Augustine Azuka Okocha, popularly called Jay Jay Okocha, was born August 14, 1973, in Enugu, Enugu state. He is a Nigerian footballer who played as a midfielder and is often argued to be the best footballer to come out of Nigeria. Jay Jay is known for his creativity, technique, dribbling skills and tricks, specifically, the stepover.
Jay Jay Okocha’s parents hail from Delta State, Nigeria and the name ‘Jay Jay’ was originally his older brother’s name, however, it stuck with Augustine because he began the love for football playing on the streets just like other football legends. In 1990, he joined Enugu Rangers. In his time at the club he produced many spectacular displays including one where he rounded off and scored a goal, against experienced Nigerian goalkeeper William Okpara in a match against BBC Lions Later that year, he went on holiday to West Germany. Germany had just won the 1990 FIFA World Cup, and the purpose of his travel was to watch the German league Football. His friend Binebi Numa played for a team in Germany as well. His golden ticket came when he accompanied Binebi to training one morning and was asked to join in. The Neunkirchen coach, impressed with Okocha’s skills, invited him back the next day before offering him a contract. The Nigerian Maradona rose to fame when he started playing for a German team, Eintracht Frankfurt in December 1991. In his international career, Jay Jay went on to play for Turkish team Fenerbahçe, French side Paris Saint-Germain, Bolten Wanderers and Hull City.
Jay Jay Okocha made his debut for Nigeria playing at the 1994 FIFA World Cup qualifier where the team lost 2 – 1 to Ivory Coast in 1993. It wasn’t until the second game in 1994, a 4 – 1 win against Algeria before he became a Nigerian favourite. He assisted the team to great victory and being nicknamed the dream team by Nigerian press. Because of his impressive career, Jay Jay has three international honours and nine club honours. In 2003 and 2004, BBC gave him the title of the African Footballer of the Year. 20 years career in top teams is a great confirmation of his skill. On February 21, 2015 Okocha was elected Chairman of the Delta State Football Association.
The loving husband of Nkechi Okocha and father did not only spend his youth playing football, the successful player has some investments to his name. In retirement, Jay Jay has made investments to set him up for life. He is the brain behind relaxation spot and nightclub formerly known as Club 10 in Victoria Island.
Jay Jay Okocha heads conglomerate, Jay Jay Okocha Group, West Africa Ltd. The umbrella company has its branches in various business which include bars, restaurants, building development, football management, sale of electronics, the supply of security equipment and staff, road construction, importation of cars, wine and a currency exchange office. Jay Jay’s club gained a credible reputation amongst others. Just like the average Igbo man, Okocha’s strength is in business.
As at 2015, Jay Jay Okocha was estimated to be worth a whopping $150 million, ranking him in the top 10 richest football players in Africa. The star is said to have many houses which are top secret, and luxurious cars to his comfort. For his wive’s 40th birthday the soccer star gifted her a white, Mercedes Benz, G-Wagon rumoured to cost N23million. It is not certain if his net worth took a huge blow due to the economic downturn, however, what is certain is the Jay Jay Okocha is a legend and one of the greatest Nigerian’s to ever grace the football pitch.
Football is the game of champions, a game that unites the world. Football is a game and Jay Jay Okocha is the entertainer. The man has done well for himself and his family. The star continues to wax on stronger, staying relevant in the world of football. Highly respected, Jay Jay Okocha is a hero in his field and champion of the football world.