Children’s Day: Okocha thrills kids at Showmax-Upbeat fun party

Children's Day: Okocha thrills kids at Showmax-Upbeat fun party

It was a delight for children at the Upbeat Recreation Centre to see the former Super Eagles captain Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha at the celebration of Children’s Day on May 27, 2023, as he hosted a fun event organised by Africa’s original video streaming service, Showmax, in collaboration with Upbeat Lagos.

The juvenile event paved the way for an opportunity to meet the football legend in flesh and blood which is a dream come true for young fans, fostering their enthusiasm for sports, creativity, and personal growth.

In an interview with newsmen at the Upbeat Recreation Centre, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos Island, Okocha lauded Showmax and Upbeat for hosting the fun party for kids. He especially thanked Showmax for giving a special screening of his childhood as a young footballer, in an animated series titled ‘Jay Jay: The Chosen One’.

“I am very happy about this innovation by Showmax and Upbeat to celebrate this year’s Children’s Day. This kind of initiative will make both parents and their kids happy.

“It is a privilege to feature in one of Showmax’s projects for kids, it will serve as an encouragement and motivation to them and the next generation about my football journey from childhood to a star,” the former Bolton Wonderer star said.

The event witnessed a football competition among schools like Juventus Football Academy, Lagos Tigers, Corona College, Lagos Bright Stars, Victory Football Academy, Avi Cenna International, and Lagos Soccer Stars.

As parents and guardians were patiently seated to celebrate with their wards, the series “Jay Jay: The Chosen One” was displayed and some other side attractions came into play.

The Public Relations Manager of Showmax, Jennifer Ukoh-Osamwonyi stressed that Africa’s original series aimed to bring excitement to the kids. She added that bringing Okocha to the event to meet with the kid for a real-life experience, all in the spirit to celebrate this year Children’s Day.

“This is great content for kids, there are great lessons to be learnt here, about team spirit, hard work, great adventures, and the game of football, which we all enjoyed as Nigerians,” Ukoh-Osamwonyi spoke on the TV series that reimagined Okocha.

She added that the kids are excited to see the former Eagles captain, as he transcends many generations as a football legend.

One of the organisers of the event, John Milner expressed his happiness about the success of the event despite the delays caused by the heavy downpour. He admitted that this event has taken a lot of planning and investment to make the day a reality.

At the crucial stages of the football competition, three football academies made the podium as Juventus Football Academy of Nigeria made the pole position ahead of Lagos Bright Stars and Avi Cenna International.

Okocha further handled the presentation of medals and the trophy to the team who made the first, second and third positions.

As many children were happy about the fun party, parents and guardians could not hide their joy as they praised the brains and ideas behind the event.

One of the parents, Abimbola Akanni lauded the innovation by the organisers of the children’s event, especially the football tournament.

“I think this is a good initiative to have a football tournament on Children’s Day, it’s very encouraging for kids. We know that a lot of children of this generation love football, my son is playing. It allows them to test their skills, play with other children and still have fun,” she said.

Akanni lauded Okocha and the other two bodies for putting together the wonderful event, stating that it acts as an encouragement for the next generation. She said that the event is a different twist from the previous celebrations.