Liverpool forward Sadio Mane is a beacon of hope and light to millions of people in Africa, specifically in his country of birth, Senegal.
Mane, who strongly believes education is the key to success and encourages kids to study, built a school in his home village last year and now a hospital exclusively funded by Mane is due to open in about six months.
According to the World Bank, 70% of the locals in Senegal live in poverty and most families in Sedhiou province, where Mane’s village of Bambali is located, can’t afford to pay for healthcare.
“I remember my sister was also born at home because there is no hospital in our village. It was a really, really sad situation for everyone. I wanted to build one to give people hope,” said Mane.
“School comes first. You should be in good health before you go to work, so let’s finish the hospital,” added Mane who donated £40,000 to the government in Senegal to help tackle the deadly coronavirus.
In his all-new: Made in Senegal documentary, Mane shares a heart-rending and touching tale of how he lost his father.
Mane said his father’s death is one of the major reasons he built a school and now a hospital in Sedhiou.
Speaking in the film, Mane said: “I was seven years old. We were about to play on the field when a cousin approached me and said: ‘Sadio, your father passed away.’ I replied: ‘Oh really? He’s joking …’ I couldn’t really understand it.”
“Before he passed away, he had this kind of sickness for weeks. We brought him some traditional medicine and it kept him calm for three or four months,” Mane told The Guardian.
“The sickness came back but this time the medicine didn’t work and because there was no hospital in Bambali they had to take him to the next village to see if they could save his life. But it was not the case.
“When I was young my dad was always saying how proud he was of me. He was a man with a big heart. When he died, it had a big impact on me and the rest of my family. I said to myself: ‘Now I have to do my best to help my mother.’ That’s a hard thing to deal with when you are so young,” he said.
The 27-year-old is an advocate for education and says all the boys in his village want to play football and neglect education.
“They just want to be a footballer like me…But I always tell them to make sure they have to be well educated and go to school.
“Of course, they can keep playing football, but it will help you more to be successful in what you are doing if you do both. It’s not like when I was young anymore because it was very difficult back then.”
“Maybe if there had been a better school when I was younger maybe I could have studied more. But it was not the case,” said Mane.
Mane’s documentary: Made In Senegal is available – Rakuten TV
RELATED STORY: Mane makes donation to help fight coronavirus in Senegal
By FARPost Reporter