Côte d’Ivoire: Teams, Managers,Goals, and Strong Feelings

Another country, another challenge. I was lucky enough to find a fairly recent book from Côte d’Ivoire, because there really were not that many options out there. This is the second African autobiography I’ve read during this challenge. Since the last one was a performing artist it was nice to read about a leading sports figure this time. Commitment by Didier Drogba is all about football, strong feelings, and a little bit about life and love.

The book has raving reviews on Goodreads, and in a way I get it, because who else would read the book but hardcore Drogba fans?! Not being a huge fan myself, but a sports fan in general, who follows football, I obviously knew pretty well what I was getting into when I started reading the book. I have to admit that I knew next to nothing about Drogba as a person though.

I recommend this book for hardcore Drogba fans for sure. You can really feel his presence in the book because it is written in plain and straightforward English, him not being a native speaker. He is an extremely emotional person which he repeats time after time in his book. What I enjoy about his story is that he has never really taken anything for granted. He was not handed anything to begin with, but instead he took the long route to success, and never let the success go to his head, unlike so many others have.

I had hopes for a more personal biography, but instead the book focused mainly on Drogba’s feelings when he started playing for a new club, his personal feelings towards certain Managers, as well as too many stories written in excruciating detail about goals he scored, which we can all read about in the statistics and the annual reports anyway. I would have been more interested in other things than ‘scoring this and that goal’. Obviously some of them are important to encounter in a biography, but too much is too much.

I have to say that I really respect Drogba for his efforts regarding charity work. My favourite aspect is however how Drogba has taken a special interest in bringing peace to his home county. This is exactly what I feel like people like him should strive to do, because many people listen to rich, famous people who have achieved something basically no one else has achieved in certain developing countries. The other thing I salute him for is donating a lot of money to hospital development in the Ivory Coast. I respect people who take an interest in using their money and position to do good.

As always in autobiographies, the author can decide which aspects of life to focus on. Drogba decided on sharing only a little about his married life and kids. I respect this as well. After all, the book is about himself. I would have wished for a better balance in the book. I would have wanted to read more about Drogba in situations not having anything to do with new teams, managers and scoring particular goals.

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