He look so calm, young and handsome (ajebo look..wink*wink*) and could pass for a teenager BUT this man is a professional polo rider this actually waohed me! He presently work in a Company somewhere in Lagos(name withheld) He inherited the Game of Polo and it’s a tradition for him, he loves riding horses, he say to me’ they are lovely Animals, I was able to interview this Professional on his journey through the Polo Game, after we have introduced ourselves and crack some jokes about his Identical twin Brother, we were able to talk much more on a lighter mood, please read on:
CAN WE MEET YOU?
(Smiling)Well my name is Yinka Alakija, im a professional Polo Rider
TELL US HOW YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE GAME POLO?
Well, Polo is my Family tradition, my Great Grandfather, Grand Father and my Father are great and famous Polo Riders, Polo in my Family is a must for all Male Children, me and my Brothers ride Polo.
HOW DID IT ALL STARTED?
I started riding at age 4, became a Professional at age 9 and I participated in Major Tournament at age 11, I participated in tournaments within and outside the country like South Africa, Kenya ETC, I have been riding polo for over 25 years.
First on the left is Yinka Alakija and his Team mates
WHICH CLUB ARE YOU PLAYING FOR?
In the game of Polo you don’t have to play for a particular Club you ride in any tournament according to the rules and who you represent, I belong to Ikoyi Polo Club:
THE NATIONAL POLO FEDERATION (NPF) ELECTION WAS RECENTLY HELD AND IT WAS FOLLOWED BY CONTROVERSIES, WHATS YOUR TAKE ON THIS?
(Clears throat) We at Ikoyi Polo Club doesn’t recognize the NPF as our overall body,the person parading himself as the President was elected without DUE PROCESS Francis Ogboro by name; he was the captain of Ikoyi Polo Cub for 8 years but was forced to step down….
(CUTS IN)SO HE BECAME OVER AMBITIOUS?
Yes Ronnie, some Polo Clubs in Nigeria has pulled out of the NPF they are; Lagos Polo Club, katsina, Bauchi and Kaduna respectively; The present NPF members are Ibadan and Kano Polo Club, trust me we are fine: we are here at the Polo Tournament catching fun, enjoying the Games and enjoying ourselves as usual with or without NPF it doesn’t make any difference.
DO YOU THINK POLO IN NIGERIA REQUIRES THE GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE?
No, not at all….people come together to have some fun, they have their money and horses and play, no any Government interference, we don’t want it(he said this with a light frown)
AND HOW DO YOU SEE THE GAME OF POLO IN NIGERIA
I think, its gaining more popularity
WHAT ARE YOUR BEST AND WORST MOMENTS OF RIDING POLO?
(Smiling now)My best moment is when I scored a fantastic goal to win Dansa Cup in 2005; we beat Lagos 7up Polo Club by 12 goals
DO YOU HAVE ANY HORSE?
Yeah! I personally own 13 horses; they are being groomed at the stable, I pay for feeding and beddings
WHAT IS YOUR GENERAL TAKE ON THE ‘GAME OF POLO’?
It’s an interesting game for the ELITE, it’s the Game of Kings, and horses are lovely animals………..
PLEASE ENJOY THE REST OF THE TOURNAMENT:
Thank you Ronnie and you too
Yinka standing with his identical Twin Brother