How kind Nigerians help Rashidi Yekini's mother who was forced to sell bread and soft drinks to survive



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Rashidi Yekini is the highest goal-scorer for Nigeria's Super Eagles. The legendary footballer passed on four years ago after suffering from depression.

His mother, Alhaja Sikiratu Yekini, lost all the support and was abandoned. A Good Samaritan gave the aged lady some money to maintain her small business, but it was barely enough for her to survive.

NAIJ.com got the first S.O.S call in the end of January 2016. The story has recently had its happy end, all thanks to our kind compatriots. Learn how it became possible.
The mother of Rashidi Yekini, the late Nigerian football legend, has cried for help four years after the demise of her son.
Yekini died at the age of 48 in Ibadan on May 4, 2012. He was interred the next day in his home town in Irra, Oyun local government in Kwara state. That is where our story starts.
"I don't really know if he left any money behind, because before he died, he had a problem in which he would go to bank to withdraw money and later burn the money,"
the late enigma's mother, Sikiratu Yekini, said.
NAIJ.com Sports learnt that Sikiratu Yekini has been living from hands to mouth since the death of her son. Our team set out on a journey to Ijagbo, a town in Kwara state where the octogenarian currently lives.
"I am Rashidi's biological mother, and my son started playing football since when he was in primary three," the old lady started narrating her ordeal.
NAIJ.com Sports: How have you been coping since the death of your son as we heard he was the bread-winner of your family before he died?
Life has been very difficult for me since the death of my son, because there was nobody to call or go to for help. Rashidi was the glory of the family, and all the family benefited from him when he was alive.
NAIJ.com Sports: What of his lawyer, when last you heard from him?
I have not seen him since the eight-day remembrance prayer of my son, and I pray I see him before I die because he accused me that I killed my son.
NAIJ.com Sports: Why did he accuse you of killing Rashidi?
He (Jubril Mohammed Olarenwaju) challenged me on why I would take my son to where he would be taken care of, and I asked him then whether he was the one that helped me to give birth to Rashidi and since then, I've not set my eyes on him.
NAIJ.com Sports: Where did you take Rashidi to before he died?
We took him to hospital, and we also tried traditional help when the situation got worse at the hospital.
NAIJ.com Sports: What about Rashidi's siblings, what are they doing to help you since their elder brother is dead?
My other children are struggling to survive, and it was even during the fight for survival that Rashidi's younger sister died and Akeem, who is the immediate younger brother to Yekini, is into a labouring work.
NAIJ.com Sports: What do you want?
I want Nigeria government to help me, most especially Akeem, who's the younger brother to Rashidi. My son has served this country, and I want the government and other people to come to our aid, because it would not be good for me to die in this situation.
Watch the video we shot in January 2016, during our first visit to Kwara. The story continues below.
NAIJ.com Sports were able to reach out to the lawyer of the late Rashidi Yekini. Jubril Mohammed Olarenwaju denied the allegations, said he had never accused Rashidi's mother of killing her son.
"I have never accused her of killing her son, and I think someone must have misquoted me, because I never said so.

"It is so sad what Rashidi's mother is going through, and I'm glad that all their family knows that their son left nothing behind, except the house in Ibadan, and, as I'm talking to you, we are planning to lease out the house because Rashidi's second daughter has just been given admission to study English at the university and the money we will get from the house we want to lease out should be able to help,"
Olarenwaju said.
Not much has changed for Sikiratu Yekini in four months, since NAIJ.com's first visit to her hometown in Kwara state. She continued selling bread, soft drinks and sachets of pure water to survive.
However, our January's report did not leave Nigerians indifferent. The fund-raising campaign has already been underway when Ibitoye Shittu was talking to Yekini's mother for the second time this year, on May 7.
NAIJ.com Sports: Mama, it is four years now since the death of your son, how has life been with you?
Like I have always been saying, survival has been difficult for me since I lost my son because he was the pillar the whole family relaxed on.
NAIJ.com Sports: Have you received any help from anybody since the death of your son?
The only help I got since the death of my son was the money the Osun state government gave me during the burial of Rashidi, and the money was even shared in the family, and asides that, no one else has looked into my side.
NAIJ.com Sports: What about the Kwara state government where your son was born?
They have done nothing except for their fake promises. There was a time when we were even looking for how to get a job for Akeem Yekini, who is a younger brother to Rashidi, but up till now, nothing has been done.
NAIJ.com Sports: What is your son Akeem now doing to survive?
He's into labouring work since there's nobody to help, and that is better than stealing.
NAIJ.com Sports: Have you for once received help, visit or call from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) since the death of your son?
No one has ever called me from them, they don't even know where I live not to talk of them paying me a visit, but I'm sure if they want to help, they would surely find me.
NAIJ.com Sports: Mama, is it true that you sell bread, water, drinks and other things for you to survive?
Yes, that's what I do for now as I cannot continue to be begging from hands to mouth. Akeem also extends his hands to me anytime he comes back from his labouring work.
NAIJ.com Sports: What is the nature of your health? Are you receiving treatment in the hospital?
I am not healthy at all, and I'm just forcing myself to do so many things I do since there's nobody to help.
NAIJ.com Sports: What do you want, Mama?

My son served this country, and I want Nigerians to help me because it has not been easy for me since the death of Rashidi. I don't want a situation where some people would now be bringing cows after my death whereas none of them can afford to give me fish now that I'm alive.
Some meaningful Nigerians heard this message, pitied the woman and raised funds for her!

A bank account was opened on her behalf, and goods were bought for her mini store.

Cash was also handed over to her to enable Alhaja Sikiratu Yekini attend to little errands.


A group of Good Samaritans, who were touched by the current status of the mother of the late former Nigerian football star Rashidi Yekini, have raised the sum of N290,000 for the octogenarian in less than 48 hours.

Suraj Tunji Oyewale, a successful chattered accountant based from Lagos, championed a course on his Facebook page for some monetary contribution for Mama Sikiratu Yekini after reading NAIJ.com's previous reports on what the woman has been going through.
On his own part, Suraj Tunji Oyewale promised to put Mama Sikiratu Yekini on a monthly pay for the next one year and, therefore, applauded all the people who stood by him to raise funds.
"I have been hearing some media people misquoting my words, because I never said my son never took care of me when he was alive. My son built a house for me where I currently live, and it's just so unfortunate that I lost him when I needed him most.

"I want to thank all the people who put their hands in their pockets to help me, and I pray that God will be with you all,"
Mama Sikiratu said amidst tears to NAIJ.com upon receiving the donation.
Late Rashidi Yekini remains Super Eagles's highest goal-scorer with 37 goals in 58 appearances (1984 - 1998). He will be remembered forever for scoring Nigeria's first FIFA World Cup goal in Dallas, USA, during the match against Bulgaria on June 21, 1994.

Our gratitude to all who helped his mother in the time of need!
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