‘The Boy Done Good’ – Emmanuel Adebayor
A player who has been labelled nearly as hard work as Nicolas Anelka and has been at more than a couple of Premier League clubs is not someone you would necessarily expect to be one of the most charitable footballers around – yet Tottenham Hotspur‘s Emmanuel Adebayor is such a man, with projects not just in one part of Africa but all over.
Having been born in a less than privileged situation himself, it is not surprising to see the Togo striker return home and try to help right some of the wrongs that have been occurring in his country, yet the lengths to with he has gone to not just in Togo but all over Africa is something that simply cannot go unmentioned.
The player himself keeps blogs and updates to allow followers and sponsors to know exactly what is going on, why he is helping and the progress that is being made, leaving the public in no doubt as to how much work the player puts in and exactly what results are being yielded from such effort.
The player states that it is ‘normal to help people’ and has built everything from homes to hospitals to schools in Togo and has lent his hand to helping Essien’s Promote Peace in Africa campaign, now turning his attention to the situation in the Ivory Coast where 50,000 were forced to flee their homes and thousands more are killed. Such horrors has inspired the player to set up the Ivorie Sport Promotion which not only pays the school fees of multiple orphans but also gives over a hundred of them somewhere to live – in the house donated by the player.
More than giving money however, the player is adamant he will make people aware of the situation in Africa and the plight suffered by the people there. With the fame and profile Adebayor has, he is in the perfect situation to do this, and unlike so many others who do nothing, the striker is actually making a difference and is speaking out.
There was a three day festival in Ghana this summer to mark the start of yet another foundation – the Emmanuel Adebayor Foundation, and the player was adamant that the maximum amount of publicity wand awareness would be attained with fellow players also in attendance for a foundation which this time aims to focus on the situation in Ghana and follow on from the projects he has already been involved in there including commissioning a water project the year before.
When in contract negotiations with Manchester City, he was accused of asking for far too much money and responded by stating the issue was over him asking the club to donate £50,000 per week to his charity in Togo. The player is fully aware of how much money he is capable of earning and is determined not to get the maximum in order to line his bank balance but to help the causes closest to his heart and his charities.
Adebayor is not only involved in the foundations he has created but also personally spoke out after the disastrous shooting of the Togo team bus and deaths of multiple players, and in the wake of this did everything in his power to help. In a world of footballers who make the front pages for all kinds of unsavoury activity both on and off the field it is refreshing to see a player that is not only puts in his time and money but also is willing to stand up and speak out in order to really see if things can change. Footballers in Africa have an extraordinary amount of influence and power, it is just a shame Adebayor is the exception rather than the rule in using this.