A former Arsenal Legend, Kanu Nwankwo, is expected to lead top Nigerian dignitaries and over 2,000 people as “Abuja Walk with Kanu Nwankwo (Papilo) to make the heart beat” on World Heart Day.
The event, 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 the Italian club Inter Milan, it was discovered that Kanu had a heart defect that 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 win several laurels with top European clubs, including Arsenal FC of England.
He, thereafter, set up the Kanu Heart Foundation (KHF), a non-governmental and 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” will have the presence of the Inspector General of Police, Nigerian celebrities, football legends, comedians as well as government officials.
According to him, “it is a walk not only for Kanu. It is 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 include actress Tonto Dikeh, Cubana Chief Priest, Abbeh Abuede, Tijani Babangida, Daniel Amokachi, Emmanuel Emenike, Victor Ikpeba, Dare Art Alade amongst others.
“Abuja Walk With Kanu to make the heart beat” is slated for 7am, 29th of September 2021 in Abuja.