His parents are Nigerians; he was born in Togo; he became a Togolese and he loves Ghana. Suffice to say he is a West African child.

Emmanuel Sheyi Adebayor, 2008 African footballer of the year was born poor but happy.

Fifteen years ago, he had to sneak into his neighbour’s house in Togo on countless occasions to watch TV because it was a luxury he did not have at home.

Peeping through one of those TVs, he saw his idol, Kanu Nwanku playing for Nigeria and he knew football was his calling.

He had the skill, he had the talent but those were still not enough; his tenacity and determination were, and today he is one of Africa’s great African footballers.

Adebayor recaps in a sizzling interview on Bola Ray’s Personality Profile segment on Drive Time on Joy how as a young budding footballer, relishing to make his European debut, he was denied a visa by the Holland Embassy in Ghana in 1997.

From a rented apartment in Togo, struggling to make ends meet, Sheyi Adebayor now has over 28 mansions in Togo alone; some he doesn’t even know about. Not to talk about those he has in Ghana and the several European countries he had played his club football for.

He now calls Kanu, any day, anytime, to share a drink; swap jokes and ready wits and a little dance if the Nigerian can.

Married with a daughter, Sheyi will quit professional football at age 31. He would rather, someday, die on a football pitch.

Play the attached audio for the sizzling interview

By Nathan Gadugah/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana