In addition to playing for Spurs, 28 year-old Benoît also plays for his national team of Cameroon. Although he says that he is unable to visit often due to his sporting commitments in the UK, when he does go back he enjoys the rich diversity across Cameroon, in culture and language.
Around 40% of people in Cameroon live in poverty, and disease and HIV/AIDS are common. Benoît says that when he returns to Cameroon, children often ask him about life in Europe, which many see as a “dream” for them.
Football is a popular sport in the country. Benoît says that for many children, it is a chance to let go of their worries. He says: “They care about football because there are many problems in their life, and with the sports they can have a smile on their face.” Despite widespread deprivation, Benoît says that people in Cameroon are often happier than their European counterparts: “Sometimes we can see people in Europe, they have electricity and water, but they are still sad. In Africa they are poor but they are still happy. So I think we can learn a lot from them.”
The ‘Our Africa’ website is a collection of videos filmed by children living in African countries, about their lives. Benoît hopes that the website will enable others to learn about Cameroon and help with their education.