You don’t meet football legends like Kanu Nwankwo in the same shopping mall without a touch of fate. On August 10, in Haggai Sports Store in Lagos, I had the opportunity to meet Nigeria’s G.O.A.T and tap into his wealth of wisdom. I agreed with him mostly that youth development is nation-building and indeed for anyone who desires to support a country’s unity and togetherness.
Kanu Nwankwo is the most decorated Nigerian player, winning the prestigious Olympic Gold in Football in 1996, which affirmed Nigeria as a great football nation. Coming from the most humble background and having survived a heart problem at the peak of his career, Kanu of the glorious Arsenal fame knows all about struggles, winning and success. Today, Kanu is still connected to his roots, supporting not just grassroots football, but a whole lot more with the Kanu Heart Foundation.
Here’s a special message by Kanu Nwankwo on International Youth Day
On this International Youth Day, we must evaluate the impact of our individual and collective activities as regards engaging youth meaningfully. We cannot afford not to care or to sit on the fence if our interest in national unity and survival is truly at heart. With youths, now close to 70% of the population in Nigeria, Africa’s largest population c200million, an unemployment rate of about 35% is a ticking time bomb.
No one is too small to make a difference. Everyone can, in a small way or larger, support existing or create new programs and activities gearing towards creating jobs, nurturing entrepreneurs, improving standards of living and access to education and skill development. These activities should be the central focus of every individual and organisation determined to drive youth development forward.
Support should not only be thought of as just money or financially. Moral support, encouragement and volunteering or participating in various programs are major ways we all can make the next 365 days a much-improved one for youth development, our society and the world at a large.
In our social media world, we can further communicate and spread the gift of attention, care and kindness for others which are the ultimate demand for all willing to create a better world.
At Turf Season, our goal is to transform lives with education and career opportunities and we gladly celebrate with the youths all over the world on International Youth Day, August 12.
Written by Paschal Agonsi, the founder of Turf Season, a Football project empowering African Grassroots Talent with Education and Career Opportunities since 2015. Discover more at www.turfseason.com.
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