Playing golf in Nigeria is quite expensive, and young people who are interested in the game are hardly encouraged to pursue their dreams of playing professionally – especially if they are female. But this didn’t stop Uloma Mbuko, who started playing at a young age. Now 29, she’s being hailed as both the premier female golfer in Nigeria. Others call her the queen of golf in the country.
Mbuko has been in almost all tournaments in Africa and has up to 200 awards as evidence of her astounding performances. Before turning professional in 2010, she dominated competitions like Benin Ladies Open, IBB Ladies Open, Ikeja Ladies Open, Ikoyi Ladies Open and Air Assault Ladies Open. As a Class A professional, she has been in various international tournaments including the Equatorial Guinea Open for female golfers, the Zambia Ladies Open and the Sunshine Ladies Tour in South Africa.
With her status and experience, Mbuko has continued to make efforts to remove the barriers she faced as a young female golfer so that upcoming golfers won’t find it unnecessarily tough as they progress.
In 2016, she established the first professional body for female golfers in the country, the Ladies’ Professional Golfers’ Association of Nigeria (LPGAN), to bring female golfers together.
These days, Mbuko doesn’t play in tournaments much. She’s focused on bringing up the next generation of golfers. And she’s been doing this by training young people at IBB International Golf and Country Club, Abuja, for nearly a year now. With a special place in her heart for young female players, she dreams of seeing them do better than her in the future. In her own words:
“Yes, we are ladies. Yes, we are African, but we have what it takes. We have the talent. I want to sit down and watch television and see Nigerian ladies competing in ladies’ Masters and say, ‘This is my girl. This is my girl.’”
Culled from Konbini