Fresh Details Emerge Over Recent Viral Video Of Ex-Tennis Star Tanya Okpala
A disturbing video of Tanya Okpala, a former Nigerian tennis champion based in the United States caused a lot of tension over the weekend.
The former tennis star was reportedly spotted on the streets of Awka, the Anambra State capital, where she was seen begging for food to eat.
In the viral video, she was explaining that she was a Nigerian tennis champion and that she only needed something to eat, and further requested a bottle of Sprite drink.
This video has since generated widespread criticism of the Nigerian government, with many suggesting that the government may have abandoned her despite her exploits for the country.
Latest reports gathered by Nigeria Tennis Live have it that Ms. Okpala has since been rescued by the Anambra State government following instructions by Governor Charles Soludo and his wife.
According to Daily Post, the sportswoman is being taken care of by the Women Affairs Commission in the State, led by Ify Obinabo.
“While explaining her ordeal to the First Lady, Ms. Okpala who hails from Nkpologwu in Aguata Local Government area of Anambra State said she’s a US-based tennis champion but due to bad peer influence, became a crack cocaine addict.
“Ms. Okpala, whose mother was from Belarus, said she lost her mother to cancer a few years ago and ever since, has not been able to get over her demise,” a statement by the Women Affairs Commission read.
When contacted, Engr. Ifedayo Akindoju, President of the Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF), noted that he had been inundated by calls by well-meaning Nigerians and ex-athletes on what the federation was doing about it.
He noted that while the federation does not particularly have a means of catering to such situations, he is working on having a general purse where players like that can be taken care of in the nearest future.
“The plan is to see if we can have a general purse to take care of such people in the future. And to talk about the risks of taking performance-enhancing drugs.
“There are many of them, not just in tennis, across all sports, who are used to taking performance-enhancing drugs which end up affecting them.
“From what I heard, I learnt that she had been a Junkie since 2015, and was rehabilitated somehow, but she left and not so much was heard about her until the recent video.
“I learnt the Anambra State Government has taken her into custody, but as a federation, we are going to work on future plans for such players,” he told Nigeria Tennis Live on Monday morning.