• My son's physique promises riches in sports, but I would want him to take charge
During the 2022 Qatar World Cup, the Morocco team won people’s hearts from all over the world as they celebrated and honoured their mothers during their impressive Quarter Final win against Portugal. This is not a new thing in the Muslim communities as in Islam, a mother’s position is held in high regard.
However, when the news of Achraf Hakimi’s divorce broke on the Internet after he got mired in a rape scandal — more specifically, how the Moroccan football player allocated all his wealth to his mother — I found myself at odds with my own beliefs and mothering strategies.
As my husband and I have set up camp in a country that not only encourages education but also has incredible sports opportunities, we’ve often had the discussion of the possibility of our son being a pro athlete. Our son is particularly tall for his age and is quite active. His father enjoys playing community basketball and soccer, so we have naturally discussed him introducing the baby to these sports as he grows. Our hometown has a particularly prosperous second division basketball team, with mostly black players or persons of colour.
Every time we pass the official court, which is a 2 minute walk from where we live, I keep asking my husband, “What will we do if he ever turns pro? More importantly, how do we keep the gold diggers away?”
It’s no secret that ball players and athletes attract the wrong type of women. While most are married to good women and have successful families, there are those who get caught in the traps of women who are looking for a big payout.
Perhaps that was what Hakimi’s wife, though rich in her own right as a successful actress, was looking for when she petitioned for half his assets, only to find out from the courts that the man owns nothing! Even his paycheque goes straight to his mother!
Now I imagine myself to be somewhat of an overbearing mother and a momma bear who plans to protect my kid at any cost! However, even I find Hakimi’s strategy a little too much. As a mother, I want to teach my son ways of the world and ways to protect himself first before needing to be his shield. He needs to learn how to discern good from bad, how to make the right moves and most importantly, financial literacy.
Hakimi is simply using his mother as his shield, which is a good thing of course, but to what end? We as mothers are tasked with the difficulty of preparing our children for a world without us. They have to learn to manage with or without us. I wonder, would Hakimi know how to manage his wealth if his mother was no longer there to do it for him?