Remember your roots Mr Adebayor

JOHANNESBURG - The subject that is going to dominate football columns in coming weeks is that of Barcelona star Lionel Messi.

The little master stunned the global audience with his scintillating skills during the first leg of the semi-final of the European Champions League between Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

With the tantalising encounter apparently heading for a goalless draw, the little Argentine stood up and showed millions of those watching on the night why he is considered the best player on the planet at the moment.

Those in favour of Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo will still beg to differ though arguing, yes Messi had a terrific night but normally has his own days like that as well – point in case the league match against Valencia where he single-handedly won them the crucial three points.

I was also tempted to join the bandwagon and sing the praises of the humble star who has been dubbed a god or an extra-terrestrial but will not.

I will rather focus on a sad story which emerged this week regarding our football stars when they make it big in Europe.

I am talking here of the Emmanuel Adebayor case where members of his family are accusing the maverick star of forgetting where he comes from.

Accusations and counter-accusations have been thrown back and forth and even as I write this piece, I don’t know who is telling the truth.

Just for background information; the Togolese family have gone public that Adebayor, who is earning millions at Tottenham Hotspurs, has completely forgotten his struggling family back in West Africa as he enjoys life in England.

They say he has thrown members of his family out of his residence and hardly looks after his ailing mother.

And in his defence, the tall striker this week – most probably with the help of a spin doctor – lists a number of instances he has come to the rescue of his family which include flying his mother to England to see his newly born and bailing most of them out financially.

As a result, the saga has evoked widespread debate with others saying the player had done enough while others insist, in African customers he who has is by tradition obliged to constantly look after the family for their blessings and good luck.

I am in no position to prescribe on what is the best for families but given the resources, I am not afraid to say I will spoil those I am closely related to. It is my duty as an African child.

Stories have been told of how most stars when they make it big overseas completely forget those they left behind and I am tempted to say, rightly or wrongly, that I find Adebayor’s explanation this week a bit hollow.

For instances, who did he want to buy his mother a ticket to Europe to see his newly born? He asked the sister to stay in his house in Ghana but what about her continuous upkeep?

What made him not ask his club for compassionate leave to go and bury his late brother instead of just sending money?

One Nigerian friend this week spoke about how most players make millions in Europe but a few years down the line, are penurious, down and out; all because of their overseas advisors.

And when that happens who is the first to take you back - your immediate family for sure.

See the story of the Prodigal Son! Need I say more!

Yes, Messi had a night to remember for all football fans but this Adebayor issue is closer to home and I honestly hope the two parties smoke a piece pipe and live happily together again because that is how we do in African culture.

And instead of rushing to the newspapers, Adebayor must walk the talk. He must do all the talking with his actions towards his struggling family.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.