Sunday, 19 December 2010

African faces of American football giving back to their home countries

Nnamdi Asomugha of the Oakland Raiders, Madieu Williams of the Minnesota Vikings and NFL newcomer Ndamukong Suh of the Detroit Lions are distinguished members of the growing fraternity of NFL players with African roots.

Despite all their fame and fortune, the three players have not forgotten their African background -- Asomugha, Williams and Suh have been engaged in humanitarian work that has touched the lives of thousands, both in the U.S. and in Africa.

African Voices present the three NFL stars who let their ties with Africa show on and off the field.

Nnamdi Asomugha

The 29-year-old from Torrance, California, is considered to be one of the most formidable cornerbacks in the NFL. His exceptional athletic talent has earned him a three-year $45 million contract with the Raiders, making him the highest-paid cornerback in the league.

For the first-generation Nigerian, having deep roots in his African culture has helped him cope with success and kept him grounded.

When he was 25, Asomugha founded ACTS -- an annual college tour and mentoring program that provides low-income kids with the opportunity to visit college campuses around the U.S.

With the help of his mother, he also heads the OWIN initiative that helps orphans and widows in need in Nigeria and other African nations.

Through the Asomugha Foundation, that Nnamdi chairs, OWIN has raised money to feed, clothe and educate more than 5,000 Nigerian women and children.

This year, Asomugha won the NFL Players Association's highest honor for outstanding contributions to his team, community and country.

He says his work with the Asomugha Foundation will continue long after his football days come to an end.
"You don't stop -- it's not a job, it's not an occupation, it's a way of life," he told CNN. "It won't stop because it comes from the heart."


Ndamukong Suh

Standing at almost two meters tall, or 6 feet 7 inches and weighing around 136 kilos, or just shy of 300 pounds , 23-year-old Suh is the latest player of African descent to join the NFL. The defensive tackle, who was the second overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, grew up in a multi-cultural family, his father hailing from Cameroon and his mother from Jamaica.

"They're very similar and hard working cultures and helped me become the man I am today and instilled a lot of values into me, which is working hard and being very humble for the things that I've earned. And on top of that, never take anything for granted," Suh told CNN.

The Detroit Lions are hoping that Suh can strengthen the team's defense. But the natural athlete knows that it's just as important to help his team as it is to help his community.

In April, prior to the NFL Draft and before knowing how much money he would be making, Suh pledged $2.6 million to the University of Nebraska in a move designed to showcase his appreciation for the place where he played college football and majored in construction management.

Suh says he values education as much as football and hopes to spread his passion for learning to his father's homeland of Cameroon, even though he's never been there before.

"I would like to get back to Cameroon and more or less help in the education area," he says. "I know the education system isn't the very best and that's one of the reasons why my dad left the country and ventured off for a better education and came to Portland, so I think that's a big thing that needs to be somewhat addressed."

Madieu Williams

One of the highest-paid free safeties in the NFL, Williams left Sierra Leone when he was a child, shortly before the eruption of the country's civil war in early 1990s.

Yet, his love for the West African nation has stayed with him all these years.

A frequent visitor to Sierra Leone, Williams built an elementary school in 2009 in one of the poorest parts of Freetown, the city he was born.

"Every time I go to Sierra Leone and spend time with the school, I see a piece of myself in those children," he told CNN. "I don't feel far removed from Sierra Leone."

The school, which has four classrooms, running water and will be able to teach up to 170 students each year, is named after Williams' mother, a huge influence on his life.

"She would make me spend my birthday in soup kitchens, spending time with the elder -- I thought I should be receiving gifts or presents of some sort but, in a way, I was giving something to someone than receiving on that day that was supposed to be for me. And I think it taught me a valuable lesson."

Inspired by his mother's teachings of social awareness, Williams has developed a rich philanthropic work.
Every summer, he hosts his own youth football camp for 200 children free of charge where he teaches them the importance of sportsmanship, physical training and nutrition as well as the rules of the game.

And in November 2009 he donated $2 million to the University of Maryland -- where he played college football -- to create the Madieu Williams Center for Global Health Initiatives.

The center addresses public health issues in the two places that mean the most to him -- Sierra Leone and Maryland -- focusing on malaria, illiteracy, infant mortality and HIV/AIDS.

