I am Segun. Friends and family call me Big Seg, Seg being the short form for Segun. The ‘big’ comes from Allan Hawks, my former British football coach in Shooting Stars Football Club of Ibadan, who used it to differentiate between two other Seguns and I in the team at that time. My 6ft 1-inch frame qualified me as the biggest of the lot. So, Big Seg it has been since then.
I am also very well known as ‘Mr. Mathematical’. Many years ago, a radio commentator, Earnest Okonkwo, in is commentaries, gave me that sobriquet. Whether he was referring to the precision of my movement and passing or to my background as a Mechanical Engineer I never found out before he died many years ago. But that nickname also stuck and all those familiar with African football in the 1970s and 1980s are most likely to recall Mr Mathematical and my famous number 7 shirt! All that, I believe, tells you a little about me.
Now in middle age, I have developed a fast receding hairline, weak knees that can no longer stand the strain of football anymore, plus an increasingly flabby midriff, I am pursuing other interests not necessarily sports related although my links with sports are still solid.
From the above, you must now guess correctly that I was a famous football player. My experience though was limited to Africa. I played football through most of my youthful years and represented a few clubs in Nigeria and my country. I rose to the position of captain of my national team, the Green Eagles, as the national team was called then. I won several trophies and personal awards which are listed somewhere on this site. In May 2002 the federal government of Nigeria officially made me Sports Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Before then I had been conferred with the national honour of Member of the Order of the Niger, MON, in 1981.
Apart from sports, I have other lesser known interests in the arts (music, film and dance), literature (reading and writing), the media (newspaper columnist, television producer and presenter) and travel. I have travelled extensively around the world and have developed a passion for making a meaningful contribution to the advancement of humanity and my local community.
I invite all to come into my world. I have a firm belief in the human capacity to achieve great things by dreaming big. In all things, I want to present to the world the best version of me. To me life is a blessing, it is beautiful and is an unscripted drama. Welcome to that world of limitless possibilities, the world of Mathematical 7.
I was born in Lagos on 27th August 1952 to Bintu Abeke and Jacob Adebola Odegbami. I spent my early years in Jos, the former Plateau state where I attended Saint Theresa’s primary and Saint Murumba’s secondary schools. I excelled at both and like most children from Jos, where I learned to play football.
With my venture into politics, I aspire to offer my State and indirectly my country Nigeria, the vast array of the knowledge and experiences I have garnered as a football player, grassroots developer, journalist, publisher, author, businessman, researcher, marketer, manager, administrator and educationist”.
Education & Qualifications
- Honorary Doctorate (Sports), 2012 – Bradley University, Illinois, USA
- Fellow, Nigerian Institute of Management, FNIM, 2011
- HND Mechanical Engineering, 1976 – The Polytechnic, Ibadan
- OND Mechanical Engineering, 1972 – The Polytechnic, Ibadan
National & International Appointments/Responsibilities & Associations’ Membership
- Member, Technical Committee, National Mass Literacy and Adult Education Committee, 2012
- Nigerian Ambassador, 1-Goal Education for All World Cup Campaign, 2010
- Resource Person, Africa Business Club, Harvard Business School, Boston, USA. 2010
- Resource Person, 13th World Congress on Public Health, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 2010
- Chairman, Nigeria Academicals Sports Committee (NASCOM), 2010 – 2012
- Chairman, National Institute of Sports, NIS, 2003 – 2005
- Chairman, Nigeria’s 2010 World Cup Bid Committee, 2003
- Chairman, Presidential Committee on Revival of School Sports in Nigeria, 2001 – 2003
- Member, Football Committee, Confederation of African Football (CAF) 2009 – 2011
- Member, Presidential Task Force on World Cup 2010 Campaign, 2010
- First Vice-President, Nigeria Olympians Association, 2002 – 2010
- Chairman, Ministerial Committee on Blueprint of Sports Development in Nigeria, 2006
- Member, Presidential Committee on Problems of Sports Development in Nigeria (Samuel Ogbemudia Committee)
- Member, Player’s Committee, Confederation of African Football (CAF), 2000 – 2004
- Member, Technical and Accreditation Sub-Committee World Youth Championship, Nigeria ‘99
- Member, Local Organizing Committee, Africa Youth Championship, 1995
- Member, Nigeria Football Association Board, 1992 – 1995
- Member, Professional Football Implementation Committee, 1990
Awards & Honours – National & International
- Member of the Order of the Niger [MON] 1981
- Sports Ambassador, Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1998
- Ambassador, 1-Goal Education for ALL – FIFA /World Cup 2010 legacy project
- Ambassador – International Red Cross Organization 2009
- Ambassador – World Peace Organization
- Nominee – Beyond Sports Award [UK] for education and social inclusion
Sports Awards & Others
- 1998: FIFA/MasterCard Award
- 1989: Confederation of African Football Award
- 1980: Winner, African Cup of Nations, Nigeria
- 1980: Second Best African Player
- 1978: Third Best African Player
- 1978: Bronze Medal, African Cup of Nations, Ghana
- 1978: Silver Medal, All African Games, Algeria
- 1977: Winners Medal, ECOWAS Cup
- 1976: Winners Medal, African Cup Winners Cup