A brand new feature where we get to know the person behind the player …
What’s your earliest memory?
My earliest memory is going to Disneyland Paris with all the family when I was about five or six years old. It was a good time and good memories for me. I remember going on all the rides and having my picture taken with Mickey and all the other cartoon characters, so I was very happy.
What sort of child were you?
I was a quiet child. I would always listen to my parents. I used to like sports and running, but I was always very respectful.
What are you best at outside of football?
Outside football, I like to run things. I’ve got a few businesses already and I’m interested in finances. I’ve got an import/export company in Africa, dealing with wood and nuts. And I’ve got a few properties in France.
What would you like to be better at?
I would like to have more patience maybe. I lose my patience quite quickly, so maybe more patience.
Tell us a secret about yourself?
I used to do gymnastics when I was young. I did it for a few years, so now I’m quite flexible. I also used to like ninja movies and stuff like that.
What is your most treasured possession?
I would say my family – my wife and my son. They are the most important things to me. I’m a family man, so my parents, my brother, my sister, my wife and my child.
Who is the biggest star name in your phone book?
I would say Miralem Pjanic of AS Roma. We played together in the same Academy in France. I think he’s the biggest one, or maybe Craig Bellamy.
What has been your most embarrassing moment?
When I missed my penalty for Cardiff against Liverpool in the Carling Cup final. I felt very alone on the pitch after that. And frustrated. It’s the only penalty I’ve missed in my career.
Who do you most admire?
When I was young, I used to like Thierry Henry. But I haven’t really got any idols now. It’s not allowed in my religion to have someone except God who you admire. I admire some things from my dad, because he never gives up, and some things from my mum, because she looked after us very well, but otherwise I haven’t got anyone that I admire.
Your room, your football boots and your car – which do you clean first?
My room. I like it when things are tidy and my missus is the same.
Could you survive in the wild on your own?
Yes, I could. When I was young, I used to live in a rural place and I used to like to go outside and do stuff, so I’m ok with this. I’m not afraid!
What kind of people do you dislike?
Disrespectful people, arrogant people and selfish people.
What makes you angry?
Disrespectful people, arrogant people and selfish people. In all seriousness, I don’t get angry very easily. Maybe my son when he doesn’t listen to me.
How many close friends do you have?
About six or seven very close friends from back in France when I was young. I’ve got the same friends from when I was between five and 15 years old.
What is the funniest thing that you have seen recently?
There’s nothing I can really think of. I’ve been watching a few hip-hop prank videos, where some young white guys go into the hood. They are quite funny.
What is the worst/best decision you have ever made?
The best decisions I have made are getting married, having my son and being a Muslim. And signing for Blackburn, of course. I think a lot before I do something, so I don’t really have any worst decisions.
What has been your most bizarre life experience?
Seeing five guys on the back of a moped in Africa, none of them wearing any protection, but the police didn’t say anything!
What are three things that you would like to do before you die?
Be sure that my family are going to have a good life, go to Mecca and maybe do a trip all around the world with my wife and my son.
What team(s) do you support outside of football?
I watch different sports, but I haven’t got one team that I support. Arsenal was the team I supported when I was young, because of Thierry Henry.
Are you an animal person? Do you have any pets?
Not so much. My parents have got a dog which used to be mine, but I gave it to them and now they don’t want to give him back. But it’s better like this!
What last kept you awake at night?
My son. He couldn’t sleep. He’d been to the doctors recently and he couldn’t sleep very well, so he kept me awake.
What is the toughest decision you have had to make recently?
Getting married. It wasn’t a tough decision, but you think about it a lot. It’s one of the biggest decisions in your life.
What film, no matter how many times you’ve seen it, do you have to watch when it’s on?
La Ligne Verte. Or in English – The Green Mile, with John Coffey. Good film.
Tell me about the last time a team-mate got angry with you. What happened?
Probably Yann Songo’o. When we do boxes, I like to go in hard on him a bit, so he gets angry.
What business would you love to start?
I would like to do a football school in Benin in Africa. When I’m older and I can run it properly.
Did you have any other jobs when you were younger?
Yes, I used to work with my dad in a fishery. During the winter, it was hard and cold. I dealt with the finances – not selling the fish!
Could you find your way around a foreign country using just a map?
Yes, no problem.
What are you most proud of?
My son. Being a dad.
What is your idea of fun? If given a chance to skip training for a day, how would you spend your day off?
Really when I have a day off, I just like to rest with the family. I like to go for food and go to the park with my son. I’m quite a quiet person, I don’t like to do crazy things. When it’s summer, I like to have fun with my friends – go on holiday, go jet-skiing, go to parties, that kind of stuff.
What is the weirdest thing you have ever eaten?
I tried a dish in Africa and it was disgusting. They call it Gumbo. It’s green and you don’t want to eat it!
If you could eliminate one thing from your daily schedule, what would it be and why?
Driving from my home in Manchester to the training ground. It’s far away, so if I could eliminate that it would be better.
What's the one thing you can't live without?
Would you rather...
... skip Christmas for a year or skip your birthday for a year?
… live without your computer/laptop or your television for the rest of your life?
Live without TV, because I can watch TV on my laptop.
… be able to fly whenever you want or be invisible?
… have a beautiful house and ugly car or ugly house and beautiful car?
Beautiful house and ugly car.
... visit the world 1,000 years into the past or 1,000 years into the future?
... be rich and ugly or poor and good looking?
Rich and ugly.
… go sky diving or deep-sea diving?
… have a chef or a cleaner?