“If we have to go and knock on every door, we will.”
Those are the words of Folabi Solanke, a Scottsdale-based entrepreneur who has dedicated his life to helping underprivileged children in Nigeria. He is the co-founder of GENERATIONS Nigeria, an organization that provides support to the country’s youth via sport and education.
Every year, Solanke visits underprivileged regions in Nigeria to host soccer tournaments, leaving the kids with a wealth of sporting equipment, including soccer balls, goal posts, shin guards, and cleats.
In addition, he has arranged for clean water, food, and lighting to be shipped to the region’s neediest residents, and his work isn’t over yet.
Solanke has partnered with American sports teams (including Phoenix Rising), US food banks, and entrepreneurs to increase awareness for the region and its many problems, but he’s still seeking support.
“I’m just one man,” he says frankly. “There’s only so much I can do. I see that these kids are eager to learn and desperate for opportunities, but they’re being taught in classrooms without books or chairs, they’re playing soccer on overgrown pictures with makeshift balls. It’s heartbreaking.”
Solanke aspires to emulate the charity work of superstars like Didier Drogba and Lebron James, bringing sport, education, and opportunity to those who need it most, but he knows that he has a long journey ahead and is keen to get help anywhere he can.
To support Solanke in his efforts or learn more about him and his work, check him out on Instagram (@FolabiClement) or visit his personal website.