.
He would go for those anyday, anytime.
How do you manage your home and husband as a coach; who is not always home to spend time with the family?
I met him as a soccer player, he was playing in Europe at the time. So I kinda got used to his being away from time to time, I joined him for the most part but we’ve always been off and on.
Now we have these two adorable boys, they keep me company and we video chat almost everyday.
Would you wish any of your kids; male or female, to play the round leather game… The fact that it’s now a big business and money spinning?
Sure. 100 percent. Imagine you are being paid well to do what you love, Not to mention the fame that goes with it.
Tell us how many Nigeria professional league players you know?
Presently, I don’t familiarise myself with the players. I would lose track if I did. I do know John Gaddi of Plateau United though.
The Interview was written by Esther Egbe for National Daily