Sport, Entertainment and The Arts:
Interview with Albrin Junior (Alex Aigbike) by Ohio (z) Okhai
Photography by Ohio (z) Okhai
Getting our man Albrin Junior who says he can play hoops to sit with us was not easy due to his schedule, then came the life and times of Covid -19 that locked down things forcing us to wait a while, so with a football goal post and basketball net, we trapped him for a quick talk for the #readthegamescript read a book and improve initiative and as soon as we saw an open shoot before another lockdown happens. Ohio Okhai (@Ohiookhai) is the orchestrator of the trap defense.
Q: Albrin Junior is a pen name. What is your real name and why Albrin Junior?
Albrin Junior: My real name is Alex Junior Aigbike. I'm kind of a shy and reserved person (lie- At Ohiookhai .) Most people no dey believe when I say so, and wanted to hide for some reasons. I also liked the idea of a pen name because when writing, I'm more or less another person-I think, reason and act differently. So I picked letters from my names and coined Albrin. Junior is my middle name.
Q: You were once a teacher-which subjects?
Albrin Junior: I taught different levels of pupils and students. I was once upon a time a primary school class teacher. After my graduate studies, I taught Geography, which happens to be what I studied in University. I also taught Literature in secondary schools and tutorials, preparing students for WAEC, NECO and JAMB. At some point, I also dabbled around teaching Civic Education, English Language. (At Ohiookhai: Alex studied at Ambrose Alli University)
Q: Now you become a bookwormish ‘efiko’ book writer- What's the name of your book?
Albrin Junior: . Don't mind me, na d way the writing take enter my hand that's why I enter am fully. The title of my novel is Naked Coin.
Q: Make I flow with you on the way you take respond, yan us about the book.
Albrin Junior: . Ok back to English. Naked Coin is a historical fiction, set in the then Midwestern Nigeria. It tells about an Igbo family residing in Benin City, their struggles before, during and after the civil war.
Q: You won an award for it, right?
Albrin Junior: Yes. Book of the year (2019) award from Book House Prize Nigeria.
Q: Interesting. You once told me, you love sports, basketball and soccer to be precise. Love enthusiasm is one thing, playing is another; Do you play?
Albrin Junior: Yes I do, though it's been about two years I played either of both (not much free time, and lack of easy access to the facilities, especially basketball.) I first fell in love with basketball as a teenager, the idea of bouncing a ball and being guided by rules thrilled me. Eventually, I grew to love football, that's majorly the Nigerian sport. But I love and adore basketball. At some point in my life, when I didn't know what fate had in store for me, I used to tell myself I'd become one of the best basketball player the game has ever seen. 🤦 Now see me.......two years ago I last played. I doubt say I go fit get five clean shot into the net
Q: What's your football and basketball handle?
Albrin Junior: @albrinjunior on IG & tweeter.
Q: Actually I meant which positions you play, but I like your smartness.
Albrin Junior: In football I strike. I used to be called Drogba at some point, because I wasn't such a fantastic and skillful player with the ball, my only mission was to find the back of the net. Also I was good with my head. I wasn't an A list striker, but I was a threat to any defense. In basketball, for my height I'm a guard, but I feel like a forward always playing from the wings. I wish . (At Ohiookhai: Like Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney, in the song 'the girl is mine' keep [wishing]. .) Some of my favorite players include Chris Paul, Ben Wallace Kobe Bryant among others.
Q: When last did you play?
Albrin Junior: I last played about three to four years ago, both games.
Q: Speaking of Kobe Bryant (Mambalichious). We lost him of recent. . What are your best highlights and memories of him.
