Star Power By Ezinne Ukoha, Natalie Goode & Perthrina Pegus
Mr. Jones—Ezinne Ukoha
Ok ladies, there really is such a thing as having the whole package! Dhani Jones is proof of that.This gorgeous NFL linebacker (who has lent his skills to the New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans Saints, and currently the Cincinnati Bengals) is beyond looks, and has a lot to bring to the table in terms of credentials. Fashion Entrepreneur, environmentalist, community leader and now host of his very own show, “Dhani Tackles the Globe” on the Travel Channel—there is no stopping this guy! He made the elite list of People magazine’s “50 Hottest Bachelors of 2005” but that honor didn’t faze him. Jones oozes sex appeal coupled with an undeniable need to support charities. For instance, his charitable contributions to former Vice President Al Gore’s Climate Change Project and the United Nations’ World Food Program, are just a few of the ways in which he gives back. Dhani Jones will make women melt with his poetic verses (yes ladies he loves writing poetry!). He also fits the everyman’s-man cliché with his hobbies that include woodworking and photography.And he is ever the romantic, dabbling in oil painting and classical music. If he seems too good to be true that’s probably because he is! God created Dhani Jones…Now, if only he could complete his masterpiece by hooking one of us up with him!
RISING STARS ACROSS THE GLOBE:
The Muhammad Ali of Tennis—Natalie Goode
French tennis player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 24, twists his 200-pound frame as he delivers a 136 mph serve against Ivo Karlovic at this year’s Wimbledon, while that may illustrate his “sting,” it’s his round face and crooked grin that have fellow players calling him Ali. But, his heavy forehand and diving volleys is what gives this Frenchman an identity of his own. One that includes an eighth place singles ranking in the world. In 2003, Tsonga’s star began to rise, winning the 2003 US Open Juniors title by defeating Marcos Baghdatis. After turning pro in 2004, Tsonga was plagued with a string of injuries that slowed his playing time. However, in 2007 he bounced back when he was named the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Newcomer of the year. Tsonga was born in Le Mans, France where his French mother and Congolese father, a former handball player, still reside. Tsonga credits his father for inheriting his “physical qualities,” which helped him defeat Rafael Nadal in the 2008 Australian Open. And even though Tsonga succumbed to Karlovic’s towering 6’10” frame, cutting his Wimbledon aspirations short, he doesn’t dwell on his loses, his mind is framed to “gagner avec la forme”—to win with “fashion, with style.”
Captain of the Elephants—Perthrina Pegus
It’s no coincidence that Didier Yves Drogba is the captain of the Elephants (the Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) national football team). Star soccer player, prominent striker, and Goodwill Ambassor, Drogba has long developed a history of raw potency and recollection, making him a top-notch scorer both on and off the fields. Not only was Drogba responsible for taking the Ivory Coast’s Elephants to its first-ever World Cup final in 2006, as a current striker, he also helped club Chelsea win its first Premier League title ever. As with most “elephants” Drogba has shown that it is his intention to not forget, as a Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations Development Programme, he maintains that, “I don’t forget my origins…I have been given opportunities to succeed in life, but I constantly think about the ones who did not have this chance.” That sentiment is echoed through his contribution to several charities and organizations that support the fight to eradicate poverty, for HIV/AIDS awareness, for human rights, and for women’s empowerment. In June 2009, Drogba went to Johannesburg as an Ambassador for the Youth African Soccer Cup, a program developed to aid in the fight against xenophobia.