8 African Soccer Players Who Are Philanthropists

8 African Soccer Players Who Are Philanthropists

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There are many African soccer player who have a strong philanthropic spirit, and who do a great deal for communities around Africa through various foundations and charitable acts or events that they organise, helping to raise funds or awareness by using their fame and popularity.

Many of these players return to where they grew up to provide support for communities and give back to the fans who have contributed to their rise in the sport.

Others have a specific cause that they feel passionate about, while some take on infrastructure projects such as building hospitals and schools for the benefit of their countrymen and women, as well as other Africans on the continent.

We look at a list of soccer players past and present who have given back to others thanks to the fame and fortune that came with their professional sporting career.

Source: TheTelegraph, WFP, TheGuardian, BBC, GhanaWeb, Independant.

Drogba is famous for giving back – flickr.com

Didier Drogba – Cote D’Ivoire

The Ivorian striker is well known for his activities to give back to communities in his homeland, but he has gone above and beyond the typical activities in his plans to open five hospitals in the country. The first facility was officially opened in Abidjan, with the other four to provide medical services to communities in Yamoussoukro, San Pedro, Man and Korhogo.

Lucas Radebe
Lucas Radebe is a kind man – youthvillage.co.za

Lucas Radebe – South Africa

The former Bafana Bafana and Leeds United captain is a player who displays a social conscience in many facets of society. He is a FIFA ambassador for the SOS Children’s Villages, while being involved with the Starfish organisation, Reach for a Dream Foundation and acting as the Hospice Palliative Care Association ambassador for South Africa. He is also on the Special Olympics board as an ambassador.

Mohamed Aboutrika
Mohamed Aboutrika makes himself available – backpagefootball

Mohamed Aboutrika – Egypt

The former Egyptian international is very popular in North Africa. He took part in the ‘Match Against Poverty’ with 40 other international stars to raise funds as part of a UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors programme, while always making himself available for other charity appearances. He is involved in various Public Service Announcements as an official WSP Ambassador for Hunger, helping to attract attention and raise money for anti-hunger initiatives.

Essien is popular amongst his peers – goal.com

Michael Essien – Ghana

Essien is a charitable individual who is softly spoken but well respected globally. The former Chelsea midfielder often organises fundraising soccer matches amongst many of the world’s top players to help raise funds for various initiatives, with children holding a special place in his heart. He is also the peace ambassador chosen by the African Union to promote peace in Africa.

Nwankwo Kanu
Nwankwo Kanu is passionate about heart health – thepfa.com

Nwankwo Kanu – Nigeria

The former Super Eagles star is well known in Nigeria and around Africa, and his impact has spread even wider than that. According to the Kanu Heart Foundation (KHF), which the player founded in response to a heart issue that was detected and corrected in himself during his time playing in Italy, ‘the KHF has had over 415 heart surgeries at an outstanding 98.5% success rate.’ He is in the process of building a cardiac hospital in Nigeria.

Samuel Eto'o Businessman
Samuel Eto’o, Businessman and Philanthropist – ivogueontv.blogspot.com

Samuel Eto’o – Cameroon

The striker has been an important philanthropist for his country, and for the West and Central African region in general. The Samuel Eto’o Foundation looks to benefit children in that part of Africa with a focus on healthcare services, education and the promotion of social inclusion through sports. He has also donated ambulances and has been involved in the construction of hospitals, while more recently he has been helping children who were victims of terrorist group Boko Haram.

Image: theguardian.com
Yobo has his own foundation – Image: theguardian.com

Joseph Yobo – Nigeria

The former Nigeria captain is known for his charitable spirit and willingness to involve himself in initiatives that benefit his people. The Joseph Yobo Charity Foundation has reportedly provided over 300 educational scholarships for students at various levels of the scholastic and varsity system. He also established a football academy in Ogoni, and it is clear that his philanthropic activities have young people and children in mind.

Adebayor has infrastructure projects in mind – wikimedia.org

Emmanuel Adebayor – Togo

The Togolese striker has a foundation of his own, which contributes to building infrastructure projects in Africa. An example of the type of charitable work he is involved with is the launching of two water projects in the twin cities of Hamile and Koro in Ghana, as well as various other infrastructure projects in his homeland.