Some sport disciplines are termed men’s sport and one of them is professional wrestling. However, Jennifer Obiora, AKA Alexandra D Queen, has chosen the sport as career. Speaking with CHARLES OGUNDIYA in an interview, the Anambra-state born wrestler said she stopped her teaching job to focus on her career. Excerpts…
How did you come into wrestling as a lady especially a sport meant for men?
I was actually searching for a sport to do; I searched for a very long time and I almost gave up, but at some point I decided to join kickboxing so that I could easily switch. But when I told the kickboxing coach about my passion for wrestling he introduced me to my coach, Elephando Bassey, and since then it has been forward ever for me.
As a lady, what was your parents’ reaction to your choice of career?
My mum was already late before I started wrestling as a career, but when I told my dad, he was okay with it because he knew I’ve always been very passionate about sports, especially wrestling.
You had a fight against Stylish J recently for the Women’s title in Nigeria but it ended in a draw, will you say you are disappointed?
I really wanted to win the fight, because I prepared for it very well, but I am okay with the draw because I really tried my best and if not that we actually fought with time, maybe I would have win.
Your opponent was kind of bigger than you, how do you cope with her?
In wrestling, size is not all that important. Again, if it is all about size, then elephant will be the king of the jungle and not lion. I have been training for years and I am not afraid of anybody.
So, for how long have you been into professional wrestling?
It is going to four years now, over three years. But I am trying to diversify into amateur wrestling too so as to compete at Olympics and the likes.
Wrestlers like Odunayo Adekuoroye, Blessing Oborududu and the likes are at the moment making waves in amateur wrestling, do you see yourself at that level soon?
Yes very Soon, in fact I want to be the first Nigerian professional female wrestler to win titles at the amateur level for Nigeria and I am already working towards that. I go for training every day and very soon, people will start hearing about me too.
What keeps you going as a wrestler especially looking at the risk of the sport and injury?
It’s the love of the game that has been helping me to keep moving forward, the more injury I get, the more I love the game. I love the sport of wrestling so much and I want to make a name for myself in it.
So how easy or difficult has it been for you as a professional wrestler?
It hasn’t been easy, when I started training, I was still working as an assistant teacher at Brain Point Branded School, Ebute Metta, but it got to a point I had to quit my job to focus on my career. It was a hard decision, but I had to take it at that time.
How many fights have you been involved in since you started?
I’ve been involved in three fights, the one at the Teslim Balogun Stadium was the third one for me, but I am looking forward to taking part in more from now on. My first was at the National Stadium, Surulere, and I won it while the second one was in Abuja, it was a triple threat match, involving three wrestlers, but it also ended in a draw. So I am looking forward to more victories in my subsequent fights, I am still undisputed at the moment and I want it that way for more time.
How do people around your area look at you as a wrestler?
People around my area know I’m very calm as just an ordinary person on the street; it is only when I get into the ring that everything changes for me. Although some of them have tried to persuade me to stop training, saying it doesn’t suit me, I am not deterred as I want to move forward.
Was there a time you had issues with anyone and threatened them as a wrestler?
I’ve had issues with a lot of people but not to the level of threatening them because I am a wrestler. I can only use my wrestling technique for self-defence if I find myself in such situations, but not going about flaunting it.
How do you calm yourself even when someone annoys you as a wrestler?
I only smile and walk away because I am not allowed to use my technique against ordinary persons on the street, so for it to degenerate into something else, I just walk away.
Nigerians are always interested in education, what level of education do you have and how do you plan to improve on that?
I have plans to further my education because at the moment, I only have SSCE but I want to move forward which is my plans at the moment. By 2022, I will be going back to school because I want to be a graduate too. So for education, I am planning for it.
You are beautiful, how do you cope with guys who approach you for relationships?
That’s a big one; I have been ac- costed by several men but a n y t i m e I tell them I am a wr e s t l e r, they get scared and let me be. Presently, I want to build my career and am not thinking about any man now.
Who is your role model as a wrestler?
I love Sasha Banks. I also look up to Naomi as someone I want to be like as a wrestler.