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Rashidi Yekini’s new wave of generosity sparks row

Discussion in 'Transfer Rumours, News, Results And Fixtures' started by EFCC, Oct 2, 2010.

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    Since his marriage crashed, Rashidi
    Yekini, the first Nigerian to score a
    World Cup goal back in 1994, has
    gone through many phases. FEMI
    ATOYEBI however checks up on the
    former Shooting Stars of Ibadan
    legend and discovers that ‘Gangling‘
    Yekini is only being open-handed
    and isn ‘t mentally depressed as is
    being rumoured
    The setting was a perfect one to see
    through the latest world of a former
    World Cup star, but it almost turned
    out to be a journey in futility. Sitting
    on a bench in front of a little shop just
    behind the Olubadan Stadium in
    Ibadan, the scorer of Nigeria‘s first
    World Cup goal – and a living
    legend– Rashidi Yekini, refused to
    speak to this correspondent,
    preferring to remain within the walls
    he has built around himself since he
    stopped playing.[IMG]
    There have been rumours about the personal life of the 1994 World Cup star, which
    revolves around his unusual generosity towards people. The strength of the rumours,
    and the way they were growing by the day, suggested that Yekini was about to throw
    away all his life savings. Those bearing the tale associated Yekini ‘s sudden charitable
    attitude to psychological depression, which must be addressed quickly.
    But watching Yekini closely on Tuesday, his behaviour does not suggest that he is
    suffering from any mental disability. Perhaps, he just wants to be on his own. His daily
    routine, which is spent around the three stadiums in Ibadan, is fixed and he keeps to it.
    In the morning, Yekini, still a keep-fit buff, walks or jogs around the Liberty Stadium.
    Those who have watched him closely say he responds to people ‘s greetings and once
    in a while plays football with a local club on the training pitch of the stadium.
    Born in Kaduna, and being a Muslim, the former player‘s fraternity with the Hausa in
    the Sabo area of the Oyo State capital is understandable. Sabo is directly behind the
    Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba, Ibadan. He spends his afternoon with them most
    times.
    Just before the evening prayer, Yekini moves to a friend‘s shop behind the Olubadan
    Stadium, where music compact discs and video films are sold. Investigations showed
    that he helped the friend with money to set up the business and bought a power
    generating set for him lately. Perhaps, his regular visit to the shop towards the evening
    also satisfies his love for music.
    It was here that this correspondent caught up with him, with the aim of talking to him
    and confronting him with the rumours. But not even the intervention of the friend, who is
    simply known as Uncle Bayo, would make the first Nigerian player to wear the Africa
    Footballer of the Year crown respond to the visit.
    At a point, he walked to his little green Toyota Corolla car, with registration number PH
    349 AAA, took a praying mat and left the scene. Not a word came from him, but his
    friend said he was furious that a newspaper had published a story that he was suffering
    from mental depression.
    Yekini has a few friends in Ibadan, but most of them were not ready to talk about his
    personal life. They said he respects peoples ‘ privacy and the only way to respond to
    that is to return the respect. But there are others who were eager to say a few things
    about him. Among them are people who are concerned that Yekini is living the life of a
    recluse.
    Yekini lives alone in his house, off Ring Road, opposite the Liberty Stadium. He has a
    few tenants and rarely gets visitors. Since his marriage crashed in 1994, he has
    refused to re-marry, but a friend of the former Vitoria Setubal of Portugal goalscorer,
    who played for Shooting Stars alongside Yekini, says he has two children who come on
    holidays. The friend, who simply identifies himself as Sally, says Yekini is a good
    person, but needs people around him. He explains that part of the problem is the loss of
    trust in people, stemming from his past experience.
    He says, â€

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