Joseph Yobo grew up lacking the basic amenities that most people take for granted; he barely managed to scrape through Secondary School in an environment.
His talent and the opportunity to play at the World Youth Championships work his way up the ladder.
According to him, he grew up in an average family and managed to finish secondary school, other people around us were not so fortunate.
“There were people who were not able to realise their potential, even though they were brilliant because their families could not afford to take them all the way.”
Yobo left Nigeria in 1998 and made his first-team debut in 2000 for Standard Liege, and went on to appear 46 times. In 2001, he was bought by Marseille.
He is credited as the most capped Nigerian player with 96 caps, Yobo’s illustrious national career started in 1999 and blossomed when he played with the national team for the 2002 World Cup, and even provided the assist for his side’s only goal of the tournament.
In 2007, he established the Joseph Yobo Foundation to aid the lives of underprivileged children from his home region in the Niger Delta of Nigeria.
He said that his foundation is to help people in a similar situation achieve their full potential in whatever they do, and I am proud to be able to help.
He further said: “I know how I started and it wasn’t easy for me either, I am starting in my area because charity begins at home, but my vision is to take this project to every part of Nigeria”.
“When I went to the homes of abandoned kids and those living with HIV/Aids I was close to tears and began to appreciate how lucky some of us are in this world, such places make you feel sad and I have vowed to do the best I can to help relieve their struggle.
I see myself as someone who is privileged enough to be able to help elevate others who are not so fortunate, we live in a country where everyone deserves equal opportunities and amenities; my determination is to spread whatever wealth I can around, It’s not easy to do it all alone but I’ll try all possible means to do my best and hope that will attract others as well.”
The captain of the triumphant Super Eagles at the 2013 African Cup of Nations, his career is also graced with a world cup hat trick as his revived international career with Nigeria means that he is a part of the Super Eagles 23-man squad for Brazil 2014.
He has handed out over 300 scholarship awards ranging from primary to university level.
Yobo has started a football academy in the Ogoni region of Nigeria. and runs football camps in Lagos indeed is an Inspiration to the youth that despite having money use it to help others in need.