Albrin Junior: I first began to hear the name, and when he became 'an' LA Lakers player, I watched few of his game and loved his height, shots and determination. I even have a picture of him and LeBron on my phone. His loss is a painful one. . (At Ohiookhai: Two memories of mine are a school friend telling me about this high school player going to the NBA and years later as I didn't have cable TV to watch the NBA like my friend, a mag on him titled 'School's Out' and I think NTA's broadcast of NBA Action were my first getting to know him, then video CDs. While looking for the mag that articled the 'School's Out' ran into another magazine [Marc Eckō's Complex: The Most Hated Kobe Bryant-Doesn't Need Your Love. He Just Wants To Win] in my library.)
Q: We equally lost before Kobe's death, Meadowlark Lemon 'The Clown Prince of Basketball' of the Harlem Globetrotters, Peter Aluma (Nigeria national basketball team [Dtigers] and David Stern 'the money'. Any memories on them?
Albrin Junior: I first heard the name Meadowlark Lemon back in the 90s from the cartoon globe trotters which always aired on NTA channel 5. He was a remarkable player. I don't know much about David Stern, but he was the old NBA commissioner. As for Peter Aluma, I didn't know him either but I'll sure goggle them to find out more about them to pay them more respect and promote their ‘goods’ in my comments as has when due.
(At Ohiookhai: Mine of Lemon was just the little I saw on TV back in the late 70s and early 80s, although am up dating via YouTube. As for 'the money', starting with Newsweek's November 1994 Global ball, which funny enough alongside my Marketing, 11th edition by Etzel et al marketing book that fueled my dream to move from just an ordinary player to a professional sport marketing communication/management/coaching executive. Peter I added as a friend in 1998 or 1997 just after my interest in developing basketball via the national team etc began).
Q: Did you ever follow Nigeria basketball (national and domestic teams)?
Albrin Junior: Never followed Nigeria basketball.
Q: Which soccer team(s) do you root for?
Albrin Junior: I'm not a long term fan of a club per say; reason been I love Jose Mourinho as a coach and so whatever club he coaches, I tend to support. But for this season, I support Liverpool. I want them to win the league. Although Koro don delay things. For me, they have been working hard within the last three years and deserve to be where they are now. (At Ohiookhai: Jose coaches Totheham HotSpurs.
Q: What's the performance of Spurs this year?
Albrin Junior: knowing you I sense a trick? Which Spurs are you talking about? . If the NBAs Spurs, look forward to their return to top 5. If Totheham nothing spectacular about them yet. They are just average but the coach is trying to build a new team. (At ohiookhai: .)
Q: Nigeria Football Federation has unveiled new Nike jerseys. Let me flow again, how you take see them?
Albrin Junior: I saw them both, male and female jerseys. To be honest I prefer the female jersey, (maybe na because the girl wen dem use as model fine sha) . (At Ohiookhai: See your life. .)
Q: #BBALLtitude #SpeakToAtOhioOkhai #TitansSport have a vex with you as you our guy didn't include sports as a scene in your book. Why?
Albrin Junior: . No mind me jare. The thing is in carrying out my research for my novel, there was no where I came across basketball or football in the 60s history (we don't have proper records of those times). I didn't want to just imagine that era, I wanted to record historical events and add my fiction to it. (At Ohiookhai: I no agree, there were at least some football games being played, I remember seeing a photo of my dad with his team mates when he was in school. As for basketball, there must have been something even if to a very big lesser degree.)
Q: Na 30 x 10 curls, 700 x 8 Abs, 9 x 45 bench press, 1, 800meters x 5 runs, 28 x 5 calf raises etc you go do for these mess up. .
Albrin Junior: Haaa, ki lo dey? Michael Jordan, or better Shaq no even dream do those kin workouts o. ibeg o, my mama still dey alive o. .
Q: . We in our critical review have done a #sportfection (#sportinfection like virus/malaria infection), which might make the book more appealing. How you going to compensate us? .
Albrin Junior: . Let me see ............ Well we'll see about that. We still dey together na.
Ohio: Your mouth don talk ooo. .
Q: Ronaldo vs Messi?
