by Ayo Tunde
Dear Tunde, To see you going into public speaking, be it via internet or in person comes as no surprise to me. I met Tunde in 2013 shortly after being elected President of the Sierra Leone Football Association. I suspect, In fact, I suspect Tunde knew of me and was certainly close to some of my colleagues. Being the first female FA President in Sierra Leone, and at that time one in two in Africa (I am the only one currently) and one of three in the world was an admirable and brave achievement but by no means an enviable one. My relationship with Tunde gradually progressed from professional small chats at functions and congresses, to a professional career adviser even confidant. An extremely warm and intelligent man with a good balance and understanding of ethnical and cultural differences especially when it comes to football governance. His passion for football dominance in Nigeria was unquestionable that notwithstanding he was an African Patriot. I want to commend and announce Tunde’s pursuit to see the rise of female football and gender empowerment through football. I look forward to reading and listening to the thoughts of this dear brother of mine. Wishing you all the best in your future endeavours.
Isha Johansen
President, Sierra Leone Football Association, CAF Executive Member
Mr Tunde Adelakun os (“Uncle T” as I call him) has been a source of inspiration and motivation to me over the past few years. He has an ever present smile, charm, great charisma and sense of humor. He encourages me to keep challenging myself to be the best I can possibly be. He radiates positivity and confidence. He always finds the right words to lighten the tension in difficult situations. He finds humor in seriousness and has a high sense of diplomacy. I have without a doubt benefited immensely from my association with him and I am grateful for the role he has played in my career.
Alex Iwobi
Nigeria & Everton
Mr Tunde is someone who believes in me, and always appreciates whatever effort I put in. But mostly, a very positive and inspiring presence. During the last AFCON in Egypt, he was always encouraging me. I remember he gave me confidence to speak up on the pitch at all times….at a time when I thought I should stay quiet and not speak because there were bigger and older players around. His words encouraged me and I was able to do better. Always positive, always motivating.
Wilfred Ndidi
Leicester City FC and Nigerian International
It’s always very refreshing and assuring speaking to Tunde, whether it is personal or football related. But especially when it comes to football, he has a way to give you the comfort, motivation or confidence that you need. He’s got this level of empathy and compassion that helps him, not just to understand you, but also give to you advice/solutions for whatever it is that is on your mind.
Leon Balogun
Brighton & Hove FC and Nigerian International