It's Time for Kickoff: Women's Football in Lagos

Creating opportunities through sports in Lagos

By Homecoming

Football pitch at Homecoming Festival (2019)Original Source: Homecoming Festival

For Nigerian women, sport was traditionally not a viable career path. Today however, football offers more opportunities than in the past, with training academies, tournaments, and marketing pushes for girls in the game.

Dream Stars FC on the field (2019) by @deeds_artOriginal Source: Homecoming Festival

At Homecoming Cup we meet two rising stars who give their insight to playing football in Nigeria and how it has changed their lives. We also meet the co-founder of BallOFF which focuses on furthering opportunities for women in football. Finally, the team photos from the tournament are presented. The Homecoming Cup is a football tournament held annually during Homecoming Festival, celebrating diversity and equality on and off the pitch.

Homecoming Voices: Ajayi Feyishayo (Lakeside Queens FC) (2019)Original Source: Homecoming Festival

Meet captain Ajayi Feyishayo of Lakeside Queens FC

Ajayi Feyishayo (2019)Original Source: Homecoming Festival

When did you start playing football?
I am the second to the last child and the last daughter of my family. I am a footballer and the captain of Lakeside Queens FC. I started playing football when I was 10 years old.

Team photo of Lakeside Queens FC (2019) by @deeds_artOriginal Source: Homecoming Festival

What has been the defining moment in your career so far?
It was when I graduated from Secondary School. I faced a lot of challenges from my parents. They asked me to leave football and go work. They said 'you're a girl and girls don't play football. It's either you work and use the money to sponsor yourself to further your education or you work only to survive.' I was down, I felt like giving up on my dream to become a great footballer. But then I remembered [Nigerian professional women's player] Ayisat Aromire-Yusuf's words.

Ajayi Feyishayo (2019)Original Source: Homecoming Festival

What motivates you?
God first and discipline, determination, dedication, focus and seriousness, the key to success is the best way to make it and to become what you want in life. It's the words by football player Ayisat Aromiire Yusuf.

Homecoming Voices: Feko Deborah (Rising Stars Queens FC) (2019)Original Source: Homecoming Festival

Meet Feko Deborah of Rising Queens FC

Feko Deborah (2019)Original Source: Homecoming Festival

What challenges do you face as a woman playing football in Nigeria?
We need so much support. Especially in this country, Nigeria. We need support from the parents, from the people around you, and from your sponsors. If they’re willing to sponsor you that’s when it ties you to want to do more. As in, to want to put in your best.

Team photo of Rising Stars FC (2019) by @deeds_artOriginal Source: Homecoming Festival

When did you start playing football?
I started playing football when I was 10 years old. I joined my current team in 2018 and became the captain of team in 2019. Football is my life.

Homecoming Voices: Bidemi Bamgboye (2019)Original Source: Homecoming Festival

Meet co-founder of BallOF Bidemi Bamgboye.

Bidemi Bamgboye (2019)Original Source: Homecoming Festival

How did you got to where you are today?
Since primary school I have always been involved in music, drama and sport. It was only till my teen years I decided to bask in it. After experimenting with making music, I feel in love with football and the culture around it. So I decided to study sports marketing in university. This opened my eyes to just how creative people in the football industry have to be. Billions of people are obsessed with this game, it's not by chance.

Bidemi Bamgboye (2019)Original Source: Homecoming Festival

What do you see as the main challenge for women's football?
We need to keep encouraging the girls to play. They can make money from playing football, and feed their families. Football can change their lives. It’s important we keep supporting them. It's important we keep hosting events and keep teaching the girls about sports. The world is their oyster.

Homecoming Cup football pitch (2019)Original Source: Homecoming Festival

What is the current zeitgeist of womens football in Nigeria?
Super Falcons FC just won Africa Cup of Nations. We’re in a really good place right now with women’s football. Nigerian female football players are some of the best in the world.

Here are the team photos from the Homecoming Cup tournament

Team photo of Queens Feeders FC (2019) by @deeds_artOriginal Source: Homecoming Festival

Team photo of Queens Feeders FC

Team photo of Dream Stars FC (2019) by @deeds_artOriginal Source: Homecoming Festival

Team photo of Dream Stars FC

Team photo of B-Unit FC (2019) by @deeds_artOriginal Source: Homecoming Festival

Team photo of B-Unit FC.

Team photo of Island Ladies FC (2019) by @deeds_artOriginal Source: Homecoming Festival

Team photo of Island Ladies FC.

Team photo of Jojo Queens FC (2019) by @deeds_artOriginal Source: Homecoming Festival

Team photo of Jojo Queens FC.

Credits: Story

Founded in 2017, Homecoming is an annual festival of cultural exchange between Africa and the world. Held in Lagos, Nigeria, Homecoming puts a spotlight on African talent – from its up and comers to its biggest stars in Music, Fashion, Art, and Culture. Beyond the annual festival moment, Homecoming focuses its efforts on uniting a global community of musicians, artists, designers and creatives, through collaborations and partnerships between these trailblazers and international brands, institutions and thought leaders.


Find out more via our website, Instagram and YouTube Channel.


Homecoming thanks Ajayi Feyishayo, Feko Deborah, Bidemi Bamgboye and all the football players for their involvement in making this exhibit happen!

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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