Gift Emmanuel Orban: An Inspiring Journey of the Nigerian Striker

An Inspiring Journey of the Wonderkid From Nowhere called Gift Emmanuel Orban

Barely a year and a few months ago, Gift Emmanuel Orban was thinking of quitting football and becoming an “Olokpa,” another name for a policeman in Nigeria, but decided to give it another go when it happened.

Like every Nigerian boy, Gift loved football and wanted to become a professional footballer, which led to him skipping classes to play football. This risk almost turned FATAL!!!

Gift Orban’s father was Nigerian and his mother was a Togolese, so when he couldn’t get any club to sign him in Nigeria, he went to Togo in 2021. In Togo, he participated in a football trial organized by Nigerian football Scout Ola Fowler in Lome, Togo’s capital, where he decided if it didn’t go well, he would try to become a police officer, an “Olokpa.”.

Ola Fowler loved what he saw and invited Gift Orban to another trial in Akwa Ibom, Uyo. The trial in Uyo was set up by influential football agent Emefie Atta Aneke, who represents football stars like Ighalo and Chelsea’s Datro Fofana.

The trial was supposed to last for six days, with players playing nine games and having the opportunity to impress scouts from different European leagues, but after just two matches, Gift Emmanuel Orban was withdrawn. When asked why he withdrew Gift Orban after just two matches, he said, “There was no need to keep him there any longer.”

“Gift scored three goals in one game, and it wasn’t just that he scored; it was how. His confidence and the way he struck the ball—I instantly knew that this was a player that would go far.” Another scout also saw his performance and wanted him immediately; he’s a scout from Norway. He was the scout of the Norwegian club, Starbaek FC, a team that had just been relegated to the second division of the Norwegian League.

In 2022, Gift was invited to Starbaek pre-season training camp, and shockingly, Gift Orban didn’t impress Starbaek coaches. And when his visa expired in February, he returned to Nigeria, disappointed at seeing his dreams shattered.

But something happened in Norway. Starbaek was still without a regular striker and decided to re-invite Gift to come train with their second team to see if he could develop better. Their second team played in the Norwegian 4th division and Gift jumped at the opportunity as he left Nigeria for Norway in May 2022.

He had visa problems and had to be signed on loan from “Bison FC.”. When Gift landed in the Norwegian 4th division, he scored in every game, and the club decided to give him a chance in a cup fixture with the main team.

Gift took that gift of an opportunity; he scored, and in his next game with the first team again, he scored twice!!! Those two chances took him straight to Starbaek’s first team in the second division, and he tore the league in shreds, scoring 9 goals and 3 assists in his first 7 matches, either scoring or assisting in his first 7 matches CONSECUTIVELY.

After the first three starts, Starbaek sold a player and used the money to activate Gift Orban’s release clause from Nigerian club “Bison FC,” and he became an official Starbaek player. In 22 games, he scored 16 goals with 7 assists, tying for the Golden Boat award, and led Starbaek back to the Norwegian 1st division.

Scouts around Europe took notice of him, and one of them was Samuel Cardenas, Belgium 1st Division Club Scout, Gent FC. He convinced his club CEO to spend €3 million after spending just 3 months as a professional player.

He made his debut for Gent on February 11th, 2023, and scored 2 goals. Four matches later, he scored 4 goals!!!! And just when we thought we’d seen it all, 3 days after scoring 4 goals for Gent, he scored 3 goals in 3 minutes in the European Conference League to put the world on notice.

He ended up scoring 32 goals for Gent, and this led to the French Giants, Lyon, spending €12 million to sign him, a player that cost Gent €3 million a year ago. A player who wasn’t even playing professional football two years ago!!!!

Gift Orban is the FIRST Nigerian to play for Lyon after just barely 2 years as a professional!!!

Life is like an ocean; it goes up and down. The downs of life make the ups of life more meaningful. No matter what knocks you down in life, get back up and keep going. Never give up. Great blessings are a result of great perseverance.

In conclusion, Brethren, no gree for Anybody!!! Congratulations to Gift Emmanuel Orban on his transfer to Lyon, and he should know Nigerians are rooting for him.

You can also read: Meet Michelle Alozie, the molecular biologist turned super falcons star

Article source: SportsDokita (Odogwu); Email:

Published and modified by: Ndaman Joshua Olayinka, Editor, Yinksmedia