Super Eagles and Changchun Yatai FC striker, Jude Odion Ighalo today performed the opening ceremony of his orphanage – Ighalo Orphanage home, in Lagos.
During his opening remark, the 28 year-old striker who plies his trade in China thanked God for bringing him out of the ghetto in Ajegunle to become someone who is now celebrated world over. This according to him, inspired his decision to give back to the society.
“Life was rough growing up in Ajegunle and I vowed that if I eventually had a breakthrough, I’ll give back to the society that made me. Hence, the Ighalo Orphanage Home.”
The orphanage home which is expected to house 40 kids is located at no 39, Olusoji Oladapo Street, Kudeyibu Estate, Ijegun, Lagos.
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To support his vision, the Chairman of the event, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro donated N1m to the orphanage home. Nigerian ex-internationals at the event: Victor Ikpeba, Austin Eguavoen and Nwakwo Kanu also donated a combined sun of N500,000 to the cause.
Nigerian youths were not left behind as they also came out to support the laudable effort of the Super Eagles forward. Music artiste manager and CEO of Triple M Group record label, Ubi Franklin donated the sum of N500,000 amongst other notable donations witnessed at the event.
Speaking after the event, Odion said that the next line of action will be to get kids into the orphange home to continue their lives and be taken care of. He further revealed plans to extend it to other parts of the country.
“Two weeks ago I met with the Governor of Edo state during which we discussed extensively and we are looking forward to having one in Edo state because I’m from Edo state,” he said.
“So hopefully in the near future, we will have one in Edo state and in different parts of Nigeria. This is what I have passion for and I pray God gives me the strength to keep doing that,” Ighalo added.
On how he hopes to monitor the orphanage from far away China, Odion Ighalo did admit it would be a herculean task but trusts his team to deliver on this one. “I have a good team on that and I’m going to be monitoring it. It’s going to be difficult when I travel back to China but I know the team I have on ground, they are capable and I know everything will be a success.”
Finally, Odion Ighalo advised his colleagues who are also involved in charity (no matter how little) to keep it up and not relent. “Everybody is doing their own in one way or the other and I just want to encourage them to keep doing it. As they keep doing it, God will continue to bless all of us,” he said.