Tennis: Ex-Nigerian Champion Tania bounces back after rehabilitation

United States-based former Nigerian tennis champion Tania Okpala is back on the tennis courts two months after she was captured wandering the streets of Akwa aimlessly and taken in for rehabilitation by the Anambra State Government.

Anambra State Governor Charles Soludo broke the news in a post on X on Thursday, alongside pictures of Tania strutting her stuff on tennis courts, thanking his wife Nonye for her total commitment to the course of rehabilitating and reintegrating her into society. 

The Anambra State number one citizen writes: “Few months ago, social media was awash with a viral video showing Ms. Tania in a disturbing state on the streets of Awka. I am glad to report that we have successfully restored Tania to winning ways. 

“Today she was at a lawn tennis court in town to do what she knows how to do best. I sincerely appreciate my darling wife, Nonye Soludo, for her total commitment to the course of rehabilitating and reintegrating Tania into society. 

“May Anambra continue to win!”

On January 28, 2024, the Anambra State Government commenced the rehabilitation of Tania Okpala, who was found wandering the streets of Akwa, the state capital, and captured in a viral video on social media by a good-spirited member of the public, which was reported by globalsportsng.com.

In a statement, Anambra State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Ify Obinabo, said Tania looked distressed and unstable in the said video, prompting the quick response of the Charles Soludo-led Anambra State Government to rescue, rehabilitate, and reunite her with her family.

The commissioner said she had received the directive from the governor and his amiable wife and immediately swung into action.

Mrs. Soludo assured her that the state government would not forsake her and informed her that she would get the best treatment and rehabilitation to enable her to bounce back.

Mrs. Soludo further assured her that the state government would ensure her full recovery and reintegration into society.

While explaining her ordeal to the first lady, Okpala, who hails from Nkpologwu in the Aguata Local Government Area of the state, said she’s a US-based tennis champion but, due to bad peer influence, became a crack cocaine addict.

She also explained that she had the best education in and outside the country.

Tania, whose mother was from Belarus, said she lost her mother to cancer a few years ago and ever since has not been able to get over her demise.

According to the US-based tennis champion, she has a six-year-old daughter who is currently staying with her father in Nkpologwu and has urged the governor’s wife to help her reunite with her daughter.

Governor Soludo, in a statement on X, announced that Tania was finally in the custody of the Anambra State Government and that she was with the Commissioner of Women Affairs when his wife spoke with her on the phone. He said his government will ensure her rehabilitation and a fruitful reunion with her daughter and family.

Soludo made good on his promise, as Tania was spotted at a hospital the following day, accompanied by the Anambra State Commissioner for Women Affairs, being addressed by a doctor.