Former Super Eagles captain, John Mikel Obi, on Thursday, revealed how members of his family tried to blackmail him if he failed to send them money.
Mikel, who was an integral part of the 2011–12 UEFA Champions League winning side with Chelsea, made this expose on a podcast with ‘Vibe With 5’.
“Because anything I was getting, I was giving so much to the family. They got so comfortable that they were expecting you to do that and I got to that point 5 years ago where I had to say guys I don’t care what you say.”
“If you don’t do it we are going to go to the press, you are thinking, your brother, your family after all I have done for you guys. It happens a lot,” the 35-year-old said while explaining how he was able to manage his finances with the help of his agent.
Speaking further, he stated that African footballers were oftentimes burdened with catering for others who weren’t their immediate family.
“When you come from Africa and make money, it is not just your money. You have all these relatives, cousins, and a lot of them. Then your sisters get married to some guy who just wants to get married to John Obi Mikel’s family because my life is sorted. You start looking after the guy. You send money to your sister, but the money goes to him. And he does whatever he does with it,” Obi said.
“When you get the money, after you’ve shared it, you’re left with little remaining. And they keep having so many kids, and you’re asking who is going to take care of them, but they are looking up to you to look after them. You are looking after the kids, the husband, and the husband’s family, and it becomes absolutely crazy. For them, you owe them that. It is the culture you owe them that and you stop to think, I don’t owe you anything,” he said.
A former Arsenal and Man City player, Emmanuel Adebayor had also revealed he was driven to suicidal thoughts because of how his family attempted to manipulate money out of him.
Adebayor has made a vast fortune for himself during his career, boasting wages of over £170,000 per week while at Manchester City and Tottenham.
‘I felt like killing myself so many times. I kept this to myself for years and years. I am disgusted that things reached this stage, but I feel relieved to have talked about it.
‘My football career will be finished in three or four years. By contrast, my family name will remain with me – together with these people,” he said in an interview with So Foot 6 years ago.
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