Saka: Why My Grandmother Named Me Bukayo


Arsenal winger, Bukayo Saka has revealed why his Nigerian grandmother named him Bukayo, saying she wanted him to bring joy to the family.

Saka was heavily courted by Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Pinnick and former Super Eagles manager, Gernot Rohr but opted to stick with his country of birth, which he represented at youth level before becoming cap-tied to the Three Lions in November 2020.

Born in Ealing to parents who are both Nigerians and the second of two sons, the Hale End Academy graduate recognises that his Nigerian father contributed to his success as a player, and recalled how his dad used to go through traffic to take him to training from his school.

The 20-year-old Saka also recalled that he ate Nigerian food during his childhood.
Asked about his Yoruba name Bukayo, the Arsenal number 7 told GQ Magazine: “My grandma gave it to me because of its meaning.

“It means ‘God has added joy to my life. ‘She wanted me to add joy to the family, so she named me that…Every time she called me, that’s probably what I meant to her.”
Bukayo’s elder brother, Yomi, who was a defender, was an aspiring footballer at Watford before opting to go to university instead of pursuing a professional career