12management.com @frederickkanoute Fredi Kanouté jokes that he has joined a rock band but none of the motley crew he is touring with claims to be a professional #musician . Instead the former #WestHamUnited , #TottenhamHotspur and #Sevilla striker shares stages around the world with extraordinary characters such as Emi Mahmoud, a former #Darfurrefugee and #Poetry #Slam #world #champion , and Dr Rouba Mhaissen, the economist and development activist ranked by #Forbes #magazine as one of the planet’s most influential people under 30.
They were among the speakers at a recent series of free public talks in #European capitals including Paris and London and in May they have a date at the #Lincoln Center in #NewYork . Their aim? “To inspire people to take positive action.” The tour accompanies the release of a book entitled How To Do Good, whose contributors include Kanouté, Melinda Gates and the former #UnitedStates president Jimmy Carter, the whole campaign inspired by the philanthropist Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, the Emir of #Kuwait . Kanouté says that many #footballers do charitable work but choose not to publicise it whereas he believes he has a responsibility to do so, explaining that if footballers can influence the public as much as advertisers seem to believe, then he should use that influence to promote good. “As long as your intentions are pure I think it’s good to talk about it and create this emulation effect,” he says.
Before considering how Kanouté does good, it is interesting to ask why he does good. As a rich former footballer he could, after all, lead a life of self-indulgent luxury, far above the problems of the masses. “I can’t close my eyes,” explains Kanouté, who speaks with a beatific charisma that makes it hard to doubt his sincerity. “I arrived at #WestHam when I was 22 and it really started around that age. I think I received a good and humble education and I reverted to #Islam when I was 20 years old. I was reading a lot and trying to understand. I was always attracted by spiritual matters so I was reading books about it and I always felt that my life had to have a purpose, that it was not just about CONTINUE READING 👇👇👇