Kanu Nwankwo has been in the news lately for having financial issues but he hasn’t let that define him as he has been going about his business and sealing endorsement deals . Legendary footballer, passionate philanthropist and suave businessman, these are some of the tags that resonate with people when they talk about Kanu. So despite his financial woes, here are some reasons why we love Kanu:
- He played for the National team: been part of the National Football team automatically makes you a National Hero and makes you a superstar in your own right. Plus you get points if you can really play.
- Despite his heart condition, he braved all odds and became a successful footballer: Kanu’s heart condition was revealed to Nigerians in 1996 and we just fell more in love with the young man who beat all odds and defiled all circumstances.
- He started the Kanu heart foundation to help underprivileged kids with heart conditions: Due to his heart condition, he was inspired to fund and also source for funds to help kids whose parents couldn’t afford medical bills to help correct their heart conditions. He has helped over 2000 kids to date. Who doesn’t like a dude with a big heart?
- He won African footballer of the year: Kanu won the coveted title twice in 1996 and 1999.Making him the first Nigerian to attain that feat and also the last Nigerian to win that award till date.
- He married a Nigerian: Due to the fact that when most of our athletes ‘árrive’, that is go abroad to start their professional careers, the girls back home suddenly become unattractive to them but this is not the same with Kanu, he married a beautiful damsel when she was 18(although people say she was younger).He made us proud.
- He didn’t lose his accent: unlike many Nigerians who misplace their accents after a brief stint abroad, Kanu never lost his after his many years overseas. Everyone remembers the television commercial with his kid where Kanu had the very thick Nigerian accent while his son was speaking like a proper English man. The irony right?
- He knows how to poke fun at himself: Kanu has shot a lot of commercials for different brands in recent time. (Kudos to his business sense) but one that would forever stick in our memory is his most recent commercial for cable TV provider, Star Times. As in, I could not believe my eyes! Kanu was in a hideous Father Christmas costume, singing. It was simply one of the most ridiculous commercials I had seen in a long time! I like the fact that Star Times went another way in using Kanu’s fame to push their product but I swear, it was funny as hell and I hope he was in on the joke. While I don’t have figures of sales of Star Times decoders after Kanu’s Commercial, I expect the decoders to be flying off the shelves because he must have a good sense of humour to go ahead with it.