Sadio Mane escaped home to pursue football dream but remains humble
Senegalese football star and Liverpool winger Sadio Mane is a celebrity benchmark for humility. Many have described him as the most unassuming celebrity footballer despite his 11.5M salary per year. But were it not for escaping from home aged 15 to pursue his football dream in Dakar – he could be a little-known Senegalese national.
A while back, his humility came to play after fans questioned why he has a phone with a cracked screen. Many would have expected that the Liverpool winger would have a thousand-dollar iPhone.
Sadio Mane Phone
But this was not the case. In fact, he never shied away from giving a subtle response that many reference on matters of humility. Mane in a world-reference response said that he sees no point in living an opulent life because it does not change anything.
He talked of his dark days when growing up – when he went to bed hungry and walked to school barefoot. When he remembers all this, he is pushed to give back more to his people in Senegal to save another life from the hard times he went through.
“I starved, I worked in the fields, I played barefoot, and I didn’t go to school. Now I can help people. I prefer to build schools and give poor people food or clothing,” he said.
He added that, unlike other celebrities who own a fleet of high-end vehicles, he does not need any of that because it adds no value to his life.
“Why would I want 10 Ferraris, 20 diamond watches, and 2 jet planes? What would that do for the world? he poses.
Sadio Mane Charity
Hitherto, he has given back to his community by building schools and a stadium to promote talent. Besides, he gives a monthly stipend the poor people.
And this was part of his response to his fans who couldn’t wrap their mind around the fact the Liverpool winger carries with him an iPhone with a broken screen.
“I have built schools & a stadium; we provide clothes, shoes, and food for people in extreme poverty. I give 70 euros per month to all people from a very poor Senegalese region in order to contribute to their family economy. I do not need to display luxury cars, luxury homes, trips, and even planes. I prefer that my people receive a little of what life has given me.”
Sadio Mane Building Hospital in his Bambali Hometown
In June this year, Mane donated $693,000 towards the construction of a modern hospital in his Bambali Township. For 29 years that the Senegal international has been alive, his hometown – 400km from Dakar –never had a hospital.
This meant that villagers travelled long distances to seek medical aid – his relatives included. And it was always something that bothered the former Southampton player.
Even the Senegalese government treats him with the same respect and humility that he gives.
Before making the donation, he met President Macky Sall and they discussed this project together. It includes modern hospital units, state-of-the-art maternity care, a fully equipped dental department and other consulting services.
Honoured by Mane’s contribution, President Sall informed the country and the world by extension of the footballer’s selflessness.
“The Liverpool striker has presented the Head of State with an ambitious plan to build a hospital in Bambali and is counting on state support for medical personnel,” the presidency tweeted.
Why Sadio Mane Cares So Much About Senegal
Even before he met the Senegalese President to discuss the hospital project, Mane has done so much more for Senegal. In particular, for Bambali where he grew up in poverty but rich in hope of making it one day.
Little did he know that football which he loved so much would give Bambali a new look. While some people wonder why there are more development projects here than in any other part of Senegal, Mane insists that charity begins at home.
He never forgets the long nights he had to endure the sounds of a rumbling stomach due to hunger. He could never forget how hard it was to access medical care in Bambali and how he wished there were more schools close to home.
This is what inspires his philanthropy back home despite having all he can wish for in Europe.