My name is Franck, a Cameroonian footballer playing as a striker in South Africa in a first division club. The club I play in is called BAROKA F.C.
At 18, I left the land which saw me born. After one year of suffering in the streets of South Africa, my talent was recognized. Since the beginning of my adventures, cohesion and adhesion existed in the group. And in one of those days, I saw my future in turmoil. Indeed, everything changed the day the pandemic gained momentum on the planet. All sports-related activities were suspended in South Africa. Should I go back to Cameroon? Should I stay in South Africa?
The confinement was effected and my teammates left the South African den. I had not planned to spend a while without playing football because I had dreamed so much about improving myself to a world-class footballer. It was a nightmare for me. After a week without my teammates and the supporters whom I love so much, it was difficult to bear. I decided to return home to better protect myself from possible contamination.
When I arrived in the country the situation was initially less serious. A week later, the number of sick people increased exponentially in Africa. It was more fear than harm. We were wondering all over the place; asking ourselves, “had God decided to clean up the human species?” But hope was at the center of all worry. The advantage I had in this case of confinement is that this was the first time that I stayed with my wife for a long time and especially my son who was only two years old and who had never benefited from the parental warmth. After a few months, the pandemic was under control and hope was growing.
In July 2020, I left Cameroon for South Africa. When I arrived, I found that seven of my teammates were in intensive care. The South Africa championship had restarted but we could only play behind closed doors – something I didn’t really like. Football without an audience is not beautiful. To this day we still play without supporters.
We do hope that with respect for hygiene rules such as wearing a mask, social distancing, and washing hands, we will manage to eradicate this humanitarian threat and regain the atmosphere of the supporters as soon as possible.