What would you do if your partner was going through very rough patches in his career, to the point that they were beginning to take negative toll on his wellbeing?
That was the million-dollar question that Mrs. Dora Kayode, wife of former Golden Eaglets, Flying Eagles, Dream Team and Super Eagles striker, Olanrewaju Kayode, was confronted with, some years ago, when her hubby’s game took a wrong turn and he was struggling to make ends meet.
A naturally gifted, talented and ambitious player, Kayode, unarguably, ranks among a very few crop of players, who have featured for Nigeria at all levels of national and international relevance.
Having played in top African clubs like ASEC Mimosa of Ivory Coast before going to Europe to continue his professional game, Kayode would have been swimming in money, given that he was contracted to clubs like Manchester City and Shakhtar Donetsk.
“That has not been the case,” said Mrs Dora Kayode, who revealed that her husband’s giant strides on the pitch have not translated to wealth.
She said that he barely managed to cope off the pitch because of the encumbrances caused by contractual agreements.
On how she became the husband’s agent, Mrs Kayode, who hails from Abia State, said: “At the beginning, when I met him, it was really rough because he had a lot of agents and some of the contracts he had entered into; I called them slave contracts.
“He told me his story and I understood everything, as I studied law. So I decided to come in at that point.
“I told him to start all over again. And by starting all over, we had to terminate all the illegal contracts he signed with those agents, so that he could move on.
“So it was really difficult. I saw what he experienced. It was really rough for him. It made him sad and so, I decided to come in.
“I gave a couple of people the opportunity to manage him, but most of them were not sincere. They were only interested in the money aspect of it. They were not thinking about the interest of Kayode.
“I felt that if I allowed this to go on like this, it was going to affect him psychologically. I decided to come in to help. I told him ‘nobody else is going to manage you again. I am going to be here for you.’ Right now, I am an FA-licensed agent.”
Continuing, the football intermediary said being the wife and a career woman helped her to free Kayode from the bondage of slave contracts, which remains the bane of most African players.
“I decided to come in, in order to understand his own point of view. I am his wife and it is easier for me to work with him.
“He is going to be open to me and I understand every point, even on the pitch, home and club. When dealing with the club, I know how to approach them so that both parties can be happy at the end of the day.
“Being a lawyer makes you to know your rights. Unfortunately for footballers, most of them are not really enlightened, and I am sorry to say this. They need people who can tell them the truth, educate them on their rights.
“At times, agents want to overshadow the players; they want to compel them to do things that they don’t want to do. But if you know your rights, you will be able to know when something is right and when something is wrong.
“To get ahead of the game, I decided to study the rules of football. Then combined the rules with our fundamental human rights, so that he would be on track.”