"Everybody has a story and everybody's story is quite unique," Williams tells of the NFL players with African roots that have established a solid presence in the league.

"At the end of the day, everybody is still grounded -- they know exactly where they came from, the history, the ancestry and its ties to Africa.

"In our own unique way we are trying to give back to Africa, to our own continent -- that's what it's all about, making a difference and making an impact."

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

James "Bone Crusher" Smith

-Former  WBA Heavyweight Boxing Champion

As well as being an ordained Minister (aince 1996), in 2002 he  started the non-profit organisation Champion For Kids which provide scholarships to high school students

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Dr Mark Crear

- 110 Metre Hurdler from USA
- Double Olympic Medalist (Silver -1996, Bronze-2000)
- PB 12.98

Mark founded In the Zone Performance Training, a consulting practice that helps companies, professionals and athletes overcome hurdles and improve their performance in the face of intense competition, pressure, fatigue and distraction.

Dr. Crear is an Ordained Minister who earned his Doctorate in Theology in 2002... As well as a Christian Counselor and Life Coach.

In addition, Dr. Crear is also a published Author, having penned his powerful and inspirational autobiography, Why My Silver Is Gold. Why My Silver is Gold is about overcoming the inevitable hurdles that we face throughout life.  His in-depth story will tug at the very strings of your emotions as he takes you through his life of abuse, abandonment, rejection and disappointments.

For further information

Roger Kingdom

- USA 110Metre Sprinter Hurdler
- Former World Record Holder (PB 12.92)
- Olympic Champion (1984, 1988)

Founded the Roger Kingdom Foundation Inc.

The Roger Kingdom Foundation Inc. is a not for profit organization that utilizes the athletic and academic platforms to empower under privileged youth to reach their highest potential.

Head of Track & Field Coach at California University

Cathy Freeman

-400 Metere Sprinter
- 4 x Commenwealth Champion, 1 x Olympic Champion (2000), 2 x World Champion (1997.1999)

Founded the Cathy Freeman Foundation in 2007.

The Catherine Freeman Foundation (CFF) is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to create pathways to a brighter future for Indigenous children. CFF works in collaboration with community organisations, businesses, schools and other philanthropists to provide educational and wellbeing opportunities for Indigenous children

Some of the projects currently being undertaken by the CFF are;

Project 1: Early Childhood Literacy Program

Project 2: Non Truancy Project

Project 3: After School Activity Program

Project 4: Education Scholarships

Project 5: Educational and Aspiration Tours

For further information on the above projects check the link below

Falilat Ogunkoya

- Retired 400Metre Sprinter
- Nigerian First Nigerian to win an individual medal at the Olympic Games
- 400 Mtere Bronze Medalist (Atlanta Olypics 1996)
- First and only Nigerian to win double medals in one Olympics

For doing our Nigeria and Africa proud in the world of sports, Falilat Ogunkoya was honoured with the Federal Republic of Nigeria National Honour of Member of the Order of the (MON)
The Traditional Ruler of her hometown in Ogun State honoured her with a chieftaincy title for her service to Nigerians and the humility at large.

Founded the Falilat Ogunkoya Foundation

Core Objectives of the Foundation

  1. To identify and nurture young Nigerians into world class athletes.
  2. To engage street kids in sports skills acquisition schemes with the hope of taking them off the street and making responsible citizens of them.
  3. To promote the welfare of active athletes and retired ones.
  4. To use sports to reduce violent conflicts, grug use and alcohol abuse among youths.
  5. To work with relevant agencies to offer education about the environment and HIV/AIDS using SPORTS.
  6. To duly promote the good image and products of the corporate sponsors of the Foundation.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Harry "Butch" Reynolds

- Former 400 Metre Sprinter and World Record Holder.
- Personal Best of 43.29
- Olympic Silver Medalist (from the Seoul 1988 Olympics)

Founded the Butch Reynolds Care for Kids Foundation.

The Care For Kids Foundation has three components: An After School Program, Club 400 and "Kids at Risk".

Basile Boli

- French National (of Ivorian descent)
- Defender
- Played for Auxerre, Monaco, Glasgow Rangers, and Marseille

Basile Boli Founded the Basile Boli Evenements in 2001.

