One of the strongest scorers of the republic, Tosin Aleriwa, came to Kyrgyzstan from Nigeria more than ten years ago. The striker of the capital’s Alga FC told 24.kg news agency what surprised him first in the country, what he got used to and what he is missing here.
— Tell us about yourself.
— I am 31 years old. My name is Oluwatosin Aleriwa, or Tosin. I have been playing football all my life long. Here I played for Kara-Balta, Talas, KG United, Abdysh-Ata. I was a bronze and silver medalist of the championships of Kyrgyzstan.
— When did you come to Kyrgyzstan? What surprised you in the country?
— I arrived 11 years ago. Here I saw snow for the first time. It was something unusual for me.
That year there was a revolution, people fought against the president Bakiyev, and those events, to tell the truth, scared me.Tosin Aleriwa
I was not used to that. I even wanted to leave. But then everything calmed down. I decided to stay.
— The mountains. They are everywhere here, and I have them at home too, they are also beautiful. It is also plov. The same dish is cooked in Nigeria, but it is called «jollof rice» there. It is made from chicken, not lamb, and has no carrots. But the dishes are very similar.
— Is there something that you are missing in Kyrgyzstan?
— Money (laughs). There is also no football of international level that I’m used to.
I know that there were problems with football in Kyrgyzstan and it began to develop again not so long ago. I think that everything will work out over the years.Tosin Aleriwa
For the last three years I have been out of the country, playing on a contract in Thailand and the Maldives. I returned this year and noticed that the level of local football has become much higher during this time. This makes me happy.
— Do you have a favorite place in the capital or in the regions of Kyrgyzstan?
— I like Munchen Pub in Bishkek. I spend my free time there. If we talk about Kyrgyzstan, I have traveled almost all over the country. It is very beautiful here. I don’t even know what to distinguish from these places. I have also been to Issyk-Kul. But compared to Thailand, the water in the lake seemed very cold to me.
— What national dishes, besides plov, do you like?
— My favorite dish is gyuro lagman. I eat it often.
— Is there something that you are afraid to try?
— No, there are no such dishes for me in the Kyrgyz national cuisine. I am not a picky eater and eat everything.
— You have friends here. What pleasantly surprised you about the local people?
— If we talk about my environment, about my relatives, then they are all very good people. I have many friends in the team. I was initially well received and helped. When I arrived, I did not speak Russian. They helped me learn it.
It is more difficult with the Kyrgyz language. I have mastered it by about 2 percent so far. It is hard.Tosin Aleriwa
In general, people are very good. Only when they are not driving (laughs). When they get behind the wheel, they seem to be changed. it’s terrible.
— There are stupid people who, seeing a black guy on the street, begin to whistle, shout, point a finger, say to me: «Hey, nigga!»
At the same time, they know that this is an offensive word and it should not be said, but they do it.Tosin Aleriwa
— Did you have to fight?
— I am always ready to stand up for myself. But why should I prove something to the fool? Fists won’t help. I just stopped paying attention to stupid people.
— I’m not making plans. God alone knows. I can leave at any time under a contract and then return. My family is living here. Kyrgyzstan has long been a home from home for me.