Now one of the most successful footballers in Ghana’s history, Black Stars captain John Mensah has come a very long way to get to where he is now and says the needy in our society are one of his main priorities in his life.
Known as the Rock of Gibraltar in football circles the 29 year old in an exclusive interview revealed what many Ghanaians do not know about his struggle to stardom. The out of contract former Olympic Lyon player is married to a beautiful wife Henrietta Mensah and together they have four beautiful children.
John Mensah for some time has notably been recognised for his charity works for the needy in the society with his latest a donation to the Obuasi Central mosque where he donated items worth about GH10,000 to the Muslims as they begun their Ramadan fast. The Black Stars captain who hails from Obuasi in the Ashanti region has played for a number of clubs in Europe.
He started his career with Bologna in the Italian Serie A as a teenager and went on to play for other clubs like Chievo, Genoa, Rennes, Lyon where he went on loan to Sunderland before returning to an injury plagued season when to his club. This restricted him to not playing a single game for the French Ligue 1 outfit last season.
Speaking from his plush resident at Trassaco the gentle and reserved John Mensah did not mince words on how he went through the struggles of life with his mother and siblings to make ends meet when he was a child. Coming from a very poor home with a mother who virtually had to cater for all the kids because of the busy schedule of his father who travelled most of the time, he narrated to me how he had to run errands for them so they could survive.”
“My mother used to sell foodstuffs on the street because we came from a very poor family. She always brought some of the foodstuff from the market and asked us to select the nice ones amongst them so we could send them to the church. My siblings and I always asked her why she was only selecting the nice ones for the church to give as a gift but anytime we asked she only replied with a smile. She never told us why she was doing that so we just had to stop asking. All I did was carry the foodstuff on my head and take them to the church on my mother’s instructions.
"When I look at my past right down from when I had to do odd jobs like selling kerosene, working as a shoe shine boy, selling water and other stuffs on the streets and even going to the bush to get firewood to sell so the family could get food to eat at the end of the day this he said with a very sad look on his face. I clearly know how the people who are in need feel, because I have been down that road before and it just comes from deep within my heart to help them. My past and especially my mother’s good deeds have really made an impact in my life. These people need it and once I can help them I don’t see why I shouldn’t” he expressed himself with a broad smile as he leaned back to relax in his brown leather arm chair.
As the interview came to an end the Black Stars captain could not hide his emotions when he turned around to look at one of his pictures fitted in the far right corner of his living room with the late President Mills whom he described a man great man who has taken Ghana football to a different level. He extended his condolences to the family of the late President John Evans Atta Mills.