Basile Boli Événements  (BBE) is a sport marketing agency , which is highly specialized in engineering events, supporting brands for activating their sport rights and producing commercial programs in relation to sport.

BBE is also an audiovisual production firm, which is recognized for producing sport and cultural television shows. One of our main goals is to implement actions in new media technologies and on different media supports.

Jason Roberts MBE

- Striker
- Currently at Blackburn. Has previously played for West Brom, Wigan, Bristol Rovers, Wolves, etc

Jason Roberts full quality.jpgJason Roberts

Founded the Jason Roberts Foundation in 2007. Its a registered charity in both the UK and Greneda.

The aims of the Foundation are as follows;

  • Provide opportunities for children and young people to participate in sports and cultural activities in the UK and in the Caribbean
  • Encourage young people in the UK and in Caribbean to participate in structured sporting activity, which will contribute to improving health and fitness, self esteem, confidence and social inclusion
  • Provide opportunities for young people to participate in learning programmes, which will enhance educational achievement
  • Develop a Sports Academy in Caribbean, which is accessible to children and young people across the island.
  • Work in partnership with key public, private and voluntary sector partners to deliver high quality provision

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Martin Dahlin

- Second black palyer to represent Sweden
- Striker
- Part of the Swedish national team that came 3rd in the 1994 World Cup

Martin Nathanial Dahlin current has his own clothing line Dahlin Clothing

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Leroy Burrell

- Former 100 Metre World Record Holder
- Personal Bests  100M 9.85,  200M 20.12, Long Jump  8.37M

Watch the race where he set the world record

Since his retirement  in 1998 he has replaced his old College Mentor  Tom Tellez, as coach of the University of Houston's track team. Burrell has led UH to 14 men’s Conference USA titles (nine indoor, five outdoor) and nine women’s titles (four indoor, five outdoor).

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Shaun Wright-Phillips

- Midlfielder
- England International
- Currently playing for Manchester City


The England and Manchester City footballer Shaun Wright-Phillips has been the Ambassador of Education for the Children Foundation since 2007.

He has been out to the project twice- in June 2007 and again in June 2008.  He is a dedicated fundraiser and has been instrumental in raising awareness for the Foundation as well as holding several events to raise much needed funds.  Shaun also sponsors a whole class of primary children.

The Sodjie Family

Samuel Okeremute Sodje

- Defender
- Currently at Charlton FC

Efetobore "Efe" Sodje

- Defender
- Currentky playing for Bury FC

Idoro Akpoeyere Ujoma "Akpo" Sodje

- Striker
- Currently playing for Charlton Athletic F.C

File:Akpo Sodje.png

Founded The Sodjie Sports Foundation

The Sodje family mostly grew up in the Warri Delta State in Nigeria.  An extraordinary family proudly producing six professional sportsmen. Recognising the opportunities of their success the Sodje family want to give back to their local community, the family mission is to build a sports academy in Warri.  The accademy will help raise awareness of the importance of healthy living, and through sport participation, messages and leadership skills will be shared with community members to help improve livelihoods in Nigeria.

Dwain Chambers

Founded Chambers of Sports

Chambers of Sport is a new academy, which is organised by Dwain Chambers and his coach Daniel Plummer. The aim of the academy is to inspire youngsters to get involved in sport and maximise their personal potential.

A series of training packages have been developed with tiers ranging from Bronze to Platinum level.
We will be providing training for clubs, personal coaches and individuals/Athletes at all levels who feel that they will benefit from an experience at the Chambers of Sport Academy.

At Chambers of Sport we believe that sport can help improve social development, confidence, self esteem and nurture natural ability.

Stimulating these areas will become useful outside of their individual sporting experience and help to better themselves in their future endeavours.

David James

- Goalkeeper
- England International
- Currently playing for Portsmouth

Founded The David James Foundation

In 2005, footballer David James visited the country of Malawi along with Rio Ferdinand and Gary Neville as part of an initiative by the FA to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS. What he saw there inspired him to found the David James Foundation.

