African Languages spoken in Premier League Dressing Rooms

There are some skilled and talented that have graced the Premier League over the years; we all know that! And it’s great to see that being smart, intellectual and multilingual are some of the characteristics modern footballers are being celebrated for. Cesc Fabregas, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Phillipe Senderos amongst others are known for their polyglot attributes but the same can be said with many of the Premier Leagues current crop of African Footballers – and in line with our recent ‘Where can I learn African Languages in London 2017’ guide – this should act as motivation and inspiration that mother-tongue language learning and abilities form a big part of heritage, culture and identity.

Divock Origi speaking Swahili

The person who uploaded this vid said Divock Origi struggled to speak Swahili; but as far as i’m concerned he speaks it better than a few I know myself. Especially coming from Belgium where Divock is sure to speak better French and Dutch than most; this multilingual deserves and has my respect.

Cheikhou Kouyate speaking wolof

Senegalese, Wolof speaking and proud – Cheikhou Kayoute doing his thing as he captains his country. The London-based West Ham Forward keeps it real. I’m sure he will speak a bit of wolof with Diafra Sakho and co.

Kelechi Iheanacho speaking Igbo

The Imo State born Nigerian forward, Kelechi Iheanancho was heard speaking Ibo in Manchester City dressing room when Man City beat Liverpool in the Capital One League Cup Final in 2016. Well Done! By the way; Iheanacho means ‘that which you are seeking’. Thanks to Ada ọha.

Christian Atsu & Asamoah Gyan speaking Twi

Having a laugh and having a blast in Twi and English – Gold Coast doing their thing as usual.


John Obi Mikel speaking Hausa. He does indeed.

Emmanuel Adebayor Speaking Yoruba

The French, English speaking Frontman Emmanuel Adebayor also speaks Yoruba, understands Mòoré, Ewe and Kotokoli amongst others. The Former Arsenal, Man City and Spurs man is seen above with good friend Peter Okoye (of P Square) at his wedding ceremony in Nigeria in 2013. Good on Him!

Sadio Mane speaking Wolof

Currently the man who many would regard as Africa’s best player Sadio Mane speaks a few languages including Wolof. Senegalese community in the UK is growing and glowing.

Didier Drogba speaking Lingala

The All time leading African Goalscorer of the Premier League Didier Drogba has an Ivorian Mother tongue (unknown to me) to add to his bilingual (English and French) speaking abilities.

Victor Wanyama speaking Swahili

Baada ya kujiunga na TOt ameanza kuwaamasisha wakenya kujiunga na Tot wampe saport. Well Done Wanyama! We all know you had it it you.


Well Done Sandrine Sama Nakio for her encouragment in getting Yannick koloba minoko nabiso! Congolese people ay! French, Lingala, Kikongo before English – Amazing people.

Ahmed Musa speaking Pidgin

Ahmed Musa dey yarn pidgin – people no know say Malam Musa dey yarn plenty languages self. A bit of Dutch, Russian and English compliments his Hausa. There was a BBC Hausa i remember him doing a few years ago – but I can’t find it.

Romelu Lukaku speaking Lingala

Well – it’s not a video of him speaking Lingala but admitting that he does! Come on Luka – let us know when you want a vid in pure Lingala we’d love to do something! Thierry Henry saying “Lingala doesn’t count” during his interview with the prolific Belgian striker – really??? Anyways – Well done Luka!

JAY-JAY OKOCHA admits he has an igbo accent

Jay Jay Okocha in front of Goodluck Jonathan admits he is fond of his igbo accent after spending 14 or 40 years abroad…. Interesting

If you look at the average Premier League team sheet nowadays, you’ll see a wonderfully diverse array of names and nationalities. In such a multilingual environment, how do teams ensure that their players understand one another?


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