Super Falcons defender Glory Ogbonna, who features for Turkish side ALG Spor Kulubu, shares memories of her Christmas celebration while growing up, in this interview with ‘TANA AIYEJINA
How are you hoping to celebrate Christmas in Turkey?
Firstly, compliments of the season to the management and staff of PUNCH Sports Extra, it’s Christmas again but for me here in Turkey, it doesn’t look like Christmas because our league is still on. After our match against Besiktas last week, we were given a six-day break and we returned back to training on Saturday. That’s the life I chose and I miss celebrating Christmas in Nigeria. It’s a wonderful time to be home.
Growing up, how did you celebrate the Yuletide back in Nigeria?
Growing up and celebrating Christmas in Nigeria was wonderful. We celebrated together, went to church together and did so many other things with family and friends.
What was your favourite food on Christmas Day?
We ate rice normally, but during Christmas, it seemed like a special time to enjoy rice and meat, so, honestly I miss all of that.
During Christmas too, I am a big fan of Eba, I like to eat Eba. When we had occasions for merriment, there was always rice and all kinds of food, but I still went for my special delicacy, which is Eba and Egusi soup. So, I will also say my special food for Christmas is Eba and Egusi soup, despite the fact that there would be a whole lot of food, I would still go for what I enjoyed eating.
Did your parents take you to amusement parks or you celebrated at home?
Growing up, the only place my father normally took us to for Christmas was the church. In our church, we usually have our harvests and it is marked every December 25. So, if I was home, that would have been wonderful because I would join the church activities.
As a kid, how did you feel first time you saw Santa Claus? Were you scared?
(Laughs) My parents usually didn’t take us to to see Santa and all of that for me to talk about. My growing up wasn’t like that.
Can you remember the best Christmas dress your parents bought for you?
Our parents bought new clothes for us every Christmas, when we were kids. They just went ahead and bought for us and you know the joy that comes with it, when your parents went shopping for you. And there were some certain caps with designs that I won’t forget, the round caps, the ‘Sister Mary’ caps. My father and mother bought all these for us, including suits for my younger brother. I won’t forget. So, all these moments remain special and unforgettable to me. It’s unfortunate I won’t be able to live those moments again. Gone are the days my parents used to buy me clothes. Now, I’m the one to buy for them and I’m happy I’ve been doing that. They gave birth to us, they trained us for us to grow up responsibly and it is now our responsibility to take good care of them. I am grateful to God that I am at that level to take care of my family and I am happy doing it. Even though I’m not home, I have done everything necessary to ensure my people have a wonderful celebration in my absence. Christmas is celebration time and I wish all Nigerians a happy celebration.
Now that you are abroad, do you miss home during Christmas?
Yes, I miss my people back home because this is the time everyone reunites with their families and celebrate. That is how we saw it from childhood but I am missing that this time around because I’m not home. It was wonderful. I also miss the celebration in terms of merriment, you know the meat, the rice, Eba and Egusi and everything, like I stated earlier.
You did giveaways on social media recently. Was it because of the Christmas celebrations?
I usually do giveaways on Facebook, it’s not the first time. In November, I did one and I also did early December. It’s just my little way of reaching out. It’s not that I have it all to myself, but no matter how little, I just like to reach out to people.