Top Nigerian dignitaries and over 2,000 people expected to participate in ‘Abuja Walk with Kanu Nwankwo (Papilo) to make the heart beat’ on World Heart Day on Wednesday, September 29, 2021 with the former Super Eagles and Arsenal star leading the way.
The ‘Abuja Walk With Kanu Nwankwo’ billed for the capital city of Nigeria, Abuja, is part of Kanu’s effort to create awareness for people living with various heart diseases through his foundation, the Kanu Heart Foundation, KHF.
In 1996, after signing for Italian club Inter Milan, it was discovered that Kanu had a heart defect which needed to be operated upon. Though the operation was successful, it was feared that he would not play professional football again. But Papilo made a full recovery and went on to top level football and won several laurels with top European clubs, including Arsenal FC of England.
Kanu thereafter, set up the Kanu Heart Foundation (KHF), a non-governmental, non-profit organisation founded to help indigent Nigerian children with cardiac diseases to obtain life-saving surgeries within and outside Nigeria.
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Saturday evening, the chairman Local Organising Committee (LOC), Mr Muhammed Mustapha, said the “Abuja Walk with Kanu Nwankwo (Papilo) to make the heart beat” would have the presence of the Inspector General of Police, Nigerian celebrities, football legends, comedians, as well as government officials.
According to Mustapha, “it’s a walk not only for Kanu. It’s a walk for ourselves, the more we walk the better for our hearts.
“The aim of the walk with Kanu is to improve awareness and intervention on the need to protect and care for our hearts.”
“Abuja Walk With Kanu” is an event to commemorate the globally celebrated World Heart Day and will commence from the Office of the Inspector General of Police, through routes cutting across Federal Secretariat, High Court/Abia House, Intel Junction, AP Plaza, CAC, INEC Office and Transcorp Hilton as an endpoint.
Celebrities expected to attend the World Heart Day event include Actress Tonto Dikeh, Cubana Chief Priest, Abbeh Abuede, Tijani Babangida, Daniel Amokachi, Emmanuel Emenike, Victor Ikpeba, Dare Art Alade, amongst others.
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