An exclusive look at Kingsley Baiden, better known as Fifi Baiden
, and his
journey to become an established MLS talent
Born November 11, 1991, as Kingsley Baiden in Ajumako, Ghana, Fifi Baiden
brings a fascinating backstory with him to current club Columbus Crew.
At 10 years old, Fifi Baiden
found himself in a Ghanaian soccer academy called the Right to Dream.
This academy has molded many professional Ghanaian soccer players across Europe specifically, including one that played in the 2014 World Cup.
Point being, it's a solid academy and Fifi
has the right pedigree to be the player he
wants to be, first and foremost.
"Growing up in Ghana was tough.
I grew up in a poor household where food and education was scarce.
was one of the gateways for poor children to create opportunities for themselves from that poor environment.
I consider myself very blessed to be selected by the Right to Dream Academy
around the age of ten," Fifi
Life in Ghana taught Fifi
an immense amount about life and gave him the perspective that he
"Throughout my years in the academy and in Ghana, I learned that nothing comes easy in life.
I strongly believe in God and hard work as the (key to) success and that's what has guided me my whole life," Fifi
Knowledge of Self
went on to explain, "The most important part of my youth career is understanding my vision of where I want to go in life, and finding that balance between God and hard work."
has a divine ambition deriving from his
past and who he
To reiterate, Baiden
says, "Like I said earlier, my childhood was tough, and it was through that poor background that urged me to do something for myself, for my family, for Ghana, and for the world in general.
It is through all that experience that made me realize that hard work is the key to success, if I continue to believe in God.
My experiences at the Right to Dream Academy
, the Dunn School
, and UC Santa Barbara
are very rich experiences that have shaped who I am today, my work ethics, and the way I see the world."
name simply is Fifi Baiden
It epitomizes everything he's
When such words are used as an example to highlight anyone in any profession, you should be impressed, especially coming from a 22 year old.
It's an impressive amount of drive, so important to the game of football, and the game of life.
Outside of football, this perspective helps shine light on other aspects of life.
Fifi recently joined Map International, a Christian organization that promotes global health, as a humanitarian ambassador.
The Ebola outbreak in Ghana and other parts of the world and Africa is one reason Fifi joined the organization.
"The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is very disturbing and (has led) to the loss of many lives.
I joined Map International
in the cause to raise awareness and fight Ebola," Fifi
reverts back to a similar theme as he
further explains his
reasoning for joining Map however, "As I pointed (to) earlier, it is important for me to give back to others in the same way I've been blessed.
I was around the age of fifteen, and I moved here alone to pursue my dream of attaining quality education and becoming a professional soccer player," Fifi
From there, Fifi went on to attend UC Santa Barbara and eventually was drafted into Major League Soccer in 2014.
The 42nd overall pick in the 2014 MLS Superdraft, Fifi
was ready to make an impact with the team that selected him, Columbus Crew.
went on to make one appearance for Columbus against Toronto on May 31st.
played seventeen minutes while Columbus lost 4-2.
Over the next month or so, Fifi experienced issues with his
groin, but more importantly his
left hip flexor.
Surgery on his
left hip was scheduled for July 23rd and was successful.
Unfortunately, the injury suffered and surgery completed sidelined Fifi
for the rest of the 2014 season.
A full recovery for such an injury is six months, thus Fifi
will be back for the 2015 season, when which he'll have a lot to prove after missing a large portion of the 2014 season.
said that he
should be back to jogging in "a few weeks".
can begin to start the journey that will see him become the player he
hopes to be.
I believe I will establish myself in MLS through my hard work and my humble persistence to learn and succeed," Fifi
applying such a perspective at 22, the future seems bright for Mr. Kingsley Baiden.