By Our Correspondent.
The university of Maryland School of Public Health launched the Madieu Williams Center for Global Health Initiatives on November 4 2008 at the Marriott conference centre in Maryland, USA.
In attendance were Ambassador Stevens and the chairman of SLABA Desmond Bishop, Mohamed L Bah Public Relations Officer for SLABA, Aiah Fanday of the Kono union, Dr Fuamba Ahmadu and members of the Madieu Williams family represented in the Sierra Leone Diaspora.
Robert Gold, Dean of the university, spoke about how the university is proud that one of theirs is coming back to the community to give a share of his fortune to the needy. He announced that Madieu Williams has donated $ 2,000,000 .00 dollars to the foundation.
The president of the university, C.D. Mote, thanked Madieu Williams for his generosity noting that he has been the only athlete that has donated such an amount to his alma mater and the youngest to have donated such and amount and generously doing similar work in Cincinnati and his high school Duval High School in Lanham MD. He is also building a school in Sierra Leone.
Ambassador Stevens expressed thanks and appreciation to the university of Maryland and Madieu Williams for such great honor to the community and Sierra Leone. He said Maddieu is one of the few 28 year olds that looked back to where they come from and that most young African immigrants don’t want to associate themselves with their country of origin and he wished young Africans will emulate the example of Maddieu to be proud of their origin even it is poor.
He ended by saying Sierra Leone has gone through dark stages of war and is now open for business and our long awaited hydro project has been completed and Freetown has come from the darkest city in the world to being the brightest.
Madieu Williams was then introduced amidst thunderous applause. He thanked everybody for the support and said he is just realizing a dream of his late mother Mrs. Abigail Williams to make as much difference as he can if he is opportuned to. He summed up by saying that his foundation should benefit the people of P.G. community and his motherland Sierra Leone.
According to a Wikipedia entry, Madieu Mohammed Williams , born October 18, 1981 in Freetown, Sierra Leone, is an American football safety for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League. He was originally drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the second round of the 2004 NFL Draft. He played college football at Maryland.
He moved to Lanham, Maryland at age nine, went to DuVal High School in Lanham, Maryland, attended Towson University and the University of Maryland.
After being drafted in the second round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals, Williams contributed early by playing in all 16 games. He finished the season with 103 tackles, 11 pass delfections, two sacks, and three interceptions. He returned one of the interceptions for a touchdown.
In 2005, Williams only played in 4 games, missing the other 12 due to injury. He did, however, record 23 tackles and an interception.
In 2006, Williams returned to play all 16 games of the season. He finished the season with 90 tackles, 13 pass break-ups, two forced fumbles, and three interceptions.
In 2007, injuries again caused Williams to miss three games of the season. He finished up the season with 74 tackles, 7 pass deflections, two sacks, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries, and two interceptions. He opened up the season with 10 tackles in the Monday Night Football opener against the Baltimore Ravens.
After spending his first four years with Cincinnati, Williams signed with Minnesota following the 2007 season. He agreed to a six-year, $33 million contract. He missed the first 7 games of the 2008 season due to a neck injury he suffered during training camp. In his first game back he intercepted Sage Rosenfels to wrap up the win for the Vikings. He finished the 2008 season with 42 tackles and 2 interceptions.
Madieu trains with an athletic group known as The Stable, to whom he has credited his success stemming from his freshman year in high school. ‘‘This is home, and I feel good when I’m working out,” said Williams, who’s headed into his fourth season. ‘‘It’s a lot of guys that put in a lot of work getting ready for whatever sport that they play. It’s a lot of camaraderie beyond us training."
The Madieu Williams Foundation, founded in 2005, focuses on health, wellness, nutrition, fitness and education. Through his foundation, Madieu reaches out to youth and teaches them at an early age the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
Recently, Madieu Williams was honored by Hall of Famer Franco Harris and Harris’ company, R Super Foods, as their Cincinnati Super MVP.
Photo: Madieu Williams (centre).