Borussia Dortmund forward Karim Adeyemi used the Bundesliga’s winter break to visit Nigeria, where his foundation has been working hard to ensure a better life for children.
Adeyemi, 21, was in the sprawling city of Ibadan to see the work his Karim Adeyemi Foundation has been carrying out with its stated goals of “eliminating poverty and ending inequalities”, while “empowering local youths through education, empowerment and football development”.
The foundation aims to provide education to 1,000 students by 2030, with Oyo State having the highest number of out-of-school children in the southwest of Nigeria. The foundation also runs the Adeyemi Football Club with a mission to train 5,000 professional footballers by 2030.
Watch: Adeyemi on his visit to Nigeria
The Dortmund player watched children training at the Olubadan Stadium and a game of street football in Odo Osun, while also attending the commissioning of a water borehole in the community.
The latter was described as a significant first milestone in Nigeria as the foundation completed the planning, financing, construction and commissioning of a drink water treatment plant for 20,000 people in the Odo Osun community. The 21-year-old then completed his visit to Ibadan by paying a visit to the King of Ibadanland.
Adeyemi, who was born in Munich to a Nigerian father and Romanian mother, described his heart as “still here” when asked about his desire to give back to his father’s homeland.
In a post on his Instagram, he added: “At the age of ten, I visited my father’s hometown, Ibadan in Nigeria, for the first time.
"The connection to the country and its vibrant culture was immediate, and one of my fondest memories was spending time with my extended family, relishing the joy of playing football on the bustling streets of Ibadan. It was during those formative years that I made a solemn promise to my father: I wanted to contribute and uplift the people of Nigeria.”
The Germany international also visited Lagos state and the Maracana Stadium in Ajegunle, where he and Nigeria international Wilfred Ndidi had donated residential buildings to the revamped stadium.
Watch: the fantastic Karim Adeyemi in action
Greeted throughout the trip by local fans holding signs and wearing BVB jerseys, Adeyemi was also accompanied by Christian Diercks, the head of the BVB Evonik Football Academy, who explained that the forward had approached the club wanting to “give back from his success and build something here with his foundation, with an academy.”
Diercks also expressed his delight at seeing so many people wearing the club’s famous black and yellow colours.
Earlier in 2023, Adeyemi had attributed his speed – being the fastest player recorded in Bundesliga history – to the nutrition of Nigerian food, talking of his love for fufu and amala.
Although originally eligible to represent Nigeria, Adeyemi opted for Germany when called up by Hansi Flick in 2021 while still playing for Red Bull Salzburg in Austria.
When asked during his recent visit if he would like to one day face his father’s homeland, the four-time international responded: “To be honest, no, because somebody has to lose. I will hope not to play against them because I want Nigeria to have a good journey.”
You can find out more about the work of the Karim Adeyemi Foundation here.
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