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Honoured by Akwa Ibom, Iyene Essien dreams of becoming world-beater

By Christian Okpara
07 October 2022   |   2:29 am
Nigeria's rising international golf star, Iyeneobong Essien, cannot stop thanking her stars because of her heritage. The 16-year-old prodigy, who was among Akwa Ibom State indigenes recently

[FILES] Golf..<br />Gregory Shamus/Getty Images/AFP

Nigeria’s rising international golf star, Iyeneobong Essien, cannot stop thanking her stars because of her heritage.

The 16-year-old prodigy, who was among Akwa Ibom State indigenes recently honoured by the state on its 35th-anniversary celebrations, told The Guardian recently that Governor Udom Emmanuel has given her wings to fly beyond human comprehension.

At the anniversary celebration in Uyo on September 24, Governor Emmanuel, in appreciation of Essien’s recent feats in international golf, promised to support the U.S.-based player until she achieves her dream of being one of the world’s greatest golf players.

While citing her achievements, Emmanuel promised: “Whatsoever it takes for her to develop her career and rise to that grandiose level, the state government will undertake to write off that cost completely as part of the good news of our 35th-anniversary celebration.”

Emmanuel also charged Essien to stick to the path of greatness, which has drawn the world’s attention to her game.

An excited Essien, who spoke through her mother, Ime Okon, said the governor’s gesture has freed her from worries, adding that she has now devoted her energy to work on becoming a global star.

“I thank Governor Udom Emmanuel for recognising my little efforts and for taking it upon himself to see that I get everything I need to become a world champion.

“I will not disappoint him and the people of Akwa Ibom State. It is now up to me to make the best use of my talent, and that is exactly why I am working hard to improve my game.”

Essien also commended all those that have played different roles in her growth in the game, saying the future will justify the confidence they reposed in her.

She disclosed that Akwa Ibom government paid part of her bills in her recent tour of Europe, adding that she is currently playing some tournaments in the United States and also featuring in qualifying series for tournaments in the fall.

One such tournament is the ongoing Billy Herschel Junior Championship presented by Zurich, which started on October 5 and will end on October 11.

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