African Families: Assets or Liabilities to Football Stars


Togo’s most celebrated football star of all time, Emmanuel Adebayor, has been very vocal lately in condemning his family of, amongst others, ingratitude. He has vehemently vented his anger on his family for publicly crying of neglect from his part and not long ago in the past blamed his mother for a black magic curse that has showered him with a goal drought at club side, Tottenham Hotspurs.

This is just one in a series of many professional soccer players who have complained of having being ruined or bankrupted by their own family and leads us to question if African families are assets to its soccer players or purely a death trap!

To better understand this phenomenon, one has to be an African that has grown up in Africa. As a westerner would never understand why a family member should expect, as an obligation, any form of financial help from a successful family member.

In the western world, it is normal and everywhere you look by the way, to see a man’s responsibilities limited to him, his wife and kids. This same man could be a multi-millionaire while his brothers and sisters from direct lineage, live on welfare and are jobless.

Not only will our case study example man above see that as normal but the suffering sibling might think so too!

Africa is totally different. We have a very communal style of life where many regard your wealth as that of your family members also and see it as normal to share your wealth around, Footballers are no exception. Is this Fair?

When a Nigerian Ibo man sets out to start a business, family members chip in their share for the needed Capital and morale support and subsequently when he eventually succeeds, he not only does same to the next family member but compensates the source of his capital.

When a soccer player leaves the shores of Nigeria or Africa to play in Europe, 9 out of ten have their capital paid for by the Inviting club or Manager in Europe. Football is different.

Rarely can any family member give a pro footballer morale or technical advice on his trade due to logistical problems or lack of technical know-how.

Footballers generally make it on their own with little help from Family members unless the parents bare coaches.

Today it is much better as parents now buy sport equipment’s for their kids as investments hoping he will grow up to be the next Adebayor, Samuel Eto’o,Jay Jay Okocha or maybe Sunday Oliseh 😉

Our generation, prior to the current one, got punished for going out to play football talk less of support. A generation which Adebayor falls under.

African Footballers, I feel, have to remain Africans in spirit and help out their families as much as they can.There is a blessing in sharing but they should know how they share.

Continuous giving of money to family members will only drain you out, rather put them through school by directly paying the school fees yourself. Open Businesses for them only after you have proof that they have a talent for that particular trade and be strong headed in letting them know immediately they have had their share of the cake.

Education is synonymous to information. The best way to help your family is to get them educated and kind of like work with the philosophy that it is better to teach a man how to fish than give him fish.

In general, footballers have an ego problem which is born of the fact that they are entertainers and need or crave public commendation and adolation.This is a known handicap as it sometimes make them want to spend and give more than they really have to friends and family.

There have been cases of players exaggerating their wages or lifestyle to be adulated and eventually, the need to meet up makes them over spend and save less.

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As an African, your family is always an asset to you, it all depends on how you manage it. As long as a gun is not put at your head to spend your earnings you are responsible for your viability or bankruptcy!



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May 22, 2015 7:57 am Published by

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