High Commissioner to UK Dr. Bisika invites Chelsea star Aubameyang to motivate youths in Malawi 

After interacting with Gabon international and English Premier League player, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Malawi High Commissioner to United Kingdom, Dr. Thomas Bisika invited and the star has accepted to visit Malawi to motivate youths on sports, peace and national unity.

In an interview, Dr. Bisika said he was invited to a special event by Her Excellency Sanni Aoudou, the High Commissioner of Gabon to the Secretariat as part of the commemoration of the 2023 Commonwealth Year of the Youth where Aubamayeng was part of the inspiration speakers.

In Commonwealth member countries, 2023 was declared Year of Youth at the Commonwealth Heads of Government conference in 2022, which is dedicated to youth-led action for sustainable and inclusive development and was officially launched in January.

Dr. Bisika said: “I thank H.E. Mrs Sanni Aoudou for extending the invitation to the office of the Malawi High Commission because after interacting with Aubameyang we discussed a number of issues as regards to the youth and that prompted me to invite him to visit our country to share his experiences as a motivation to our youths.

With Aubamayeng at the Commonwealth Secretariat

“His father was footballer so we discussed how that influenced his soccer. We also talked about his stardom as well as his lowest moments in football, which he explained was when he missed a penalty during an Africa Cup of Nations game at home.

“In terms of leadership, he encouraged young people to remain positive and also advised them to take full advantage of their families. He is such an inspirational personality and I am sure Malawian youths will get very motivated by his admirable character.”

Born on June 18, 1989 in France, Aubameyang is renowned for his pace, finishing, and off-ball movement and is the country’s all-time top goalscorer.

With Gabon High Commissioner Sanni Aoudou

Wikipedia records that he began his senior club career playing for Italian club AC Milan but never appeared for the club as he went on a series of loan spells in France before joining Saint-Etienne in 2011 where he won a Coupe de la Ligue title.

He then joined Borussia Dortmund of Germany in 2013 where he  finished as the league’s top scorer in the 2016-17 season and won a DFB-Pokal. He also ranks as the club’s 7th highest all time goalscorer.

In 2018, Aubameyang was the subject of a then-club record association football transfer when he signed for English Premier League side Arsenal in a transfer worth £56 million — making him the most expensive Gabonese player of all time.

With Arsenal, he won the FA Cup and finished as the league’s joint-top goalscorer in the 2018-19 season and after his contract was cancelled by mutual consent in 2022, Aubameyang joined Barcelona but he returned to the Premier League seven months later after he signed for Chelsea at the end of the summer transfer window.

The 2016 African player of the year — the first Gabonese and second European-born player to win such an award — made his senior debut for Gabon in 2009 aged 19, and appeared in four Africa Cup of Nations finals and the 2012 Summer Olympics.

This will not be the first time for Bisika to facilitate such a high profile player to visit Malawi as he also did in 2014 whilst working at the National AIDS Commission (NAC) when he brought in Ghanaian legend Asamoah Gyan in 2014 — under the HIV-Aids prevention initiative codenamed ‘Protect the Goal’.

The campaign aimed to raise awareness of HIV and encouraging young people to commit themselves towards HIV prevention as one of a series of activities which NAC, UNAIDS and other partners undertook to re-invigorate HIV prevention in the country, particularly among youths.

Thus Bisika’s initiative to also invite Aubamayeng to Malawi as part of the Commonwealth Youth Programme, which has been supporting member countries with youth development work for 50 years.

Officially launched in January, the Commonwealth Year of Youth is inviting young changemakers, civil society and governments to work together towards a renewed vision for the Commonwealth — one that is secure, fair and sustainable.

It was established to deliver support for young people under the age of 30 to reach their full potential as the Commonwealth’s 56 member countries have a combined population of 2.5 billion people, of which more than 60% are under 30 years of age.

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