A couple of weekends ago I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Ezekiel ‘Ziggy’ Ansah, an NFL player who is orginally from Ghana.
The athlete, who was born and raised in Ghana, never played American football until he moved to the United States as a young adult. He grew up playing basketball and football (known as soccer). He obviously had a natural gift with his size, 1.98m(6’4″) and 122kg(269 lbs), and his ability to catch on to a game that most college athletes had been playing since childhood.
Currently signed to the Seattle Seahawks, he played the bulk of his career as a Detroit Lion. Having grown up in a country where opportunities for youth to develop their skills with professional athletes are few and far between, he now conducts football camps for young people in Ghana through the Ezekiel Ansah Foundation (EAF).
He started the foundation as a way to give back to Ghana. This is a time when many Ghanaians (and other Africans) living outside their home countries have committed themselves to giving in a way that it helps build the next generation. The future is with the youth and in Africa young people make up a significant portion of the population.
In Ghana approximately 57% of the population is under age 25. With such a young population, it makes sense to invest in the skills and talents of young people because they will drive the country into the future.
Ezekiel’s camp for kids, gave them hope and opened their eyes to the possibilities of participating in professional sports. All too often youth in Ghana think because of where they live, they could never make it. With sports camps like this, they can see one of their own who have been able to become a success.
For more info or to make a donation visit www.ezekielansahfoundation.org