7 African Athletes Who Are Sports Ambassadors

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Today, athletes do more than just compete in their sport. With the big platforms they’ve acquired due to their success, their followers demand more. They’re expected to raise awareness of some of the critical issues in society. To do this, some partner with brands to give voice to different causes. Let’s have a look at African athletes who are sports ambassadors.

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1. Eliud Kipchoge

Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge has made his name through his prowess in marathon running. He’s a two-time Olympic medalist and a world record holder. As a result of his impressive performances and hence popularity, he’s attracted the attention of various brands.

In 2022, the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) renewed its partnership with him as Magical Kenya ambassador. He’s charged with promoting the country as a tourism destination. Kipchoge said:

“This is a crucial partnership. I am a Kenyan and this is bringing in patriotism and that’s why I love to partner with Magical Kenya. There’s a lot in store. We want to make people come and explore and know how Kenya is.” 

In 2019, he also partnered with British-owned company INEOS for his record-breaking marathon in Vienna, Austria, dubbed INEOS 1:59 challenge. In 2022, Kipchoge, INEOS, and his NN Running team reunited and signed a long-term partnership deal centred around driving performance and sharing knowledge to break more barriers. 

2. Sadio Mane

Senegalese and Bayern Munich footballer Sadio Mane is one of the African athletes who also work as a sports ambassador. In 2020, he joined Right to Play to elevate the work they’re doing in protecting, educating and empowering children through sports. 

Known for his philanthropic work, he’s the ideal candidate to promote the organization’s campaign in Senegal. Here’s what he said after joining:

“I’m proud and happy to join Right To Play as an ambassador, and to use my passion for sport and education to inspire girls and boys in Senegal and around the world to believe in themselves and develop the life skills they need to become the leaders of tomorrow.”   

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3. Mohammed Salah

Egyptian and Liverpool footballer Mohammed Salah partnered with the Vodafone Foundation and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to champion the rights of refugees to get a quality education. 

Through Instant Network Schools, he visits schools the programme supports and highlights the importance of refugee children having access to education. 

4. Asisat Oshoala

Nigeria’s best female footballer Asisat Oshoala was unveiled as MultiChoice Nigeria brand ambassador. This is part of the network’s support for women’s sports under its campaign “Here For Her”. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for MultiChoice Nigeria, John Ugbe, said they chose her as she’s demonstrated her passion and dedication to the game. 

In 2018, she was appointed the Lagos State sports ambassador.

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5. Siya Kolisi

South African first black captain of the Springboks, Siya Kolisi, is one of the African athletes who’s a sports ambassador. In 2020, he was named a Global Advocate for Spotlight Initiative by the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. This initiative seeks to raise awareness against gender-based violence.

“I want to use my platform to make a positive impact on women and girls globally. This is important to me because I know the effects of gender-based violence as witnessed in my childhood,” said Mr Kolisi.

Apart from that, he’s also an LG ambassador and partnered with car manufacturer Land Rover.

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6. Wayde van Nierkerk

Following his 2016 Olympic record of 43:03 in the 400m, South African runner Wayde van Niekerk gained lots of ambassadorial roles. In 2021, he was named one of the Laureus ambassadors. Laureus uses the power of sport to eradicate violence and overcome discrimination. 

Upon his signing, he had this to say: “Laureus transforms lives in South Africa and across the world. I’d like to make an impact through my participation in the Sport for Good Foundation and working on projects I’m passionate about.”

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7. Victor Wanyama

Former Kenyan international footballer Victor Wanyama became Wildlife Africa’s brand ambassador in 2022. The organisation advocates for wildlife protection and illegal trafficking. 

In 2021, he was named the ambassador for the UN-Habitat. His philanthropic work with his foundation was cited as the reason why he landed the role. Wanyama’s Foundation supports children’s education in slums. 

These are the African athletes who’ve landed sports ambassadorial roles. People with big platforms like them need to give a voice to different societal issues. 

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