Roots in Ondo waterside, brought up in Lagos, meet the wunderkind and the next Asisat Oshoala, Seimeyeha Akekoromewei, as she shares her story for the first time.
In the football world, age is no barrier to showcasing generational talent. Seimeyeha Akekoromewei, a 16-year-old centre forward from Ese-Odo in Ondo state, but raised in Lagos, a product of the Asisat Oshoala Academy, is making waves with her incredible skills and a towering presence on the field.
Standing tall at 1.86m, this young prodigy has drawn comparisons to the legendary Nigerian footballer Asisat Oshoala, five time winner of the African Women’s Footballer of the Year Award. With her remarkable abilities and determination, Akekoromewie is poised to carve her own path to success.
Seimeheya’s football journey began at a young age, driven by her natural love for the game. Speaking to Soccernet.ng after her game against Robo Queens, she said;
“I like the game naturally, since I was a kid, I played football, starting around 9 or 10. It’s a gift from God, and I play with both my legs.”
Speaking about how her upbringing and how it has influenced her football journey, the youngster said;
“When I was younger, I didn’t watch a lot of football, because you’re mostly occupied with school work, but I still played football. Break-time at school, Saturday mornings and evenings, sometimes Sunday too. It’s like the more I played, the more I understood, and the more I started watching the game.”
“I play because I enjoy the game, but it’s also hard work and discipline to come to training every time, to take instructions, to play with teammates, because you cannot do it alone.”
The last of 11 children born to Ekperekunmo Akekoromowei Igbala, a retired police man, her mother died in June 2014. Seimeyeha attended Police Children School and Command Secondary School in Lagos. Her older brother Godspower Akekoromowei plays professional football. He was last signed to Sporting Lagos.
“I want her to play professional football and one day play for the Nigerian national team,” Godspower told Soccernet.ng. “She had to pause her schooling because of lack of money since our father retired. So now we want her to focus on what she likes to do, playing football,” he said.
Primarily a striker, Akekoromewei’s playing style is marked by her goal-scoring prowess. However, her versatility allows her to adapt to different positions, including playing as a number 10 or on the wing when the coach requires her to do so.
“I do what I can to help the team and follow the coach’s instructions, but if I play as a 10 and have the chance to score, I go for goal. I play as a striker because I like to score goals”.
Inspired by football icons Lionel Messi and Oshoala, Akekoromewei aspires to leave her mark on the sport. “I love the game, and my idol is Lionel Messi,” she reveals. “I also watch Asisat Oshoala and try to be like her as well.”
When asked about handling the pressures and expectations that come with being a talented young player, the forward maintains focus and resilience.
“I just go in and play. Once I’m on the field, I read the game and know what is required of me. I try my best to help the team. There are games where I feel less pressure.”
The 16-year-old wields an unwavering commitment to football. “My focus is totally on football,” she affirms. “I’m done with school for now, so I just want to play football, improve, and be the best.” Her ultimate dream is to play at a higher level and represent her country.
“I want to play at a higher level, at a better place, to be the best version of myself,” she declares. “It’ll be a dream come true to play for Nigeria one day.”
Despite her young age, she has already showcased her talent as a goal-scorer, earning accolades such as being the top scorer for her academy team, averaging four goals per game.
Her towering height gives her an advantage in aerial situations, while her ability to use both feet adds to her versatility on the field.
The forward acknowledges the importance of continuous improvement and is working on her fitness levels and speed to enhance her game as a striker in order to become a “complete striker”.
As Akekoromewei’s star continues to rise, she aims to inspire young girls who share her passion for football. “I see myself in a better place, both with a team and individually,” she states confidently. “I want to play at the highest level and continue getting better.”
Seimeheya Akekoromewei, the rising star with aspirations of following in Asisat Oshoala’s footsteps, represents the future, and with so much potential at just 16, the sky is just the beginning for the talented forward.