“You can’t be more English than playing for England, that’s the epitome to me but it’s not been easy. My name is Eniola Aluko, a lot of people always question – well where are you really from?”
Identity and community at the heart of Budweiser’s latest ‘Side Hustles’ film starring Eniola Aluko, created in partnership with DAZN Media and The Story Lab. The former professional footballer and FA Cup winner spoke to DAZN Media about embracing her British-Nigerian identity and how her international career has inspired her latest business venture beyond the pitch.
Released today, the film follows Aluko as she builds her new travel lifestyle brand ‘Hyphen’, celebrating her dual British-Nigerian identity and inspiring others to feel the same.
Discussing the inspiration behind her business, Aluko said: “I’ve had amazing opportunities to travel throughout my football career with England, with Chelsea and more recently Juventus in Italy. Travel has become a real passion of mine, and now as I’m retired, I’m excited to launch a business in that market.”
After releasing her autobiography in August 2019, the pundit-turned-author, quickly realised where the passion for travel and her British-Nigerian identity could take her: “When I released my book, one chapter really resonated with the audience, ‘Embrace the Hyphen’ – about my British-Nigerian identity.
“I realised so many of my friends and people I’m close to have similar hyphenated backgrounds, I wanted to find a way to turn this community into a brand and come up with the idea of a travel lifestyle brand Hyphenated People.”
Aluko continues to explain the core business and what fans can expect: “In terms of what I want Hyphenated products to be, it’s wash-bags, hand luggage, backpacks, passport holders – those things that are personal to you when you travel.”
At the official launch event, Aluko talked about her focus on succeeding in business: “It’s exciting but overwhelming that Hyphen is becoming real. I was lucky enough to reach the pinnacle of my sport but now I’m doing this side hustle with a new brand. I’m really excited to start this journey and hopefully get to the top of the mountain with that too.”
Side Hustles is Budweiser’s first original series commission in the UK. It was developed and produced by Renowned Films and Ten Toes Media in partnership with The Story Lab and DAZN Media.
The docu-series follows football stars Wilfried Zaha, Eniola Aluko and Tyrone Mings as they build a legacy away from the pitch through their passion project business ventures.
Check out the full episode below: