She was given a role to play in an age grade that was quite above what her perceived abilities were, and she shocked everyone by over performing during the competition. She needs no further introduction, her name is Oiza Yakubu.
This talented 12-year-old girl happens to be one of the least celebrated Nigerian tennis youngsters, more because she is a ‘silent killer’ who has carried out her assignment without attracting unnecessary attention.
Her ingenious performances have however, not gone unnoticed by keen and ardent followers of the sport in the country, six years after her foray into the sport.
|Oiza (middle) poses with her Nigerian colleagues after an astonishing performance in Togo early in 2018.|
“We all thought she was meant to play in her category (U14) where she was expected to really exhibit her potentials but she was put in U16 and instead of being scared, she took up the challenge and surprised all,” began Jumoke, the player’s enthusiastic mother, when she spoke with Nigerian Tennis Live.
Further checks into her background revealed that Oiza, a left-handed tennis youngster, was the CBN U-12 champion in 2017, U-12 George Town champion in 2017 and was the Governor’s Cup U-12 champion, also in 2017.
“She won silver medal in April 2017 with Iye Onoja and Serena Teluwo 12 and Under West and Central Africa Junior Championship and they qualified to represent Nigeria in Morocco.
“They traveled to Morocco and ranked 8 in Africa after the tournament,” the proud mother continued.
|Oiza (middle) representing Nigeria alongside Iye Onoja (right) and Serena Teluwo (left).|
As if her exploits in the junior cadre were not enough, the wizkid whom Nigerian Tennis Live gathered has trained twice at the United Tennis trainer Academy in Berlin, Germany, went on to show her true colours when in 2017, she participated in the first edition of Rainoil Tennis Tournament.
Against all odds, the petit looking tennis prodigy played from the qualifiers and defied all permutations to make it to the first round of the clay court tournament in which many senior players unbelievably fell short.
Her mum who introduced her to tennis being a former player herself, boldly informed that young Oiza was the only junior player who qualified from the preliminary stage.
It was after this that she put her acts together and went to Togo in January, 2018, where she played under 16 and came 5th “and qualified to represent Nigeria in Tunisia,” added Jumoke.
During the tournament, the little known fast rising Nigerian star beat highly ranked players and regulars in the tournament to advance.
According to her mum: “One of the top players she defeated is Chakira of Togo. She also qualified for team game which is Junior Fed Cup under 16 in Egypt with Oyinlomo Quadri and Rebecca Ekpenyong.”
|Watch out for the Yakubu sisters in the nearest future.|
While Oiza seems to be hugging the headlines for the right reasons, her younger sister, Nene, has already started building an enviable profile for herself, having already won the CBN under 10 in 2017.
“Nene also won the under 10 Junior Governor’s cup 2017. Both of them are called Yakubu sisters,” the unrepentantly proud mum said of her adorable girls.
Like most tennis players from this part of the world, Oiza is a huge fan of Serena Williams’ and also has Angelique Kerber as one of the players she monitors religiously.
And like her role models, this future tennis star wants to play in WTA and win grand slams. But apart from this, Oiza’s passion for music and painting is unrivaled, and would love to one day become a creative designer.