American Football (NFL) star Efe Obada has challenged youths across the globe including his Nigerian brothers, to aim for the sky irrespective whatever life throws at them at formative age.
The Nigeria born player who made NFL debut for the Carolina Panthers four years ago reasoned that if he could overcome his unfortunate past and achieve a respectable future, anyone who dares and is determined can equally make it.
Obada who is a mentor with the BIGKID Foundation, a London-based charity which helps youngsters pressured by gangs, crime and deprivation insisted that it is possible to rise from nothing to something.
‘I just want to be able to help them and show them that coming from inner-city blocks where you feel no one cares about you and no one is watching you, that you can actually achieve and make it regardless of whether it’s football or anything.
‘This is my way of taking that light from my story. My story is nothing compared to some of these kids. I’m just someone who’s been given a platform to talk about it.
‘If I can use my platform to inspire or motivate other people, and let them know, even subconsciously, that by chasing my dream they can achieve theirs, I’m OK with that. This is what I’m passionate about; this is what I want to do.’
In 2002, Obada and his older sister were trafficked by a family friend from their native Nigeria to London via Holland, in the hope of a better life. But they were deserted and left homeless. The siblings fended for themselves and eventually moved between foster homes.
In his mid-teens Obada became involved with gangs, but turned his life around. He went to college and was working in a factory in Welwyn Garden City unpacking boxes.
It was a chance meeting with a friend who set Obada on his second astonishing journey: from novice to professional sportsman.
Obada from all indication is enjoying the game and his new status a complete departure from ugly past. In January this year, 26 year old Obada signed a one-year contract extension worth $570,000 with the Panthers and currently spending off-season between London and America improving his understanding of the game.
Source The Nation Nigeria