By NBF News
Click for Full Image Size

Former Super Falcons' attacker, Patience Avre, is no doubt a player would quickly come to the minds of Nigerians for her roles in Nigeria's World Cup outings, as well as the African Women Championship, which the country dominated for several years.

In fact, she was part of the Nigerian squad that reached the quarterfinal stage of the 1999 World Cup finals in the USA. Long after quitting the game, not much has been heard about her unlike her peers, Florence Omagbemi and Mercy Akide Udoh, both of who have played significant roles in women football even after they retired from active game.

For Avre, her world has continually revolved around fashion, leaving one to wonder if she's now fully into the fashion world going by her numerous pictures on the popular social networking site, Facebook.

But far from that, while Avre admits that fashion has always been a part of her from her days in Nigeria with Jegede Babes Football Club and the Super Falcons, she insists that she has not totally forgotten about female football in Nigeria.

'As a kid, one did not have the luxury of many cloths growing up, but it has always been a part of me to look good and different from my peers. I've always wanted to be different from the others such that I was even nicknamed 'Janet Jackson' of the Falcons. People say I'm too fashion conscious, but I don't see it that way because as far as I'm concerned, I'm modeling for God and for myself. It makes me feel good dressing real good after all, now that I'm grown up, why can't I look good if I can afford it.'

On what else makes her day, Avre revealed that as a trainee in the field of nursing, her role is that of working with dying patients as a result of different diseases. Does she not finding it odd doing that kind of job? Avre replies: 'Life indeed is not a bed of roses. After I quit the game, the realisation came to me that I have to do something because I have bills to pay and that won't come easy by just sticking to football.

'I, therefore, decided to go into a different field entirely, away from football, so that I would have options. And I must say that I enjoy working with dying people, not because they have terminal diseases, but because they teach me about life generally. 'In counselling them, I also get to understand that life is a big mystery, which we have not come close to unraveling. Though, it's challenging to be with someone who in a matter of months, believes that he or she would die, I try my best to make them happy and wanted because the illnesses are most times not their making.

'Cases such as cancer, Aids and many other terminal diseases leave many really downcast and it's my job to see that they're happy while they're still alive. But that's not to say I've completely lost interest in Nigerian football.' According to Avre, the state of women football in Nigeria was disturbing and therefore, advices that sponsors should come to the rescue of the game.

'Women football needs a great deal of support. The girls who play football need to be shown love and encouragement through scholarship programmes. Education is the biggest gift anyone can offer the girls so that they can have a future outside football.'