In 2005 Footballer David James visited the country of Malawi along with Rio Ferdinand and Gary Neville as part of an initiative by the FA to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS. What he saw there inspired him to found the David James Foundation
After bringing together a small UK team including agricultural expert Nick Rew as head of project management, the David James Foundation established a farming centre in Blantyre, South Malawi. This centre is where we hold a majority of our trial tests to investigate the best farming practices. This includes improving irrigation, new crops, selective breeding and better use of seeds and fertilisers. The centre is based at the site of the Samaritans Trust in Blantyre so that our work can benefit this charity too.

Since 2005, the David James Foundation has expanded. We now have a full time team based in the UK, headed up by David, Nick and UK trustee Steve Astbury. From the beginning, DJF media production has been handled by Karl Lear at Pangaea TV with Simon Hammett and Becky Tyers joining the growing team in recent years

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Mohammed Kallon

  • Footballer
  • Sierra Leone National
  • Played for Inter Milan, Reggina, Vicenza, etc

Founded the Mohammed Kallon Childrens Foundation

The Mohamed Kalleone Children’s Foundation is a Non Governmental Organization that was born out of the need to help under-privileged children in this Nation.

The Country is picking up from the brutal and inhuman atrocity that she was faced with some eleven years ago.

In a bid to contribute to the multiple issues:
Ranging from a crippled economy, unemployment, clean water supply, to mention but a few that the country is attending to, a prime issue is that of Sierra Leone’s Children who are under-privileged and homeless and are prune to many dangers that lurk in the streets of Freetown.

It is in a bid to combat this predicament that befalls Africa and Sierra Leone in particular, the Sierra Leonean professional footballer; Mohamed Kallon who hails from the same vice to becoming a ‘Gem’ is setting up this foundation to aid these children.

The foundation has as her major financier, Mohamed Kallon who is the President and Founder, and the Director Berlindo Percival-Deigh and his team (Staff). It also has well meaning personalities such as George Opong Weah, Obafemi Martins, Emmanuel Adebayo, Nwanko Kanu, Aki Noah and Brima Manzola Kamara, who have pledged to serve as Patrons of this organization

Founded The Kalleone Group of Companies

The Kalleone Group of Companies is the umbrella body of the various companies own by Mohamed Kallon. It is the administrative and central body to and from which all activities of the various companies are coordinated.
  • Kalleone Radio 105.7FM
  • Newspaper
  • Kalleone Sports Shop & Pharmacy
  • FC Kalleone Football Club
  • Entertainment Complex
  • Kallbox Records

Shabani Nonda

  • Footballer
  • Congolese National
  •  Previously played for AS Monaco, Blackburn, AS Roma, etc

Shabani Nonda Foundation

The award of the FIFPro Merit Award to the Shabani Nonda Foundation was greeted with a standing ovation at the FIFPro Congress in Budapest last November. For some ten years now, Shabani has been dedicating his fame and his energy to organizing a football tournament unlike any other in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

'Without the volunteers who work throughout the year, there wouldn’t be a tournament', stressed the DRC’s international striker when he visited the UNFP offices in Paris last Wednesday to pick up his prize, a cheque for 25,000 dollars.

It’s no secret to anyone that the former Stade Rennes and AS Monaco player wants to come back to France to finish off his brilliant career, which has taken him to Italy (AS Roma), England (Blackburn Rovers) and recently Turkey (Galatasaray).

'This tournament was born of a memory and an observation. When I was young, the school holidays were usually synonymous with boredom. My buddies and I had nothing to do, other than all those silly things one does at that age. Fortunately, some football tournaments that were organized here and there helped us shake off our lethargy. Those were genuine moments of shared pleasure and joy, but they were all too rare.'

Keeping young people busy for a few days wasn’t enough for Shabani Nonda : 'Absenteeism from school is a massive problem in our country. Yet we all know that children who have attended school, who can read, write and count correctly, are better prepared to face the future, even if they don’t go on to pursue lengthy study. Our initiative, during and at the end of the tournament, obviously doesn’t resolve all the problems, but it helps remotivate a lot of boys, restoring their taste for study. They are visibly more receptive, or at least that’s the opinion of some parents, who encourage us and are asking us to expand the scope of our activities.'

