Modupe Telia

Modupe Christiana Telia (Nee Fakoiade); Nigerian hockey player trained by some of the best Nigerian coaches of her time. Her performance earned her a national team call up in 1975, and she represented Nigeria at several international competitions before hanging her stick in 1989 to become a coach.
Places of Growth

At St Michael, Mushin, Lagos in the 1960s that her talent blossomed. As a child she was running the 220 yards, the 440 yards and also did the sprint as the annual inter-house sports competition of her school provided her the opportunity to showcase her skill and measure her progress against her competitors. While still in school, she represented Lagos State in the first National Sports Festival in Lagos of 1973. By 1974, she completed her secondary school education and took the decision to stick to hockey.

Modupe got married to Golden Eaglet Coach Yemi Telia in 1981.


The Afro-Asian Championship in India in 1975 was Telia’s first time of travelling out of Nigeria and she played alongside Osadolor and Okoromi, who were her seniors in the team. Her team won a bronze medal. The following year, she was off to Germany with the national team for a tournament, which failed to produce a medal. On the local scene in 1977, Telia was in the Lagos State team to the 1977 National Sports Festival in Kaduna. The team had Kehinde and Taiwo Akijina, Mercy Ajuyala among others. The team got bronze after losing a grueling duel to their closest rival, Bendel State in the semi final. After this, Telia was given employment by Lagos State, which provided for her the added impetus to excel at the 1978 edition, where she won her first gold, with victory over Rivers State in the final. She was a regular feature in the National Women Championship from 1980-89.

Telia was back in the national team in 1978 for the World Cup qualifiers against Ghana, which the Nigerian team won to book a place in Spain. However, indiscipline cost the team dearly at the World Cup, as it failed to win a single game. Her career as a player of Hockey ended pleasantly with a gold medal which her team, the Lagos State team, won at the National Sports Festival in 1989.

Telia’s first assignment as a coach was at Bauchi 2001 National Sports Festival as assistant to well-known coach, Henry Adesola. The male team won gold medal, while the female won silver. Also in 2002, she won gold with the male team in Ednas an assistant coach. Telia became the head coach last year and she led the male team to win gold, while the female won silver at the National Sports Festival hosted by Lagos State[i].


[i] Guardian November 29, 2013

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer