Originating from the lively Calaba Town neighbourhood in Freetown, Saidu Fofanah embarked on his football journey at the tender age of nine, starting with Real Med-B FC. Progressing to AC Milan within the Shell community, he became part of a team renowned for its knack for discovering and nurturing emerging talent.
Growing up, Fofanah faced various challenges, including his strict grandmother who didn’t see the value in football. Despite this, at eleven, he would sneak away or use excuses like tending to sheep to play at the Moraldo field in Kissy. His journey led him to Lumley, where he joined FC Shakur, later renamed Real Mack FC. He created lasting memories here, winning the Goodrich U14 competition in 2008, marking the start of his trophy collection.
Throughout numerous under-14 competitions with Real Mack FC, Fofanah’s skill as a midfielder consistently shone. A pivotal moment occurred in a friendly match against the renowned FC Kallon in 2012-2013, where he scored the lone goal, securing a 1-0 victory. This exceptional performance caught the eye of Mohamed Kallon, a Leone Stars legend and FC Kallon owner. Consequently, Fofanah embarked on his professional career in 2013 with FC Kallon.
Fofanah’s most challenging decision arose when he chose between college and his soccer aspirations. Viewing soccer as a divine gift, he prioritized pursuing his talent over formal education, much to the dissent of his family. Thriving as a midfielder with both attacking and defensive prowess at FC Kallon, he earned a spot in the Sierra Leone national team and participated in the 2021 AFCON TotalEnergies in Cameroon. He currently has five caps and one goal for Leone Stars.
Mentors like Med B, Pharo, Coach Adel, Mahmoud Mack, and Mohamed Kallon greatly influenced Fofanah’s playing style and development. Navigating the pressures of professional football, he acknowledges the high expectations from fans, consistently striving to perform at his best.
Beyond football, Fofanah’s on-field experiences imparted crucial life lessons centred around love and compassion for opponents and teammates alike. His devout religious upbringing is evident through his commitment to performing five daily prayers.
For aspiring players, Fofanah imparts valuable advice: “Stay dedicated to your dreams, maintain a thirst for learning, remain humble, show respect, and above all, keep your faith and avoid greed.”
Looking ahead, Fofanah’s aspirations extend beyond Sierra Leone, envisioning a future at the pinnacle of global football, including the ambitious dream of joining Barcelona FC.