Using football - their passion - to encourage children to get back on track at school, to give them the power to stick at it and take it as far as possible, that’s the goal of Shabani Nonda and his Foundation. At the end of the tournament, the prizes awarded to the young people are such as will encourage them to become good students at school: exercise books, pencils, school uniforms, bags etc.

'It would be ideal', Shabani acknowledges in conclusion, 'to extend the experiment to cover the whole country. At present, we are working with the 24 districts that form the urban centre of Kinshasa, and we can’t go beyond that. It’s a matter of resources, financial on the one hand, human on the other, because all of our voluntary workers are already giving up a lot of their time. I’ll see what we’ve been able to do once my career is over, but I know that some of my teammates could take up the idea on their own account in other cities of our country. And that would suit me fine.'

Eddie Pope

  • Footballer
  • USA National
Eddie Pope cropped.jpg

The Eddie Pope Foundation

The Eddie Pope Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization serving youth in underserved communities. In these communities there are young people at risk of becoming victims or perpetrators of violence; drug abusers or dealers; teen parents and/or products of poor educational opportunities. These communities are an untapped source of creative, intelligent, ambitious, and positive young people. The foundation wants to "tap" this source and develop the minds, bodies and spirits of these kids. We do this through after school and summer programs centered around soccer and learning life skills. Our programs currently serve between 300 to 350 young people in two locations: Washington, D.C. and High Point, North Carolina.

All costs associated with The Eddie Pope Foundation are absorbed by the Foundation. All of our participants are residents of public housing or low-income communities and are not required to pay fees. The majority of the money we raise is used for the programs. We are currently a volunteer run organization with one paid staff member.
The Foundation is continuing to grow, future plans include:
  1. partnering with pre-selected Head Start programs; and
  2. partnering with pre-selected programs in the Salt Lake City, Utah area; and
  3. creating a need-based youth sponsorship program
The Eddie Pope Foundation focuses completely on program development and is not a grant-making organization. We hope you enjoy reading more about us and how we are serving the young people in OUR communities.

Bruny Surin

  • Athlete
  • 50/60/100M Sprinter
  • Canadian National

The Bruny Surin Foundation

The Bruny Surin Foundation aims to help advance children in their education by providing bursaries for students of secondary and post secondary schools while also providing them conferences on the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Further, the Foundation is leading the way to a public awareness campaign, especially for the youngsters, so they may realize the full benefit of a healthy and active life, stimulate them to adopt this kind of lifestyle, and improve global health, which will have the advantage of allowing a better socialization and an integration in society and keeping youngsters far from the mirage of easy temptation of artificial pleasure so current in today's society. The Foundation does the promotion of physical and sporting activities in schools and in workshops to encourage so as youngsters to improve physical health and by doing so, accomplish the purpose of the Foundation.

  • To grant scholarships in order to provide financial support to youngsters to help them pursue and complete their studies and fight against dropouts of school
  • Grant sports scholarships as a financial support to the young studying athlete, to allow them to pursue their studies and support them, especially to succeed in their studies and also stimulate them in their sports goals
  • Through public awareness and educational prevention, specially among the youngsters, to educate them of the benefit of an active and healthy lifestyle and improve both their physical and emotional health and urge them to adopt that lifestyle and integrate well in society
  • Receive donations, legacy or any other contribution of same nature in money, movable or property, manage such donation, legacy or contribution, organize a subscription campaign in order to collect charity funds pursued by the Foundation
  • Collect funds from partners and donators to serve members of the population to organize the above mentioned activities
For more information checkout and

Clarence Seedorf

Champions For Children
The projects undertaken by Champions for Children are inspired by the
recognition of fundamental rights for every child, and characterized by their focus on education rather than merely on emergency assistance.
Construction of schools, sports centers and facilities where children can acquire an education and develop their potential are all key focal points for Champions. Funds are earmarked for projects that provide sanitary assistance, education, sports education, schooling, professional (vocational) formation, long-distance adoption and educational scholarships.

The Champions Playground’s mission is to encourage the act of participating in sport and physical activity which results in youths developing positive future expectation; by way of teaching life skills which helps create healthier communities. It is not the sport itself that is magical, it is the experience of sport that facilitates this result.

