Breaking Boundaries

Alphonso Davies' journey from Buduburam Camp to global soccer superstar

Black History Month is a celebration of the achievements and contributions of Black Canadians and their communities who have had a major impact on Canada and the world. In this blog, I write about how Alphonso Davies inspires me as a Black woman.


During the formative years of his life, the only home Alphonso Davies knew was Buduburam Camp, a refugee site located in Ghana. Davis was born on November 2, 2000, to Liberian parents who had to flee the country during the second civil war in Liberia. While refugee camps offer a haven from violence or disaster people may be experiencing in their home countries, the living conditions there are by no means comfortable. People often have little access to food and water, and at times even lack hygienic ways to dispose of human waste.  

This story has a happy ending.


Alphonso’s life changed in 2005. Through a United Nations’ (UN)  refugees sponsorship program, his family relocated to Edmonton, Alberta. I can only imagine the challenges of starting life again for the young child. Speaking from personal experience, relocating to a new country is difficult, even for an adult. At only five years old, Alphonso had to navigate through the complexities of learning a new language, starting school in a new country, making new friends, and getting used to the extreme Edmonton weather.


None of these hardships deterred the young Alphonso from focusing on his one passion – soccer. This was all he knew and loved. His determination and perseverance moved him quickly up through the competitive soccer pathway. At the age of 14, he relocated on his own to Vancouver to join the Whitecaps Football Club, and at age 15 became the youngest player to sign a United Soccer League contract.

In 2017, he was named one of the 60 best young soccer players in the world. In 2018, he was named the youngest player in Major League Soccer. He quickly rose to fame in Canada, and in no time, the young “roadrunner” was being scouted by major European clubs, including Manchester, Chelsea and Liverpool. In 2020, Alphonso became a UN Goodwill Ambassador for Refugees, which sponsors kids and gives them a chance at a better life. He is a true hero – giving back to the society he once benefitted from.


Alphonso Davies is now known as the face of Canadian soccer. He is hands down the most influential Canadian soccer star, with over 5.4 million followers on Instagram alone. He is also very active on TikTok, and as a big TikTok fan myself, I was hooked on his page for hours. Alphonso has a very interesting and fun personality, with his content being a mix of soccer and comedy.


If asked what Alphonso’s greatest achievement is, every soccer fanatic would tell you that it was in the 2022 FIFA World Cup when he made history by scoring Canada’s first ever goal in the world cup. Personally, I believe that his greatest achievement is serving as a beacon of hope to Black people around the world – soccer lovers or not. Not only is his story incredibly inspirational, it reminds me to not give up and keep working hard for my Canadian Citizenship.

The story of this young legend hits close to home for me. The struggles of life growing up in Africa and the struggles that both he and I have faced moving abroad and starting over are comparable. The accomplishments of this amazing player give me the confidence that a bright future awaits me. It keeps me striving towards my goals and aspirations.


Esinam Adjaklo graduated with distinction from Stenberg College’s Business Diploma (Marketing Specialization) in 2024. She is currently interning with Stenberg College’s Marketing Department. She was born and raised in Accra, Ghana where she lived with her parents and 3 other siblings. She has always had a passion for art and creativity and graduated with a degree in Industrial Art with a major in Fashion Design from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. Esi plans to continue her studies at British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in the fall, make Canada her home, and establish her brand, Adzoa Atelier, as one of Canada’s top fashion houses.

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