ABUJA/LAGOS (Reuters) – A continual “thwack” rings out at the driving variety just outside the house Nigeria’s capital Abuja. A lady clad in pink footwear, pink skirt and pink vest wields a club with a electrical power that belies her slight body, grimacing at inadequate shots and smiling happily at other people.
Iyene Essien’s golf medals currently outnumber her 13 decades of age, and she has competed on a few continents. She is the best junior player in Nigeria, and now wishes to produce her country’s initially gold medal for golfing at the 2022 Summer Youth Olympics.
“In this match you compete in opposition to your self and not other gamers, which is pretty remarkable,” she told Reuters, incorporating that everything that goes erroneous “is nonetheless your blunder, you are the a person playing so you are unable to blame your caddy or any one for the miscalculation you made.”
Her journey started when she saw a youthful white boy actively playing at the IBB International Golfing and Country Club in Abuja. Her father observed her enjoyment and promptly organized to get her on the class.
“He asked me if I needed to participate in and I reported yes, so he bought me golf equipment and acquired me a golfing professional to teach me,” she said — the exact male who was teaching the white boy.
Her initially medal arrived swiftly, at the age of five. She now has 17 medals and has represented Nigeria 11 situations at tournaments in Africa, Europe and the United States.
Poised and precocious, Essien was the only teen amongst 177 golfers at the 2019 Nigeria Girls Golf Open up Championship. She took 10th spot, shyly superior-fiving the other rivals as the crowd cheered.
Her father, guide economist Eyo Essien, claims she is just getting began.
“She nevertheless has some area for growth and I consider as I reported by the age of 15 she will be ripe, you know, to just take the golfing entire world by storm,” he stated.
But Essien claimed she is dedicated to balancing school and golfing, and intends to analyze artificial intelligence and robotics at university.
“In the up coming 10 a long time with a degree in my hand, I will enjoy as a expert golfer,” she claimed.
Writing by Libby George Editing by Hugh Lawson