One of these players is Oluwafemi Makinde, a running back/slot receiver out of Nigeria. He shares his thoughts on what got him into football, if the game will grow in Africa, and the difficulties of trying to expand the sport.
Me: What interested you to play American football?
Oluwafemi: Apart from it being the ultimate sport and having passion for the game, I love to go to the gym and workout. Football is the best sport to bodybuild and workout for. I also pour love and aggression in it.
Me: Do you think American football will become bigger in Africa?
Oluwafemi: I believe it will become very big and lucrative in Africa because people are really interested in the game. We have some countries in Africa that already have football leagues like Egypt. Other countries have 2-5 teams in their country. Even kids have a lot of interest in the game. We just need both the country and private individuals to help sponsor and assist in pushing the game of football forward.
Me: Do you have any aspirations for the NFL?
Oluwafemi: Most definitely. That's the dream of most footballers in Nigeria and Africa as a whole: to end up playing in the NFL, as it is the highest level of football. It's the most competitive, most watched, most watched, and has the most talented players in the world. I also would like to showcase my knowledge for the game for everyone to see, to let the world know that Africa is a part of football.
Me: Which NFL player do you idolize most and why?
Oluwafemi: Presently, LeVeon Bell. He is fast, quick, elusive, and very sharp with his cut, especially with his left leg. He evades players with his style of play and that's how I play also. But if Marshawn Lynch was still playing, he would be my first.
Me: Why Marshawn?
Oluwafemi: Marshawn is the full package of both a power back and an elusive, very strong back. He's quick, evades tackles and runs through tackles. He's an extraordinary running back, the best I have seen.
Me: Do you think American football will eventually become an Olympic sport, with countries like Nigeria being represented?
Oluwafemi: That is what we are trying to preach. But first, we're trying to put up PAN-African American football games.
Me: How do the PAN-African American football games work out? Is there a tournament set-up?
Oluwafemi: There is a proposed tournament scheduled to take place in Rabat, Morocco in January 2017, which is like the African American Football World Cup. But like every team... Sponsorship is the problem.
Me: Why is it hard to gain sponsors for the tournament?
Oluwafemi: Soccer is the major sport here in Nigeria and people are skeptical because of the injuries associated with American football. But we have some people starting to understand that all can be controlled.
The sport of American Football has been gaining traction across the globe (Blogspot)