Samuel Eto’o, the Cameroon-born four-time African player of the year, was awarded the European Medal of Tolerance for countering racism. Eto'o's other side came into the limelight when he castigated European fans for taunting him with monkey chants and threatened to walk off the pitch, while playing for Barcelona. Racism persists in games across Europe. Last month in Paris, football fans prevented a black man from boarding a metro and chanted racist slogans against him.
Eto'o’s distinguished career that has seen him play for Inter Milan, Everton and Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala demonstrates that Africans have talent and capability of international standards. They must consequently be bold, pragmatic and clearly articulate their interests and values. They must understand how the world’s socio-political and economic dynamics work and tap into this knowledge to craft a strategy that will spur productivity and wellbeing on the continent.