Celia Okoyino da Mbabi: A Soccer Star goes VIP

June 28th, 2012

Soccer is in the air as the 2012 Euro Cup reaches its climax. To celebrate, Cities of Migration speaks to Célia Okoyino da Mbabi, a midfielder with the German women’s national soccer team. Our star is a school ambassador with the internationally-acclaimed “All Kids are VIPs” program. The interview was conducted by our German partner, Bertelsmann Stiftung.

Why did you become an ambassador for “All Kids are VIPs?” Have you got special reasons for participating in “Alle Kids sind VIPs?

Kids are our future. I really enjoy their company. I perceive them as being extremely open-minded. Children have to be encouraged and supported – they are the true VIPs.

How does your cultural background help you with your soccer-career or your everyday life?

My mother is French, my father comes from Cameroon. I was born in Bonn, Germany. My background enables me to handle different situations in very mature ways. Because of where I come from, I am able to see further than the end of my nose, to consider different views. My cultural upbringing has been a huge benefit to me.

What´s your secret of success? What would you tell kids who are in a similar position to yours a couple of years back?

Always believe in yourself and what you do. Bring a lot of fun, energy and passion to what you’re doing. That applies to school as well as sports or other hobbies. There might be drawbacks. But as long as you are passionate about what you do, you´ll succeed!

Why is this important for you to get involved with VIPS Kids?

Children are great and they deserve to be supported. I love sharing my time and experiences – they have a very big place in my heart.

What is your favourite city and why?

There are a lot of beautiful cities, like London, Paris or smaller cities like Dubrovnik. They are all beautiful in their own ways.

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