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The Way to Happiness: What African Athletes Go To For A Decent Life
For African people, a sports career is a tiny chance for a decent life, which not everyone gets.
On the channel of the famous video blogger Vasily Utkin on YouTube launched a new project dedicated to football in Africa - Negrisi. Each plot is dedicated to one of the countries of the Black Continent, where there is practically nothing but football. Much is said about the conditions under which the future world stars such as Sadio Mane, Didier Drogba and many others trained. The world knows the stories of those who manage to become a star, but in addition to them, there are a huge number of athletes in Africa who are not going so smoothly.
For a better life
African athletes often become victims of deception, and it's not just about football. Many athletes are also leaving Africa. Often they are so eager to get out of the poverty that surrounds them that they are ready to go anywhere: Qatar, Bahrain, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan. Those who are more fortunate end up in Europe, but, as a rule, they are not whimsical, and agree to work if they are offered normal training conditions and a decent salary. Instead of the promised good life, some of them fall into real slavery.
An illustrative example of Ethiopian athletes Layes Abdullayeva , who agreed to play for the national team of Azerbaijan, where, as she said, she was not considered a person. The coach took some of the money allocated to her, forced her to train despite her injuries, and take questionable drugs. After enjoying all the delights of a good life, Layes returned to Ethiopia. After some time, the Athletics Federation of Azerbaijan stated that the athlete had not signed any agreements with them, but at the same time they confirmed that she represented the country at international competitions.
Sometimes the native country also sticks in the wheels. Kenyan athlete Saif Shahin was not needed by his national team, then he changed his sports citizenship and began to represent Qatar. His new homeland provided him with a decent salary, good training equipment, which allowed him to make a quantum leap. At the next world championship, he took first place and broke the world record. His brother played for the Kenya team, who took the fifth position. He refused to congratulate Saif on his victory.
To go to the Olympic Games, the athlete needed permission from his home country, but the Kenyan Olympic Committee refused him. Despite the fact that until recently he was not needed by the team, the leadership of Kenyan sports was ready to ruin his career just so that he could not perform better than those who got into their national team. And they did it.
Don't do good
In the spring, another Russian video blogger Yuriy Dud shot a video about ex-employee of St. Petersburg Zenith Joseph Timchenko, who left for Zambia to train local children for free. The journalist unveiled the level of poverty in a country where children do not even have the opportunity to eat every day. After the publication of the film, the family of the protagonist of the issue began to receive threats of deportation due to the fact that they spoiled the country's image. A person who at his own expense feeds children, motivates them to get education and teaches them to a healthy lifestyle, while receiving absolutely no support from the state, they promised to expel from the country because he showed the real state of affairs.
Many of those who do not receive invitations from abroad do not lose hope for a better life and they use not entirely legal methods. For them, sport is still one of the few ways to break out into another world, so they make every effort to compete in international competitions.
Every few years, during the Olympic Games or World Championships, host countries receive dozens of requests for political asylum from African athletes. Often these appeals have no real basis, and those who fail try to stay illegally only in order not to return to their homeland.
Most of those who managed to achieve success and make themselves known in Europe, are widely known throughout the world. Others simply managed to arrange their lives outside the countries where they were born. But still there are a huge number of those who could not find a place in the sun, who are less fortunate and who continue to live in poverty, having no hope that someday everything will change.