• Friday, February 23, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

How Bukayo Saka’s charity partnership is saving lives of Nigerian Children

How Bukayo Saka’s charity partnership is saving lives of Nigerian Children

Bukayo Saka, the Nigerian-born Arsenal star, makes a positive impact on his homeland by funding critical medical care for children in need.

Saka was born on September 5, 2001, in Ealing, Greater London, to Yoruba Nigerian parents, Adenike and Yomi Saka, and is the younger of two children. His parents emigrated to London from Nigeria as economic migrants.

The Arsenal superstar has been involved in massive charity work for the past two years where he has helped to fund 120 operations for children in Nigeria.

Saka’s parents both hail from the country and he is proud of his heritage, and he was keen to work with the charity to help youngsters suffering from diseases like inguinal hernias, umbilical hernias or brain tumours.

In a video post shared by Kano Chronicle @KanoChronicle, highlighting the massive charity work being sponsored by Saka.

In 2022, 22-year-old talented Gunners academy graduate of Nigerian descent partnered with the charity BigShoe, which supports underprivileged children who require medical treatment.

Through this collaboration, Saka funded 120 life-changing surgeries for children in Kano, Nigeria suffering from conditions like hernias and brain tumours. This initiative brought significant relief and improved the lives of these children.

The Gunners academy graduate first teamed up with charity organisation BigShoe in 2022, sponsoring the surgeries which took place in October 2022.

Elated with Saka’s kind gesture in transforming their lives and restoring hope to them, the children and the doctor who performed the surgeries wrote an emotional letter thanking the Arsenal youth graduate with Nigerian heritage.

Saka also received a letter from Musa Ibrahim, a doctor who has performed many of the surgeries, including one on 12-year-old Kabir, who was struggling to walk.

“Your support of the BigShoe Charity in collaboration with PSC Specialist Hospital helped us to perform much-needed operation and this act has given the children a brand-new life,” Dr. Ibrahim said in a letter sent to Saka

“I know you feel the connection with Nigeria despite the geographical distance, you have touched their lives and their parents and the children are grateful.

One of the children who benefitted from the initiative, Kabiru, a football fan, could barely walk before the surgery, but he is now able to play the football he loves so much with his two legs. His friends fondly call him Saka and the young man is super proud to be nicknamed after Arsenal starman.

“I have letters from him and his parents also, these are just a few of the children whose lives have changed out of the 120 children you helped.

“Your support has given the children a brand new life,” he says. “Before Kabir’s surgery, he was barely able to walk. He is now able to play the game he loves, post-recovery. His friends even call him “Saka” – and this makes him really proud.”

In his response, Saka said changing and giving children a new life makes more sense to him.

“It makes me smile. This kind of thing means more than anything in the world,” Saka said.

“I am really proud of my Nigerian heritage so to be able to support the children out there is really special for me and I feel so blessed to be able to help them,” Saka, still just 22 years of age himself, explains.

“I remember being their age with big, big dreams. The message I want to send to them is to keep dreaming, keep believing and go for it.”

Saka’s intervention helped save the lives of some Nigerian children who had illnesses like brain tumours, umbilical hernias, and inguinal hernias.

Gary Lineker, a British sports broadcaster and former professional footballer praised Saka for his charity work in Nigeria.

“He’s not just a special footballer, @BukayoSaka87 is also a lovely human,” Lineker said on his X account.

Giving back to underprivileged youngsters in Nigeria demonstrates how amazing the Arsenal player is, and the kids, together with their parents and guardians, will always be appreciative of the young man for the enormous assistance he has provided.

Saka’s generosity will serve as an inspiration for him to carry out many more charity activities in the future, and other football players and teammates could take a cue from him about giving back to the community.

Elite athletes make a lot of money, and while it is entirely up to them how they want to spend it, it speaks volumes when players like the Gunners ace choose to help those in need.