SATURDAY TEENCONNECT

Not many people know that the 19 years-old football prodigy currently ruling the world cup on the French side, also has a Nigerian blood running through his veins. Well, I didn’t know this fact, until recently. Kylian Mbappe, also known as ‘the 2nd Prince of Monaco’ does not only have a Nigerian blood, but, he proudly bears a Nigerian name; ‘Adesanmi’ (Yoruba, meaning; ‘Crown fits me’) given to him by his father at birth. This means that if the sensational ‘giant killer’ who is currently rated ‘most creative and agile teen in world football’ is to be properly addressed, it would be as: Kylian Adesanmi Mbappé.

Kylian’s father, Wilfried Mbappe has roots in Cameroon and Nigeria. He was once a refugee who migrated to France in search of greener pastures. In a bid to get a permanent stay in the French Country, Wilfried (a football coach) got married to an Algerian-French based citizen, Fayza (a former handball player). Both gave birth to Kylian on the 20th of December, 1998 and also to his younger brother, Ethan Adeyemi (Yoruba, meaning crown fits you), seven years after. They however, adopted a professional footballer of Congolese descent, Jirès Kembo Ekoko, who is the son of a late friend of Wilfried and who is 10 years older than Kylian.

Kylian began his career at AS Bondy, coached by his father, Wilfried.

“He had technique and vision in the game that most children just don’t have. He’s got eyes in the back of his head. He knows how to anticipate where the ball will go. Here, he never played for his proper age group, he always played with older children because there was no point leaving him with kids his own age,” said Atmane Airouche, President of AS Bondy, on Kylian as a child.

At the age of six, Kylian was seen as France’s best kid footballer and was recognised by the French Football Federation. His youth coach at AS Bondy, Antonio Riccardi, said of the teen wonder, “The first time I coached him was when he was six years old. You could tell he was different. Kylian could do much more than the other children. His dribbling was already fantastic and he was much faster than the others. He was the best player I’ve ever seen in 15 years coaching here. In Paris there are many talents but I’d never seen a talent like him. He was what we call a ‘craque’ (the best).”

This wonder kid shunned full time schooling just so he could focus on football. Eventually he moved to the Clairefontaine academy (a football academy where the best trained). His outstanding performances led to numerous clubs, including, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Bayern Munich, attempting to sign him. Mbappé travelled to London for a trial with Chelsea when he was 11 and even played a match for their youth team against Charlton Athletic, but, eventually settled for French club Monaco.

Kylian, who was technically on loan at Paris St-Germain from Monaco was expected to join the French champions on a full time after June 30th, £165.7 million making him the second most expensive player of all time, behind Neymar’s £177 million in 2017. But, that deal is threatened, as PSG faces Financial Fair Play investigation by UEFA and as Manchester United, Manchester City and Real Madrid are going head to head to sign the star teen.

Speaking of Kylian’s world cup performance against Argentina, former England captain Alan Shearer, was full of encomiums for the wiz kid: “At 19, to put in a performance like that, with millions watching and Messi at the other end, it was simply brilliant.”

He once idolised Cristiano Ronaldo, but today, Kylian is rated the brightest teenager in world football compared now only to the great Pele of Brazil. His father who doubles as his agent, and who set the ball rolling when he started coaching Kylian from a tender age, couldn’t be more proud of the outcome.

PIX – Mbappe.jpg , Pharrell.jpg

 

 

 

 

NDLEA Holds A Symposium for Teenagers, Youths in Abuja

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he commemoration of 2018 International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Abuja was a great day for the Nigerian children and youths. National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, which has been in the vanguard of the commemoration brought together students from several secondary schools within the Federal Capital Territory, along with youth corps members and people from all walks of life for the commemoration, which held at the African Hall of International Conference Centre, Abuja.

Since 1988 that the United Nations designated June 26 of every year as international anti-drug day, Nigeria has been in the forefront of its commemoration. This annual awareness day was founded to highlight the dangers of drug use and their illegal trade and provide educational materials to stakeholders all over the world to help amplify the message about the extreme cultural and economic harm the trade in drugs is still causing across the globe. It is also to sensitise member states to intensify their efforts at combating both drug demand and supply, while improving access to treatment for addicts.

The theme for commemoration has been consistently “Listen First”: “Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe”. Speaking at the occasion, the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah (rtd.), stated that the repetition of the theme for three consecutive years is deliberate to ensure that the message crystallises and resonates among stakeholders and the vulnerable population. According to him, it is clear that those whose responsibility it is to listen are not doing so effectively.

“I do not find it amusing that parents who have the primary responsibility of listening to their wards have rather resorted to blaming teachers, pastors, imams, law enforcement agencies and even their children’s peers for their drug indulgence.” He further noted: “Some parents are invariably too busy to listen but prefer to pursue careers and economic goals in the name of building a future for the same children that would grow to become drug dependent.”

Col. Abdallah added that the power of listening could not be overestimated. “It is not only preventive, it is reassuring and to some extent, curative. Through listening we can discern the mood, evaluate, judge and we can support and provide comfort aimed at better comprehension of the behavior of our children and young ones”, the NDLEA boss noted at the grand event.

In his remark, the Special Guest of Honour at the event, Alhaji Muhammad Musa Bello, Minister of Federal Capital Territory, said that the children and youth deserved the attention of parents and other character moulders if they must grow to be great leaders. The minister launched a drug-free lifestyle badge by NDLEA with anti-drug inscriptions that will help to resonate anti-drug messages round institutions of learning across the country. He took time to decorate the students with the badge with the messages: “Count on me to be drug free”, “It’s No Lie, Drug Will Make Your Mama Cry”, among others.

Pix- Kylian the wonder kid.jpg