Leicester City rave of the moment Kelechi Iheanacho may be delivering the goodies at King Power Stadium, but still finds time to promote his rich Igbo heritage, IKENWA NNABUOGOR writes…
Leicester City goal getter Kelechi Iheanacho is living his goal-scoring life at the fullest and the former Manchester City starlet does the art of goal scoring with relative ease.
With just three games to end the Covid19 pandemic-ravaged 2020/2021 Premier League season, “Seniorman Kels” is the leading top scorer in all competitions with 15 goals in 14 games.
Possible back-to-back Player of the Month awards could cap a glorious 2020/2021 season for the striker who was to be offloaded out of King Power for poor performance just few months ago.
Erstwhile deadly striker and Iheanacho’s killjoy in the Foxes’ attacking line, Jamie Vardy is just two goals better than the Nigerian ace in the 2015/2016 top scorer charts.
Indeed, the concluding 2020/2021 season has been ‘Seniorman Kel’s’ best but the one of the highlights of his glorious season is his penchant for promoting his Igbo culture and letting the world know he’s proudly Igbo.
His name Iheanacho has been wrongly pronounced since he burst into limelight with his breath-taking performances at the U-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates in 2013.
English commentators’ mouths have been full pronouncing the proudly Igbo name from Imo State without regards to the dots beneath the initial letter I and the letter O at the end of his Iheanacho name, making a mess of his proud name and Igbo culture.
Igbo culture-loving Iheanacho would have none of it and proudly insisted those dots be put in his name for a proper pronunciation.
Several African names have been mispronounced by English commentators and most times leaving the names meaning another thing.
After all the Turkish, the Germans and the Balkans playing in the Premier League have their names properly punctuated and dotted to give their names the cultural credence they so deserve, “Seniorman Kels” may have reasoned and hence, his decision to have his name properly written in the true Igbo cultural sense.
Off the pitch, “Seniorman Kels” propagates his Igbo culture socially donning his traditional red and black colour warrrior’s cap with the long tail and the woolen head to sell his Igbo roots to the world.
He may have been cut the traditional “soap” to wash away his agonizing no-score period that almost ended his King Power Stadium stay and leaning on strong cultural beliefs may well have added to his breath taking performance that has also attracted his former employers to have him replace departing Sergio Kun Aguero.
His warrior cap has serious traditional leaning depicting a warrior in the war front and his displays on the pitch have been warrior-like, scoring and making the goals as well as striking fear in opposing defenders.
The warrior cap popularised by the Abiriba people of Abia State, Nigeria, traditionally has it’s tails with the woolen top represent strong spiritual prowess.
The tail turned facing the front represents good omen and the reverse sets you behind the enemy lines in the war front.
So, whichever way the pendulum swings, the tail of the cap puts you in good stead for the kill and that’s the spirit that has been propelling Iheanacho’s resurgence.
True to his strong Igbo heritage, he’s a warrior and he’s proved that on the pitch and there are no signs yet he’s slowing down.
The warrior in him has fired Leicester City to the FA Cup final with his goals and assists for the first time in 52 years.
He could well invoke the warrior’s spirits to fire his club to their first ever FA Cup win but it will take something extra ordinary to stop smoking eighth time champions Chelsea.
Who knows, “Seniorman Kels” could be the winner with the help of his strong Igbo cultural heritage.