Faith, Soccer, and Determination lead Gift Ndam to Nashville State and Beyond


Faith, soccer, and determination. Key pillars in the life of businessman and soccer executive Gift Ndam.

An immigrant to Tennessee from Nigeria, with a childhood spent in a refugee camp, Gift Ndam could have easily succumbed to these hardships. However, he is not one to rest on his laurels.

Faith, soccer, and determination. Key pillars in the life of businessman and soccer executive Gift Ndam.Ndam and his family left Nigeria, arriving in Memphis before eventually relocating to Middle Tennessee. After a life of movement and turbulence, Ndam often felt like a “lost little boy,” but he knew he wanted something more out of life.

“Finding a school like Nashville State was foundational,” Ndam said. “Limited resources (like Ndam had) are a problem...but it doesn’t stop you from chasing your dreams.”

Ndam enrolled at Nashville State and continued working a full-time job while also sharing one car with his parents and siblings. Quitting or giving up would have been the easy way, but taking on a challenge is part of Ndam’s DNA.

Steely determination to never give up took Ndam from Nashville State with an Associate of Science degree in Information Technology to Trevecca University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Information Technology and multiple masters.

“Nashville State paved the way for me,” Ndam said.

Growing up, Ndam and his family fled war-stricken Nigeria for a refugee camp in the neighboring country of Benin. There, Ndam found an outlet playing soccer with a ball made from any material he and his friends could find. Throughout his life, soccer remained a passion, and he used the skills honed in the refugee camp to help pay for his education at Trevecca.

Though there was no way to know it at the time, this focus and determination allowed Ndam's abilities to shine.

“Whatever it is you are looking for is also looking for you,” Ndam said. “Your gifts and talents are already inside of you. You just have to discover it.”

Now, Ndam uses his abilities to teach and inspire others. Currently, he serves as the owner and executive director for the Middle Tennessee-based TN Tempo Football Club and Academy, a semi-pro soccer team playing in the United Premier Soccer League. The football club also hosts multiple youth academies for various age groups and experience levels.

For Ndam, much of his success traces back to his time at Nashville State.

“My formation wouldn’t be what it is today if I did not start out at Nashville State,” he said. “I don’t think any other school would have prepped me for the journey I was about to start,” Ndam said.

With a relentless focus on his faith, family, and goals, there is no telling what bright future time will reveal for Gift Ndam.

“God used soccer to play a pivotal role in transforming my life, and I believe that God will continue to use soccer through me to reach more and more people,” Ndam said.

For any questions or to learn more about Tennessee Tempo FC, Gift can be reached by emailing


Photo: Joel Harris, Glass Image Photos 

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