Victor Ikpeba is hitting Nigerians hard with his spoken English, and SuperSport loves the attention he is bringing to its network.
These days the former Super Eagles striker is a football analyst on SuperSport. What makes Victor Ikpeba different from other retired football stars who are now analysing games is the way he speaks.
Most retired football stars in Nigeria have a mix of a Nigerian accent and a foreign accent no doubt picked up from their sojourn in Europe. Victor Ikpeba is not one of those guys. Victor Ikpeba's accent is more than just Nigerian. It is unabashedly Benin.
Victor Ikpeba is the star of the halftime show during weekends when English Premier League teams play. The former striker's accent is golden material for stand-up comedians. When he speaks people watching at home can't help but laugh. The way he pronounces 'penalty' and 'Charles' has us all in stitches. His spoken English is also far from polished.
Ikpeba doesn't care when he trends on Twitter every weekend because of his accent and grammatical mistakes. He embraces it. He is not ashamed. He basks in the notoriety. SuperSport does not care either.
SuperSport hired the services of Victor Ikpeba circa 2010 and it has been good business for both brands. Ikpeba's mastery of oral English ensures that people tune in apart from world class football. As for the popular footballer, he still retains his popularity.
The relationship between SuperSport and Victor Ikpeba has been so good that the former football player was chosen to be a commentator for the Zambia vs Nigeria match on Sunday, October 9, 2016.
As expected it was a beautiful disaster. Ikpeba's pronunciations had people tweeting about him instead of the game. Apart from his blunders, Ikpeba dropped a sexist statement when he said: "Football is a men's sport, not a women's sport."
The former Super Eagles' player was rightly criticized for the statement. He later apologized for saying this.
Minus the sexist statement, Victor Ikpeba is SuperSport's guy. He gets people talking about the content on their station. As long as he has the numbers he will always be on SuperSport. Expect the dread locked football analyst on your screens this weekend as the EPL returns.