Life Skill Set Addressed:
- Communication and interpersonal skills.
- Decision-making and critical thinking, problem solving.
- Coping and self-management skills.

Children learn physical skills while enhancing their knowledge of working with others, fairness, team play, self-discipline, goal setting and leadership. A recipe for a successful life and healthy community.
Practicing skills leads to real behaviors. Learning by doing is the most e effective method.
Ever since the Romans we have known that exercise is beneficial to the body, as well as the mind. We intend to help the world’s youth exercise their intellect.
Exercise not only provides a positive impact on health and physical development, but it also improves most bodily systems. For example, learning and memory are increased because the brain receives numerous benefits from regular participation in exercise.
There is an ongoing effort among educators to find new ways to academic performance. New strategies and techniques are constantly being researched in an effort to increase learning during childhood and adolescence. Numerous studies have shown that exercise increases memory and learning, however, it is often overlooked as an enhancement strategy.


A model has been developed in collaboration between the Catholic University of Milan and the University of the Western Cape.

Local needs assessed - three main pillars:
(social and community integration)
(nutrition and hygiene)
(social recovery and acquisition of professional skills)

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Bruce Dyer


Bruce commenced an amazing football journey playing for Watford and went on to sign a historic deal in UK football history as the first teenager to be sold for over a million pounds. (£1.25 million to be exact) Bruce also played for the England under 21’s 11 times scoring for major goals as well playing for Barnsley, Stoke City, Sheffield United, Doncaster, Chesterfield and York. His career that spanned 17 years with 469 appearances with 117 goals.

After retiring Bruce felt the need to start a company that would cater to enhancing social activity with a godly ethos. The company was named Love Life based on the bible verse John 10:10 where Jesus said He had come to give life and life that was more fulfilling. Bruce saw areas in christian entertainment that were untapped, and decided to host a ‘Roller Gospel’ event after attending a regular Roller Disco in London with his older brother. The first event in August 2008 was a roaring success with hundreds in attendance and the success has continued with skaters travelling from various parts of the UK.
In September 2009 Love Life hosted a tailor made event titled “An Evening with Nigel & Caroline Benn’ consisting of a three course meal, life entertainment and Nigel and Caroline sharing their life journey and story. Nigel’s story of success, becoming the World Super middle weight champion amidst many personal challenges made a great impact.

Love Life UK continue to host Roller Gospel Events with the next event marking their 2nd anniversary taking place on Bank Holiday Monday 30th August 2010 titled Roller Gospel Blitz The Reunion. For details please visit:

I’ll be spinning some of the finest gospel music alongside Dj Divine Influence; Proclaima and Kelechi at the event.

In the near future Love Life UK intends to expand to various areas of Christian entertainment and social activity.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

European based Black Sports Stars with Black Wives/Girlfriends

Nélson de Jesus Silva aka Dida

- Former Brazilian National Team Goalkeeper
- First Team Goalkeeper for AC Milan from 2000 - 2010 (206 appearances)

Didier Drogba

- Striker
- Currently playing for Chelsea

Clarence Seedorf

- Currently playing for AC Milan

Ayegbeni Yakubu

Sulley Muntari

Samuel Eto'o

Solomon Kalou

Austin Jay Jay Okocha

Gael Clichy

Rigbert Song

Garth Crooks

Kenwyne Jones

His wife is the lady on the right.

Andy Cole

Lennox Lewis

Shaka Hislop

Lucas Redabe

Feziwe Radebe © Gallo Images

RIP Feziwe Redabe who passed away 2008 after a long battle with bowel cancer.

Quinton Fortune

Lillian Thuram

Damien Francis

DamienFrancisandRachelRitfeld.jpg Damien Francis and Rachel Ritfeld image by coluressade

Samuel Kuffour

Nigel De Jong

Urby Vitorrio Diego Emanuelson
- Dutch Winger , currently at Ajax

Kew Rafique Jaliens
- Dutch Defender who currently plays for AZ

Luís Miguel Brito Garcia Monteiro
- Portuguese National, currently palying as a Defender for Valencia FC

Patrick Viera

Williams Gallas

Marlon King

Emile Heskey

The mother of his child

His current girlfriend

El Hadj Diouf

George Weah and his wife Clar Weah