Liverpool star Sadio Mane said he is funding a hospital in Senegal in order to give people in the country hope of a better life.
Aside from his goalscoring form in Jurgen Klopp’s team this campaign, Mane is renowned for his philanthropic gestures to his compatriots in Senegal.
The 27-year-old lost his father at the age of seven, and he has taken up several projects in his native town Bambali, which include a self-funded hospital and school set to open in six months time.
In his latest documentary titled ‘Made in Senegal’, the Senegalese attacker revealed how situations around his early years inspired his humanitarian gesture.
“I was seven years old. We were about to play on the field when a cousin approached me and said: ‘Sadio, your father passed away.’ I replied: ‘Oh really? He’s joking …’ I couldn’t really understand it,” Mane said as per The Guardian.
“Before he passed away, he had this kind of sickness for weeks.
“We brought him some traditional medicine and it kept him calm for three or four months.
“The sickness came back but this time the medicine didn’t work and because there was no hospital in Bambali they had to take him to the next village to see if they could save his life. But it was not the case.
“When I was young my dad was always saying how proud he was of me. He was a man with a big heart. When he died, it had a big impact on me and the rest of my family.
“I said to myself: ‘Now I have to do my best to help my mother.’ That’s a hard thing to deal with when you are so young.
“I remember my sister was also born at home because there is no hospital in our village. It was a really, really sad situation for everyone. I wanted to build one to give people hope.”
The 2019 African Player of the Year has contributed to the West African nation’s fight against coronavirus, donating £40,000 to the government.
Mane’s success in England is inspiring children in Sedhiou province to play football and the ex-Southampton star is eager to support their dreams with access to quality education.
“Education is the key. School comes first. You should be in good health before you go to work, so let’s finish the hospital,” he continued.
“When you see this kind of people and the offerings in front of the house, you think: ‘Wow, I have to work even harder for them.
“Maybe if there had been a better school when I was younger maybe I could have studied more. But it was not the case – I was in the village.
“So all the boys there want to play football and no one wants to go to school anymore. They just want to be a footballer like me … But I always tell them to make sure they have to be well-educated and go to school.
“Of course they can keep playing football but it will help you more to be successful in what you are doing if you do both. It’s not like when I was young anymore because it was very difficult back then.”