Name: Johnmark Gachucha
Current profession: Cinematographer at Bauhaus Ltd.
Industry: Filming industry
For the better part of my life I have lived in Mathare North, a cosmopolitan estate where I started playing soccer as a young boy without football boots and the grounds were not conducive for any child to play but for the love and passion for football was burning in me like an inferno.
We watched our local stars rising from the same circumstances later to play in the Kenya premier league and other leagues abroad. One time while still training at Drive-in Primary school, one of the football legends that many admired his achievements was watching the training session like anybody else from the estate, well when we were done, his brother came to me and a colleague by the name Odongo accompanied them to their house which we followed together with great anticipation
The moment we got to Masaka's house, Odongo received a pair of black and predator Addidas soccer playing shoes; he was filled with joy and gratitude all over his face. Well, I was happy for him because I knew my day was going to come, this was in 2004.
One week later Wilson Masaka is also known as ‘Maja’ like we used to call him then, called me in his house where his brother and sisters were present, Banda his younger brother said '' hebu pima hizi'' try this one's out!, and this was a pair of black Addidas Mundial for me.
I could not hide my joy and I could not stop thanking him for this was my desire to play football with professional shoes, especially in secondary school games which was ongoing at Ruaraka high school we were playing in the quarter finals and I was the only student from form two in the school team which was a rare opportunity. We went on to the Nairobi final only to be defeated 2-1 by Hidden Talent academy who were later disqualified for filling premier league players who cheated to be their students.
All in all Maja gesture boosted my morale and the urge to be a professional player and the better part is that I was not the only neither Odongo but many youth have received the shoes, uniform and balls because of his love to see football in the slums and less privileged children have at least proper gears from training and play. Though I don't play football professionally like I wanted to I have never stopped playing for fun.
Thanks Wilson Masaka you are a true patriot of football who continues to inspire many youth through the football shoes campaign and I urge everyone to join in and support the cause. One person can reach hundreds but when we are a team, we can reach millions, I invite you to join Wilsen initiative’s vision of reach many young people in our community through sports for development program.
May God bless and thank you.
Sent through email by Johnmark