In the first episode of African Voices Playmakers, a special edition of CNN’s African Voices Changemakers, Arit Okpo meets former African World Cup footballers who are making a difference in sport and in their communities
Arit Okpo of CNN African Voices Changemakers, meets former Nigerian footballer, Daniel Amokachi, who since his retirement has been making a difference in sport and his community.
Speaking with CNN, Daniel Amokachi, who started his professional career at the age of 17, noted that he has already passed on his love of the sport to his children. “It runs in the blood. My little girl is now playing football in school”, he said.
Even though he is no longer playing qualifying matches anymore, he still visits the Surulere Stadium often. CNN sees him play a friendly at the Adron Games, a three-day sporting event for which he is an ambassador.
Reminiscing about his experience playing in the World Cup, Amokachi says, “Playing for club is different from playing for a country, and football for us in Africa is a religion. Nobody can take that away from us.”
To the new generation of African footballers who could be confronted with racism within the sport, he advises, “You just have to find a way to jump the hurdle. Do what you can do in that game. The only way that we tackle this, is when you cross that white line, you should be the best that you can ever be.”
Also, in this special edition of African Voices Playmakers, Arit Okpo met with other iconic African footballers, Lucas Radebe of South Africa and Derek Boateng of Ghana, who shared their story and passion for football and their various communities.
Speaking with CNN, Lucas Radebe narrated his contribution to sport and his community introducing his ET Radebe Foundation which is aimed at empowering, motivating, and creating opportunities for young people through sports. He explained that nurturing talents should be everyone’s main focus other than material things.
Derek Boateng also shared his experience on how football saved his life, stating that children have to be helped and supported as football can take a lot of kids off the street and out of trouble. He currently works as a scout, hoping to give children the chance to change their lives for the better.
African Voices Playmakers airs on Saturday 17th December at 15:00 SAST. The show also airs at the following times; Sunday 18th December at 05:30 SAST and 20:30 SAST, and Monday 19th December at 05:00 SAST.