Mikel Obi’s bombshell: Why are African men under so much pressure?

 Mikel Obi’s bombshell: Why are African men under so much pressure?

Mikel Obi, the renowned Super Eagles and Chelsea star, just shed light on the pervasive pressure faced by African footballers upon achieving success. 

Speaking on the Vibes with 5 podcast alongside Rio Ferdinand, the 36-year-old disclosed the unspoken challenge of familial financial demands that often accompany newfound wealth. 

He emphasized the burden arising from requests for money, primarily from extended family members, including cousins and in-laws seeking financial stability.

Mikel shared his personal experience, recounting instances where funds intended for siblings were redirected to opportunistic in-laws. He articulated the prevalent cultural expectation that successful athletes bear the financial responsibility of supporting not only immediate family but also relatives, their spouses, and children.

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The footballer elaborated on the dilemma faced by African players who find themselves in a perpetual cycle of financial obligations. He recounted a conversation with fellow player Victor Osimhen, highlighting the collective challenge within the football community. 

Mikel revealed that he confronted this issue head-on about five years ago, following his agent’s counsel to break free from the unsustainable pattern of constantly providing financial assistance.

The footballer acknowledged the repercussions of such decisions, noting that refusing financial demands could lead to strained relationships and accusations. He highlighted the emotional toll of becoming the “bad guy” when prioritizing self-preservation. 

The broader context was illuminated by referencing Emmanuel Adebayo, who had previously revealed the emotional distress caused by manipulative family members making monetary demands. Mikel’s candid revelations provide a glimpse into the complex dynamics African footballers navigate in managing their financial success amidst familial expectations.



High Expectations: Financially stable men often face the burden of high expectations from their loved ones, relatives, and cousins. There is an assumption that they can easily fulfill financial requests, leading to pressure and stress.

Fear of Exploitation: There’s a concern that others may take advantage of their financial stability, making it challenging to discern genuine needs from opportunistic requests. This fear can strain relationships and create a sense of mistrust.

Balancing Act: Managing financial requests from various quarters can be overwhelming. Striking a balance between fulfilling responsibilities, supporting loved ones, and maintaining personal financial stability becomes a constant challenge.

Emotional Guilt: Financially stable men may experience emotional guilt if they are unable to meet the expectations of their loved ones. This guilt can impact their mental well-being and strain relationships with family and relatives.

Pressure to Succeed: The expectation to continuously succeed and maintain a high level of financial stability can be stressful. This pressure may lead to burnout, affecting both mental and physical health.


Open Communication: Encourage open and honest communication about financial matters. Establishing clear boundaries and expressing limitations helps manage expectations and reduces the pressure.

Financial Planning: Implement sound financial planning strategies to ensure long-term stability. This includes budgeting, saving, and investing wisely to mitigate financial pressures and uncertainties.

Educate on Financial Literacy: Promote financial literacy within the family to help others understand the challenges and responsibilities associated with financial stability. This can foster empathy and realistic expectations.

Set Boundaries: Clearly define boundaries and limitations on financial assistance. This involves politely but firmly communicating what can and cannot be accommodated, fostering a healthy understanding of mutual expectations.

Encourage Independence: Promote self-sufficiency among loved ones by encouraging them to develop their financial skills and work towards their goals. 

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This empowers them to take control of their financial situation, reducing the burden on the financially stable individual.

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