5-Time Pro Bowler Tamba Hali Is Building a School in Liberia

The sack machine is making a legacy outside of football

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What’s next for a former NFL player who dominated the gridiron for over a decade? The answer is simple: a smooth transition into retirement. This is what former Kansas Chiefs great Tamba Hali is currently doing—and doing it extremely well—through an array of business ventures.

Hali had an amazing 11-year career on the Chiefs, finishing second of all-time in franchise history with the most sacks (89.5, to be exact). A five-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro selectee, Hali was a favorite among die-hard Chiefs fans, showcasing smooth cat-like reflexes and a “leave it all on the field” mentality. Effectively, he inspired a new winning streak in Kansas City. But what many people might not know about Hali is the struggle, grit and grind he possesses. 

Born and raised in Liberia, Hall left West Africa for the United States when he was ten. His homeland was in the middle of a dangerous civil war. Upon arriving in the United States, Hali did not know how to read and write. After some difficult years, Hali’s father became a professor. When it came time to apply to colleges, Hali received a full scholarship to Penn State. Now, he is on a mission to give back to his homeland of Liberia and provide children with the opportunity to succeed in life through the education he so hungrily sought.

Hali recently announced that he has plans to build a school in Liberia that focuses on STEM.

ONE37pm caught up with Hali. Here’s what he had to say.

ONE37pm: Describe the experience of building a new school in your home country.

Tamba Hali: We had to create the proper legal documents and make sure it was a nonprofit. I've had to travel several times back home searching for land. I think we’ve come up with the place where I believe we would like to have the school. We're in the stage of raising funds, and we're still being progressive. I really want to see this happen. 

Do you have any objectives for the kids who will be attending your school? What do you want to see them achieve?

Hali: Well, we started from the ground roots. I can't come in and try to do something bigger than myself. I see myself as these children. We’re planning to start them very young and begin to implement the STEM program—where we're teaching first-, second-, third-, fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms. We plan to observe and to study to see how this can relate to the success that the kids in the United States are having. I'm trying to partner up with my alma mater, Penn State, to see where we can basically keep track of how they're progressing in school in the long run. The STEM program can drive economies. I know it will help the young children as well as the community with their problem-solving skills by introducing science, technology, engineering and math into their world.

If you were able to open the school today, who would you make your principal or your dean and why?

Hali: I'll have to say, my dad. I will have to talk to him about that, but he's a good teacher. I'd love to be so knowledgeable—he’s been around for a long time and he’s a very, very, very smart guy. 

You started making music roughly two years ago and had a solid single called “Mastercraft.” You just released a new track titled “Pay Day.” Are you going to release more new music for your fans?

Hali: Music has always been my passion. Right now, we have a compilation that's being created with the Liberia market. I went back, and some of the prominent names that are in that market I'm trying to do music with me. I’m putting the compilation out from my record label, Relumae Records. I created it ten years ago and it is English record music being presented to Liberia. I have my own EP coming out called Loving Life. It displays my versatility of being an artist who can sing and rap on Afrobeat music. 

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