The ancient city of Kano to go agog as the African Children Talents Discovery Foundation (ACTDF) in collaboration with Olumide Oyedeji Youth Foundation (OOYF) set to hold inaugural Noah Dallaji Legacy U17 Basketball Tournament from August 8 to 14, 2021.
The tournament, which aims at discovering young talents from the grassroots and projecting them to both national and international levels, will feature seven states from the three geo-political zones in the North. The seven states are Host Kano, Sokoto, Gombe, Bauchi, Plateau, Kaduna and Kwara.
Unveiling the programme to the press during the weekend in Abuja, founder and chairman of ACTDF, Engr Noah Dallaji, said the Foundation was set up as a veritable platform for discovering talented youths in Africa and sponsored them to the best academies in Europe to develop their skill and become successful in their careers.
“African Children Talents Discovery Foundation (ACTDF) is a non-governmental organization that has Grade C with the United Nation (UN) and we have been there for a long, organizing high level child events in most of the General Assembly of the UN. We are the first charity organisation to sign a ‘Sister City’ with the city of Upland in 2010 and it was signed into law by the then US President Barack Obama. And a lot of things that are beneficial to the country.
“You and I know that we are so blessed to be in this country, but today a lot of people are complaining why they are in this country and you see symptoms of depression in young people who want to escape from Nigeria. But there is no country in the world that is better than this nation. I have been to over 100 nations on planet earth and I have not seen any country that is far better than Nigeria, none.
“So, we have a lot to do in this country and it has to start with the young people. We have a lot of talents that have to be given the opportunity to excel. Last year we started a legacy programme on football where I organised a football talents show in my village in Bauchi State and I saw a lot of commitment from the Children and about 37 of them are selected and weare working on them to see how they can be in academies in Europe,” he said.
According to Dallaje, ACTDF is catching on Olumide’s pedigree in basketball to build young basketballers that will represent Nigeria at the higher level. “Olumide has been doing a lot through his foundation and we decided to have this incorporation in line with the Legacy programme of ACTDF.
“He is a professional basketballer and Nigerian basketball players are making us proud when they defeated US and Argentina and it means there is hope for Nigeria in basketball. We have a lot of young talents in this country that can play basketball and anything that can bring progress to Nigeria, I am ready to be part of it. That is what we do at ACFTD. A lot of youth who are interested in playing basketball will take this opportunity to build their talents and get scholarships to academies abroad.”
Speaking at the unveiling, former NBA star and captain of Nigeria’s senior male national team, Olumide Oyedeji, said the tournament will be a mentorship programme where professionals will educate the upcoming basketballers on the life after sport careers.
“This will help the players to be developed mentally, socially and emotionally. There will also be training for the coaches as well,” Olumide said.
The Speaker of the Kano State House of Assembly, Engineer Hamisu Ibrahim Chidari, assured readiness of the Kano State to host the tournament, saying participants will enjoy their stay in the ancient city during the seven-day event.