Nairobi, June 2, 2019
We are delighted to announce an exciting new acquisition to the SoccerExpo Family, Our very own David Majak from South Sudan. Read his fantastic story here.
David first came into the limelight at the Safaricom Chapa Dimba Na Safaricom 2018 Tournament. He was part of Tourament champions the Kapenguria Heroes from West Pokot. One of the tournament highlights was David Majak, an 18-year-old refugee from South Sudan who showed great football prowess. Playing for Kapenguria Heroes, he led them to victory at the regional level after emerging top scorer in the match. Additionally, he was named the regional MVP.
In just one year David Majak has made great strides. After high school he joined Kakamega Homboyz FC for a short stint. Mid way through the season, in January 2019 David joined Mount Kenya FC, where he played three of his first professional football matches. In March 2019 Tusker FC signed him; since then he has being growing from strength to strength. In the eight matches he has played for Tusker David scored six goals and had six assists.
Read the interview David Majak had with Potentash to get an up-close on the young star.
David, please tell me a little about yourself
I am an 18-year-old from South Sudan, but I have lived most of my life in Kenya. We moved to the refugee camp in Kakuma in 2007. I then moved to study in Turkana, where I joined Chewoyet Boys High School. I grew up in a family of six, with four brothers. They are also interested in football but for now, I think they play just for fun.
How can you describe your experience in Kakuma?
Living in Kakuma came with its hardships. There was a shortage of clean water. Food and clothes were also very hard to come by. Then there is the sun which was extremely hot. It is just many of those refugees have nowhere else to turn to so they just stick around even in those conditions.
How did you begin playing football and what inspired you to play?
I actually began playing for leisure. In Kakuma we would form small teams and kick around a ball just for fun. I never thought it would amount to anything. When we left Sudan to move to Kakuma, I joined a team called D3. That was the first team I remember playing in. Later at Cherwoyet Boys High School, I joined Kapenguria Heroes. I started out as a goalkeeper but later became a striker. I am more comfortable in that position.
What challenges have you encountered along the way and how have you been able to overcome them?
While playing for Kapenguria heroes, we did not have a field to practice in. We also lacked basic football equipment such as the right shoes or even balls to practice with. We used to play friendly games with other teams which required us to travel from one place to another. One had to source for the fare which was not easy to get for us to travel to those destinations. Often our coaches would dig into their own pockets to finance our travelling and lodging. They understood that we were students and couldn’t come up with large amounts of cash. However, when I joined Kapenguria Heroes in 2015 we played and won in the Maisha League in 2016, where we won a million Shillings. With this money, we were able to finance our needs, such as acquiring balls and equipment for training which helped us get ready for the Chapa Dimba Tournament.
How has been the experience playing at the Chapa Dimba na Safaricom Tournament?
My experience at Chapa Dimba was a good one. But from the beginning, it was not easy. The teams had come to play their level best. We played two games at the County level, three games at Subregion, two at the Regionals and three at the Nationals. We had to win all those ten games for us to eventually win the tournament and that was no easy feat. However, I believe that our determination and commitment to the game is what eventually won us the cup. I really enjoyed spending time with other teams and getting to interact with other team members. However, this was a situation where if a team lost just one game, they would go home. This was heartbreaking for team members because you could tell that most of these teams had given their all during those games. So some players would often become too angry to even talk to you after you won, which I understand.
What was your reaction when you won the tournament?
I was grateful we won, but I honestly did not think too much about the money. It would help our team grow, but I was never in it for the money. When you grow up the way I have, you realize that money is just paper, it comes and goes. One day it is yours, the other day it belongs to someone else. The only thing you can truly call yours is your achievements. I believe it was the same for my teammates. All we want to do is win. That was our target, to better ourselves as football players. However, everyone got their cut of the 200,000 shillings, which I am sure has gone a long way in helping their families.
Why do you think your team won?
I think we won by believing in ourselves and by keeping our eye on the prize. We also trained vigorously during the period of the tournament, once in the morning and again in the evening every single day. We had to set our minds to play hard, because during the tournament you could play only two games a day. Your body needs to have built up stamina or you will get tired after one game.
What has been the greatest highlight of your career so far?
Simply finding out I had a talent. I honestly never thought football would ever take me anywhere. I figured it was just a hobby like any other. So realizing that it is a talent that led me to play professional football is a big deal to me. I am grateful for how far I have come, most especially being picked by Kakamega Homeboys. The funny thing is I had always wanted to join Gor Mahia Youth, then ended up playing against them and beating them in the finals.
How has this tournament impacted your life?
It allowed me to showcase my talent to the scouts who were watching. That led to me joining the Kakamega Homeboys, which is a great achievement since they are in the Kenya Premier League. The money I won at the regional level and the national level let me help my family a lot. I am also excited to go to London and spend a whole week with Victor Wanyama. All this has happened to me in the span of a year, all thanks to Chapa Dimba na Safaricom. I am very grateful.
Now that you are off to a great start, what are your future plans and goals?
My future plan is to grow so much as a football player that I can start helping people instead of being helped, which is what happened to me. So many people have the talent but lack opportunities to play. Instead of waiting for help from people who have not gone through the struggles we have, we can push ourselves to succeed, then help those who are as we were once. I would also like to play professional football in clubs such as Tottenham or Real Madrid in future. I admire players such as Harry Kane from Tottenham. In matters to do with education, I would like to go to university to study Law.
What advice would you give to young people like you who want to aspire to make football a career?
They need to convince themselves they can make it big, even when the odds are not in their favour. You need to believe you can make it, because if you don’t, nobody can have that vision for you. Eventually, people start to believe in you, but you have to be the one to show them why you are a winner. Additionally, talent is not enough. When it comes to football you need to practice often.
As part of your prize for winning the tournament, your team is heading to London to practice with Victor Wanyama for a week, what are your expectations for the trip?
(laughing) I know it might seem absurd, but I would love to just stay there and grow as a football player. It might seem like a crazy idea, but I have learnt to dream big. I also hope to play a lot of football as I learn from a star like Wanyama.
Read the original article here.