Albrin Junior: Hmmmm you start. Messi anytime any day. I'm not a fan of watching football, but watching Messi play is always a delight. Ronaldo is good no doubt, Messi is just the GOAT. (At Ohiookhai: Ronaldo fans, I beg oooo. .)
Q. Rangers of Enugu vs Eyimba of Aba?
Albrin Junior: Don't know much about the local league, but I've been hearing the name Eyimba right from time, so I'll pick Eyimba.
Q: Kano Pillars basketball vs its football team?
Albrin Junior: Kano pillars Basketball because I love the sport.
Q: Will ManU (my team.) ever raise again?
Albrin Junior: I used to support Man, when Mourinho was their coach, because I liked Mourinho. Before then I never really liked them, even worse now. They will rise when they get everything right. But that's definitely not in the coming years. (At Ohiookhai: ManU fans, I beg oooo. .)
Q: What's your thought about Ighalo joining ManU?
Albrin Junior: I applaud the move, not because I've seen Ighalo play or think he can salvage the current Manu situation (though he has scored some goals), rather because of his belief of "Favor not labor." It worked for him, and I hope he does himself and his country proud
Q: Genevieve vs Omotola?
Albrin Junior: Are you kidding me???? Without thinking, Genevieve. I've had a crush on her and still do.
Q: Moimoi vs Akara?
Albrin Junior: This one go hard small oo . Moi moi jare.
Q: Shawarma vs garri?
Albrin Junior: Both .
Q: Coronavirus vs Lassa Fever .
Albrin Junior: None of the above. OMG! Those two deadly o!!!! .) At Ohiookhai: Brozzzzz, pick one now, you dey fear? . Now, we laughed as advised in other not to over cry, the serious turns on. Let's hope we can get out of this mess. Shout out to the health workers, they are our heroes. .
Albrin Junior: Yes they are the real super heroes. .
Q:Regina Askia vs Bianaca Ojukwu?
Albrin Junior: Regina
Q:Miss World vs Miss Universe
Albrin Junior: Miss world
Q: Allison Becker is the left back for ManU, true or false?
Albrin Junior: . Sake of say, I no too sabi ball, you wan wine me abi? False (At Ohiookhai: Wine ke? Wen you Eva wine kqwa!!!! .)
Q: De Long vs Kevin De Bruyne?
Albrin Junior: Kelvin
Q: Now that I have warmed you up well, here it comes. . You broke our ankle by stylishly giving your contact details. Now is our turn. You got 0.03 seconds left. If you have Michael Jordan, Lebron James, Bill Gates, Akiko Dangote on your team, each standing say 15 feet away from you. Who would you pass the ball to, with the ball travelling at 15 feet per 10seconds? .
Albrin Junior: I'd give it to Jordan. (At ohiookhai: apparently, he he has forgotten Vince Carter or has not watched the All Star Dunk competition of late-old school Albrin Junior .) That guy dunking of the ball is from another world. (At Ohiookhai: You dey serious????? For one, Dan, Gates dey your team, na MJ23 you wan pick? Then secondly with 0.03 seconds left? Hmmmm mmm mmhmmm!!!! Got you .)
Albrin Junior: For real? You don get me? I don enter one chance be that o. . (At Ohiookhai: No bother yourself, you safe. The question was in line with our #readthegamescript initiative to cause more deep thinking) .
Q: What's your next move now?
Albrin Junior: For sports, going back to the court & pitch to show people pepper. For my book, I'm currently working on a short story - Love in a time of massacre. It's a historical fiction too, (don't mind me I love history) and afterwards a novella Abiku. I intend to publish on Amazon a compilation of short stories. (At Ohiookhai: Best then. Look forward to it) (At Ohiookhai: Best then. Albrin Junior: Thanks)
Critical review of Naked Coin link
Ohio Okhai is a communication executive with interest in sports, research, management, design, brand architecture, technology entertainment and the arts. Find him via @OhioOkhai on IG, and Twitter. At Ohiookhai via FB