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A Leader In and Out of the Office: Masai Gives Back

Refusing to forget where he comes from, Toronto Raptors General Manager Masai Ujiri gives back to the continent of his birth. Doug Smith at The Star shares Masai's work over the summer in Africa.


For Masai, it's not just about basketball. It's about remembering where he comes from, and giving back. Masai's goal? To improve life in every way imaginable for those in Africa. For the Raptors General Manager, this isn't a one time publicity stunt; it's a passion.

"It's every summer, it makes August very important. You're giving back and helping. We all want to do well in our day jobs but we can never forget what got us here."

Ujiri's current project, the "Night for Rights" fundraiser - on tonight at the Arcadian Court in Toronto - focuses on training journalists and journalism students in South Sudan. Specifically the event will look to raise money for increased reporting and better training on human rights issues. With strong personal influence from his experiences growing up in Nigeria, Ujiri notes:

"People telling true stories really makes a difference and they have to be allowed to. I think it's a very cool relationship with what I've been through, seeing how stories in the past have been covered over there."

What's most impressive is that for Ujiri, this is the norm. He usually spends a large portion of his summer in Africa, and this year was no different. He nearly spent all of August travelling between Kenya and South Africa, only cancelling on Nigeria due to the unexpected Ebola outbreak.

For more information on Masai's summer, check out the Doug Smith's full article.