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BNP Paribas WTC African Qualifier: I Want To Go Very Far – 55-Yr-Old Mouhaman

A first look at him could suggest he may be attending the BNP Paribas World Team Cup African Qualification event as one of the officials, but Alhadji Mouhaman is actually one of the participating players.

At 55, the Cameroonian is playing in his second consecutive qualification event, and despite the high level of opposition at the championship, he does not mind attending time and again.

He lost his country’s second rubber to Nigeria’s Williams Ukari inside the centre court of the tennis section at the National Stadium, Abuja, venue of the qualifying tournament, but he shoved that aside and moved around with a big smile.

Alhadji Mouhaman

Shoulders dropped, a sigh of regret, head bowed in disappointment, but the urge to keep going remains his driving force.

The Ngauondere native and father of six is not unaware of the level of opposition at this tournament, but remains motivated to keep participating in the competition.

READ ALSO: South Africa, Nigeria Continue Winning Streak As World Team Cup African Qualification Event Enters Day 2

His motivation is drawn from his huge admiration for the game of tennis which was birthed after spending two years on the sick bed over a wrong injection he was given back home in Cameroon resulting in his physical challenge.

“I was a goalkeeper for a football team but I was wrongly injected and spent two years on the sick bed. When I got back, I went to a school of disability and started out as a basketball player.

“But in year 2000 or thereabouts, a man by the name Chris came from England to train players in Cameroon. That was where I got the interest to play wheelchair tennis.

“On his second visit, he came with a container full of wheelchair tennis, rackets, balls and other items, and that’s how we were able to get items to train and play.

“Tennis is in my heart, I love it too much,” he told Nigeria Tennis Live.

READ ALSO: BNP Paribas World Team Cup African Qualification: Meet The Top Players

Mouhaman is unarguably the most elderly player at the World Team Cup African Qualification event but still has a wild dream despite his (seeming) limitations.

The Cameroonian explained further: “We traveled for three days to come to this place, because we want to play this tournament. I know there are big big players here, but I always come to test my ability against them and play my best.

Alhadji Mouhaman 2

“I want to go far, that is my objective for playing tennis, and I believe I will go far with how I play.”

“It’s expensive to play tennis, that’s why my kids aren’t playing the sport, but for me, I will keep playing and try my best all the time.

Realistically, Cameroon does not stand any chance of qualifying from their group, having lost all their matches so far, however, Mouhaman believes that his country will get it right some day.

“I just believe, I know, that if we keep trying, one day, we will be there, we will play well, we will fight, we will win,” he added.


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