Be thankful for friends and family, for what you have and the world you live in – and love your neighbour in any way you can. That’s the message from one of Ghana’s most promising young footballers, Yaw Yeboah.
Yeboah, who plays as a winger for Spanish club Celta Vigo’s B side, on loan from CD Numancia, captained the Ghana Under-23 side in the African Cup of Nations in Egypt in 2019, and played in the 2015 Fifa U20 World Cup in New Zealand.
In an interview with Planet Sport Football Africa’s Oluwashina Okeleji, he talked about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected him and the other players from Ghana he keeps in contact with.
“I talk to them every day. My friends are playing in countries like Germany, Denmark, Italy – everywhere. I try to organise something to do online like Second Life with friends like Mohammed Kudus, who is playing with FC Nordsjalland in Denmark, “Dede” Andre Ayew in the UK, Mubarak Wakaso in Ghana and Jonathan Mensah in the US. I’ve also organised some video on Instagram Live with them, to share with their fans in Ghana”.
He admitted it’s a challenge not to let fear take over: “Coronavirus is slowing everything and making people a bit crazy. It’s very scary waking up every morning, seeing the news everywhere and then your family back in Ghana call you and they’re so scared because they heard the news about people dying, and it’s a lot. It’s a crazy thing – you have to be mentally strong”.
As a committed Christian, his personal faith has played a big part in his response to the crisis, he said.
“I’m a Christian and I believe in God – I believe that whatever is happening in this world, God is in control. God knows exactly what he’s doing … there’s a lesson for us to appreciate everything that we have on this earth, and that our God created everything for a reason, and that God loves everything that he created. The world is going to change … how people are going to treat each other … so you have to appreciate the people in your life, appreciate your family and your friends, and the most important thing is that you have to appreciate life. We will come back strong”.
There is a responsibility on footballers and others who are well paid to support those around them in need, he believes: “In Africa, you’re seeing players like Sadio Mane donating money to help a community – and this is love … if somebody is in need and you are in a position to help the person, just do it. Because you never know tomorrow, only God knows – only the Creator knows”.