Abandoned at Age 10 – Obada Rises to NFL Star

Obada was born in Nigeria and then moved to the Netherlands with his mother when he was around eight years old, but only two years late he and his sister were off to London. All the details of how they landed up in the capital of England is not, and it could have been trafficking.

Although to date, Obada did not describe it in those exact terms. In 2017 according to the Carolina Panthers blog, he said he and his sister were brought to London by a stranger who was to look after the brother and sister, but he never did. He is reluctant to share all the details of the traumatic experience, the one thing he can confirm is that he was ten years old and he and his sister were abandoned on the streets in the east of London.

They slept two night outside before given shelter by the security guard in the tower block where he was working. This helped the children and eventually, a friend of their mother looked after them. That arrangement did not last long and the remainder of his childhood, Obada was placed in ten different foster home. It is his story, and it was his life, and he says it was what he had to go through. There were plenty of lows, but that was normal, and when he got into the NFL, he realised that maybe his life was not that normal. At the time though his focus was on surviving only.

His sister was with him in foster care, and it allowed them to remain close but ask for more details, and he stops talking. His wife’s name is also off limits, and the only thing he is prepared to share is that he met her in London. The relationship he now has with his mother is another unknown. The team is like a family, and a lot of guys have taken Obada under their wings; he feels it is nice to belong somewhere. The locker room he describes as a second home; it is a space where everyone is part of something so much more significant.

For him, it is helpful to be wanted and to feel needed, and he likes that he can help the team. Even with his childhood struggles, his journey to the NFL is remarkable. Only 1.6% of talented players make it through the highly competitive US system, and when Obada graduated from college at the age of 22, he went to work at a factory. He never played sport on a competitive level, especially not a complicated game such as American football. Meeting up with an old friend he was encouraged to attend the training session of the London Warriors. He had the stature to succeed at 6ft and 6inc, and he had the right attitude. Football could also offer him the right channel to deal with his childhood in the most positive way.