An interview with football sensation, Dorcas Agwogie.
On this edition of #DecagonTechStars, we spoke with Dorcas Agwogie, a footballer by day and a tech enthusiast by night. Read more about her journey and how she balances the two worlds.
My name is Dorcas Agwogie, and I am from Delta state in Nigeria. I am a software engineer who specializes in C# programming. Currently, I work at Detris.
I have always had a passion for football since I was young. Growing up, I was the only girl in my house and compound. Everyone around me loved football, which further fuelled my interest. I also used to play football with my brothers.
I didn’t have the opportunity to attend a football academy until 2013 when I joined an academy in Edo state. In 2019, I signed my first professional contract in Lagos with FC Robo Queens. Immediately after completing my national service (NYSC), I wanted to switch teams and earn more money, but Decagon offered me the chance to learn a new skill and make more money.
Being a female football player in Nigeria is not an easy journey. The biggest challenge is convincing your parents that football is a suitable activity for a girl. It is not easy because many people don’t view football as a feminine activity and don’t believe it is lucrative for female players, as they are not paid as well as male players. This psychological pressure can be challenging and affects me at times.
My parents didn’t allow me to join an academy earlier because they didn’t think it was appropriate for a girl to play football. However, seeing other female players do well for themselves and their families inspired me to keep going.
Another challenge was trying to join a team. Joining a team in Nigeria can be difficult without someone sponsoring you. I was motivated by watching players who had experienced similar challenges succeed despite these challenges.
I heard about Decagon from my brother, who is also a software engineer. At first, I wasn’t sure if I had the ability or strength to succeed in a boot camp like Decagon, as I didn’t consider myself a “brain type.” However, I decided to give it a try and went for the interview.
One of the things I appreciate about Decagon is that they give people who may not have a foundation in programming the opportunity to learn. I eventually decided to attend and I am now grateful that I did.
I had mixed feelings when I was accepted into Decagon. I was happy and sad at the same time. I almost deferred my admission because I wasn’t sure I would be able to adapt to the program. Moving from a physical activity to something that required more mental effort was a big change for me.
However, Decagon made me feel like I could achieve anything as long as I put in the effort. I eventually decided to attend and ended up being the last person in my cohort to resume. I also needed the money and felt it would help me as a footballer.
Decagon has given me the belief that there is nothing I can’t achieve as long as I put in the effort. The fact that I was able to learn tech within six months is a testament to this. When I tell people about the things I learned at Decagon, they are often surprised and assume that I have been in tech for years. The skills I gained from Decagon have also greatly improved my CV, and when people find out that I am a football player as well, they are even more impressed.
Decagon has opened up new opportunities for me and has helped me see that there are other things I can do besides football. Decagon has also improved my mental health and confidence. I am now more skilled and financially stable, and my parents are happy that I have learned a new skill.
I miss the environment and amenities at Decagon. Everything was provided for us, including networking opportunities, food, and more. We didn’t have to worry about cooking or cleaning, which I have to do now that I am home. Despite this, I still keep in touch with my friends from Decagon and consider them family. We have all come out of the program more professional than when we started.
While learning at Decagon, I still found time to go for football training within and outside the facility. According to my coach, tech skills will give me an edge but shouldn’t prevent me from playing football. I believe that if people like Chioma Ajunwa could balance a career in sports with a profession like being a policewoman, then I can do both tech and football. In fact, most tech jobs are remote, so I will have the flexibility to continue playing football professionally while working in tech.
Over the next few years, I hope to own my own tech company. To do this, I need to make money and continue learning in both tech and football. Even in football, technology is becoming more important, as seen with the use of VAR (Video Assistant Referee). Even if I am not playing, I can use my tech skills to implement new technological advancements in football.
If I could change one thing about my childhood, it would be to start playing football earlier. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to do so when I was younger.
Don’t think twice, just join.
Messi, because he is the real GOAT (Greatest of All Time).
For aspiring female footballers, my advice is to never give up on your dreams. For aspiring software engineers, my advice is to never be afraid to try something new. Decagon has shown me that with hard work and determination, anyone can learn tech. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. Believe in yourself and go for it.
Thank you too.
You can also become a Tech sis like Dorcas Agwogie. Sign up on decagon.institute to join the next cohort.