Last night, Wilfried Zaha won a Best of Africa Award for “Off Field” Philanthropic Endeavour for the 8th annual edition of the awards.
2019’s award ceremony saw football icons such as N’Golo Kante and Eni Aluko join the likes of Stormzy, Akala and Fuse ODG at the Rosewood Hotel to celebrate the key figures who support socio-economic and ethical development across Africa.
Zaha was selected to win the award for being a “Professional athlete who has demonstrated exceptional vision, passion, and commitment to leadership, developing or supporting a measurable paradigm.” The Crystal Palace baller donates 10% of his salary to charities in Cote D’Ivoire, and also assists in initiatives that support the education and wellbeing of young Africans.
Speaking at the awards, Zaha said, “I’m very family orientated; I’ve got a big family and I feel that unity is a big thing so I could use my platform to help people back home. I’ve given 10% of my wages, from my first wage, back home to anyone that doesn’t have anything, anyone less fortunate, the mothers who are just by themselves.
“I help my sister’s orphanage, called Tamara’s Hope, so I take care of it basically. So all these kids that have nothing, it takes care of them and it brings me joy knowing that I do that, I help those people in life day-to-day.
“I don’t do it for the accolades or anything. People assume I just play here [in England] and all I do is here but I care about my country and I’ll do as much as I can. The main thing is, it’s from the heart and I do it for my country and that’s all that matters to me.”