Stanley Nwabali gets traditional title as he returns a hero to his village in Rivers State

Stanley Nwabali gets traditional title || X

Stanley Nwabali gets traditional title as he returns a hero to his village in Rivers State

Stephen Oladehinde 16:20 - 19.02.2024

Super Eagles' sensational goalkeeper, Stanley Nwabali, was adorned with a chieftaincy title in a grand ceremony over the weekend, celebrating his standout performance at the recent AFCON tournament.

Nwabali's journey from relative obscurity to national hero has captivated the heart of the nation, culminating in this prestigious recognition in his hometown.

Just two months ago, Stanley Nwabali's name was not widely known outside of his club, Chippa United. The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cote d’Ivoire changed all that. 

Called up to Nigeria’s first team, Nwabali didn't just fill the shoes of the number 1 spot; he owned it. Throughout the tournament, the 27-year-old goalkeeper demonstrated why he was indispensable, securing four clean sheets and making crucial saves in the penalty shoot-out against South Africa. 

His efforts were instrumental, even as the Super Eagles narrowly missed the championship, falling 2-1 to Cote d’Ivoire in the final.

Nigerian goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali | Imago
Nigerian goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali | Imago

Honours and Recognition

Despite the team's loss, the Super Eagles were celebrated by the Nigerian government, receiving the Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) title and generous rewards of houses and lands. 

But for Nwabali, the accolades didn't end there. Upon returning to his hometown last weekend, a hero's welcome awaited him as reported by Soccernet

In a ceremony filled with pomp, Nwabali was conferred the chieftaincy title of Ugo Egbema, translating to "The Pride of Egbema Kingdom," a nod to his remarkable performance at the AFCON.

The honor signifies more than just recognition; it is a symbol of the indelible mark Nwabali has made on his community and the nation at large. 

Reflecting on his new title, Nwabali expressed his gratitude and the weight of the responsibility it carries, "This title is not just an honour to me but a call to serve my community and country even better. I am overwhelmed by this recognition and promise to continue being a source of pride for the Egbema Kingdom and Nigeria."