Crayon the latest in long list of Nigerian musicians to give up football dream

Nigerian singer and songwriter Charles Chibueze Chukwu aka 'Crayon'
Credit: @headlinebeat_ng Twitter

Nigerian musician Charles Chibueze Chukwu, popularly known as Crayon, has opened up on his failed attempt at venturing into professional football.

The artiste said in a recent interview that he considered becoming a full-time footballer after failing to gain admission into the university back in 2015.

However, his dream of going pro in football was dealt a major blow as the Nigeria Football Federation, who had initially shortlisted him after a screening exercise, ended up dropping him in favour of somebody more well-connected.

“I tried to become a professional footballer, but it did not work out for me because football in Nigeria is quite dicey,” Crayon narrated.

“At a time I went for one screening in Surulere [National Stadium], they [NFF officials] picked me, and they had to like swindle me and pick someone else because the person had money and connections.

“So, at that point, I became disappointed. I went home depressed.”

Crayon would go on to become a pop singer but struggled in his early days until he was signed by Mavin Records, owned by Nigerian music mogul Don Jazzy.

While Crayon’s recent revelation will come as a surprise to many, the ‘Trench To Triumph’ crooner is not the first Nigerian musician to have considered football as a means of livelihood in the past; here are a couple of them that you might not have known about.

Burna Boy

Burna Boy has established himself as one of Nigeria’s biggest music exports of the last five years, but the Grammy winner could have easily been making waves in another field.

Burna Boy revealed he was previously very good at goalkeeping, although he had to call it quits due to the “insignifiance” of the role on the pitch.

“I was good at playing football, but the wickedest thing was that I was good at goalkeeping,” he told the media.

“That’s why I just stopped because [goalkeeping] was dead and I didn’t feel so important.”

“I felt like without me, the team would still be alright; I don’t want to spend my life like that.”

Given his exploits in music since deciding against becoming a professional footballer, it is safe to say that Burna Boy made the right decision.


Peter and Paul Okoye, jointly known as P-Square, are arguably the best music duo in Nigerian history.

The twin brothers dominated the musicial space for major spells of the early 2000s with their blend of exciting music and electric dance moves.

However, things could have easily panned out differently for the Okoye boys following their time at the Pepsi Academy in Jos where they played alongside ex-Super Eagles midfielder John Mikel Obi.

Luckily for P-Square, things worked out for them eventually but Peter still wishes he got the chance to play football at a professional level.


Patrick Okorie, known by his stage name Patoranking, is a Nigerian reggae and dancehall artist who burst onto the scene in 2014.

Patoranking had to really work his way up the ladder, as his genre of music was not all that popular at the time.

In an interview with a Nigerian newspaper, Patoranking revealed that he enjoyed playing football in his early days and would have gone on to become a footballer if he had not pursued music as a career.

“I would have been a footballer [if I didn’t opt for music],” Patoranking said.

“I love the round leather game, and it would have been a second calling for me.

“However, I enjoy making music, and I am glad for the opportunity to practice what I love.”

Zlatan Ibile

Zlatan Ibile, born Omoniyi Temidayo Raphael, is probably the least surprising name on this list given that his stage name, Zlatan, was taken from the legendary Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Since hitting the jackpot as a pop star, Zlatan has continued to be involved in football activities and once posted a video of himself taking part in a football trial.

This will come as no surprise to those who have been following the ‘Able God’ crooner from his early days, as he revealed that he always wanted to become a professional footballer.

This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago

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