Location: Lagos, Nigeria.
CUE: Over the years Nigeria has witnessed an exodus of soccer players who left the country to ply their trade in Europe and other rich nations. When these players return upon retirement or represent the Super Eagles in international tournaments, hopes are high back home – both their peers and the community that made them, expecting something in return for their support. One such player is Super Eagles’ captain Mwanku Kanu, who started a heart foundation in Lagos. Reporter Scara Johannes-Matundu, from NBC Radio, travelled to Nigeria to find out more.
FX: SOUND OF FOOTBALL MATCH – 00:05”
[PLAY AND FADE UNDER VOICE]
LINK: When the former Arsenal player, Mwanku Kanu, was diagnosed with a heart problem that threatened his soccer career, so many doctors gave him no hope. However, he believed he could be heeled and after a successful surgery he went on to set up a heart foundation here in his home town Lagos. The Director of the Kanu Heart Foundation is Onyebuchi Abia, the man who bought Kanu his first soccer boots.
CLIP1: ABIA – 00:30” “In when Kanu was diagnosed…………….he established……….”
LINK: The Foundation has gone on to give back hope and a good reason to many Nigerians and other African people to live, by sending them to various clinics around the world free of charge. According to Abia this has been one of the successes of the foundation since its inception.
CLIP2: ABIA – 00:30 “….about 360 people have been cured………….and 600 are on waiting list.”
LINK: Onyebuchi Abia, the director of the Kanu Heart Foundation in Lagos, speaking to Scara of the Twenty Ten All Stars team.
The Director says the foundation is also working towards establishing a heart clinic in Lagos to ensure that future surgeries are carried out in Lagos to cut out on foreign exchange expenses. Then it was time to search for other ex-Eagles players and find out more on their trial and tribulation since leaving the field of play. It was then time to hit the busy Lagos roads again to go to the Atinuke Ikpeba Villa, the residence of former Monaco striker Victor Ikpeba.
FX: Lagos Street sound – 00:05” [PLAY AND FADE UNDER VOICE]
LINK: The warm welcoming Victor Ikpeba says not all ex-Super Eagles players need to have ploughed back to their communities or influence young players as some of them have not gone on to do well or have changed their living styles.
CLIP 1: IKPEBA – 00:30 “….not all ex-players can plough back………..the systems are corrupt…..”
FIX: Ikpeba says although some ex-players can go on to help in the development of football in Africa, the problem lies with the corrupt African Football Associations, saying that first a modus of operandi should be mapped out.
CLIP 2: IKPEBA – 00:30 “…. former player need be invited……. former players can be involved.”
LINK: After looking at what former soccer players were up to, it was time to get the feeling of young and upcoming players. Meanwhile, at the Pepys Soccer Academy in Lagos City suburb of Agege, a young and upcoming soccer star, Alu Alaye, says that he models his game around the powerful and fast paced, Abafemi Martins.
FIX: SOCCER ACADEMY SOUND
CLIP: ATU – 00:10 “….I model my game on Martins……. he has power and speed …….”
LINK: Twenty Ten then took to the soccer playing fields of Lagos to gauge the public’s view point on these 2 issues raised. Do ex-soccer players plough back into the country? Do soccer players have an influence on young upcoming players?
FIX: Meanwhile, a Coach of the Zion Football Club, Atim Atah, says that as much as players would need role models, at times it is important to be guided by their own ambitions as they at times do not know what such would be role models had under gone.
CLIP 2: ATAH– 00:20 “….ex-players have motivated young players………not always that players need role models”
LINK: As Abia would have it repeatedly, if players with heart like Kanu are to reach more and more needy people, the Kanu initiative will need support from the rest of Nigerian, particularly the corporate world.
Reporting for Twenty Ten from Lagos, Nigeria I am Scara Johannes-Matundu.