Nigerian footballer playing in the Spanish La Liga is spending his high salary not on fast cars and big houses, but on the less privileged children in the community where he grew up.
Ikechukwu Uche, who plays at Getafe, was born in Aba, Abia State, south-eastern Nigeria
Aba, arguably the commercial nerve of Nigeria has also produced international footballers like Obinna Nwaneri, Kalu Uche, Onyekachi Apam and Onyekachi Okonkwo, as well is home to double African Champions Enyimba.
Beset by several challenges like bad roads and lack of electricity, Aba remains the best city in the world for the soft-spoken Uche.
For him, deprivation appears in clear context after a tough childhood and each day he steps back into a little piece of his past and considers himself lucky to have made fame and fortune from football.
Recently, the 25-year-old continued a five-year trend by visiting the Ngwa Road Motherless Babies Home, in Aba.
The soft-spoken Uche presented food and cash donations there as the kids sprawled and swarmed around him.
This Motherless home is one of all ‘Nine Homes’ the Super Eagle regularly donates to in his hometown state of Abia, donations he often makes in an anonymous position.
“I consider myself to be very lucky in life and where else to spend my holiday than with people who are not as fortunate as myself,” says Ikechukwu Uche.
“The truth is these kids don’t have parents, so who cares? I guess we need to put ourselves in their shoes for a day. “The government has done what they can but each individual needs to make an impact and contribution as well, we must not always wait for the authorities.
“This place, like thousands across the country, need a fresh water supply that will prevent disease from spreading. They also need other things, and I will look into one or two of those while am still around.”
Uche admits he could feel a sense of de javu there and the pulse of these kids.
The year 2003 turned out to be a dark one in his life as he and his older brother Kalu Uche lost both parents in the space of three months, to the cold hands of death.
It’s been six years now but the ugly event continues to live in his head.
Now a famous footballer, the 25-year-old has never forgotten how fortunate he is to be where he is today without his parents.
“That dark moment lingers but life goes on and I will have to live with it.”
“Life out there and the one here (in the homes) is totally different so let us reach out to the less privileged ones. I know they also do similar things but I urge fellow professionals to always reach out to vulnerable children.”
Since he became a professional footballer in Europe, Ikechukwu Uche has often made anonymous contributions to ‘School of the Deaf, Ngwa Road Motherless Babies Home, the SDA Motherless Babies Home and the Nwamaka Motherless Babies Home, all in Aba
Rivers United Know Confed Cup Foes, Dec 12
The Confederation of African Football has fixed December 12 for the group stage draws of the Champions League and the Confederation Cup, Tidesports can confirm.
Group stage draws for both interclub competitions were initially slated for November 16, but CAF announced a postponement via its website, a day before the event.
The draws will now be held almost a month after the initial date, as confirmed by Africa’s football governing body.
“The Group Stage draw for the 2022/23 TotalEnergies CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup will be conducted on Monday 12 December 2022 in Cairo, Egypt.
“The TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup will be live from 13h00 (11h00 GMT) followed by TotalEnergies CAF Champions League at 14h00 (12h00 GMT).
“Both draws will be live on CAF digital platforms and also CAF TV partners,” CAF wrote on its website.
With the development, it means Nigeria Professional Football League side, Rivers United, will find out its group opponents in the Confederation Cup Dec 12.
The media officer of the club, Charles Mayuku, also confirmed that the new date has been communicated.
“CAFCC: @Rivers United FC to Know Foes December 12th. The group stage draw was initially fixed for November 16th but had to be postponed due to some reasons.
“According to the update coming from CAF, December 12th has been fixed for the draw at its headquarters in Cairo, Egypt,” Mayuku tweeted on his official Twitter handle
Since scaling the hurdle of Al Nasr Benghazi in Libya, the club has been training at the Adokiye Amesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt, while also looking forward to the money-spinning stage of the competition.
Rivers United are in the running for the second-tier competition with 15 other clubs.
Cricket: Nigeria Team Arrives Rwanda For W/Cup Qualifier
Nigeria’s men’s senior cricket team, the Yellow Greens, has arrived Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, for the 2024 ICC Men’s T20 Africa Sub Region B World Cup qualifier yesterday.
The team arrived Rwanda via Zimbabwe, where they embarked on a week-long training tour with four warm-up games against the Midwest Rhinos cricket club in Kwekwe. Nigeria won the series 3-1.
It began with a 122 to 126 runs loss in the first game, before the Yellows Greens followed it up with comprehensive wins in the last three games, edging Rhinos by 102-59, 82-39 and a 112-111 runs.
National coach, Clive Ogbimi, expressed optimism about the impact of the training tour on the players.
“We selected a team of international standard for the tour and the chaps have learnt a lot, especially in the areas of fielding and organising play.
“You will notice that in four games, Nigeria batted first and we didn’t get last 125 runs. It shows that a little more is to be done, regarding the batting. We start well, and we must be able to finish well.
“On the other side, the batters will have to show tremendous belief in their abilities and Coach Steve and I have always emphasised that as well. Putting all of that together, we had brilliant performances from the players to win the nervy games and we hope to go to Rwanda with that winning momentum,” Ogbimi said.
Upon the arrival of all teams today, technical meetings will follow Wednesday, while actions will begin on Thursday with four games per day till December 9.
21st NSF: RSG Tasks Team Rivers To Win As Opening Ceremony Takes Place, Today
Today, Asaba, the capital city of Delta State will be at the center stage in Nigeria as President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to declare the 21st National Sports Festival (NSF) open at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba.
Before Team Rivers left her base yesterday, the State Government has charged athletes to put up impressive performance as the State Government is expecting nothing less than top position at the festival.
The State Commissioner for Sports, Barrister Christopher Green gave the charge yesterday, while addressing athletes in Port Harcourt, saying that he had no doubt that his athletes will perform credibly.
According to him, Team Rivers athletes have the potentials to top the medals table because there was adequate preparations and motivations for the festival .
“What His Excellency Governor Nyesom Wike is expecting is nothing less than first position because he has released funds for the Festival.
“ As I speak, no athlete in the State is being owed one dime, all camp allowances and other payments due athletes have been paid, consequently, what we expect in return was to the win the festival and make the state proud”, Barrister Green said.
Earlier, the Commissioner had said at different fora that he was poised to develop sports in the State in all ramifications, saying that no good athlete in the State will die in penury.
”As a Commissioner I will ensu re that I develop other Sports and not only football. Let me also say it here I am not commissioner for football, but I am commissioner for Sports.
“You all are aware that our Governor is a sports loving person, that is why he gave Sports deveploment priority and he was awarded the Power of Sports Africa (POS Africa) award”; he stated.
General Yakubu Gowon, initiated the National Sports Festival in 1973 as a platform to bring together youths from all parts of the country to compete, using sports as a tool to achieve national healing after the brutal 30-month civil war.
He saw the sports festival as a rallying point for national unity and cultural integration. It was named the Unity Games.
The maiden edition of the NSF took place in 1973 at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
By: Tonye Orabere
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