The following is from an interview that took place with Alex in December of 2013. What you see is in Alex’s own words, nothing has been edited or changed for content.
Name: Alex Jumba
D.O.B: 23rd May 1991
Q: Where were you born and what was life like when growing up as a young boy and as a teenager?
A: I was born and raised in Nakuru at a place called Rhonda. As a young boy, there was not much problems. Things were easier than they are currently cause I barely understood much then. But things grew different as I grew and got even harder than I was used to. I found myself around friends who were using drugs like alcohol, smoking of marijuana and a lot more. Crime got into different and higher heights. Cases of thefts and robberies were the order of the day. Friends were the source of peer pressure and the more friends I got the more I subjected myself to peer pressure.
Q: What were some of the challenges that you went through as a footballer?
A: Life as young footballer was very challenging. One had to balance everything that came their way. First there’s the academic part that one had to be very careful with. One had to perform in school so that to be in peace both in school and at home. Then there’s the issue of submitting to parents. One had to be at home with the parents so as to assist them in anything that they pleased. Then there was that part of life where one had to care for their own personal interests. Like football as a talent and also as a sport that relaxes the mind. All these had to be done on the right time and with the right measures. As a footballer though, there was a lot of problems. Like lack of coaches, lack of mentors, lack of sponsors and all that.
As a team player, we were forced by circumstances to cater for our own team needs. Like the travel cost to away matches and league registration fees. Which was very hard because we were still young and never had jobs, and our parents wouldn’t pay the cost for us cause they had other needs of bigger priority than football.
Q: Despite all the challenges, you made it this far. Do you mind telling us how?
A: The answer is very simple but getting there wasn’t, and will never be easy. It took and will forever take the hand of God to have come this far. Getting lost was very easy, while staying away from evil acts was very difficult because one had to make a decision between friends and life, the fewer the friends, the fewer the temptations.
One unforgettable thing that I wouldn’t miss saying is that God saved my life. By giving me a talent that is football. And it makes me feel so good saying this because it made me spend my time well sharpening my skills rather than being involved in different sorts of crime and evil. Idle minds are the devil’s workshop. Football made my mind busy and helped me be God’s workshop by doing right.
Q: Now with the Two Feet Project here with you, give us honest views of how things are.
A: I Thank God for creating the TFP, I have reasons to believe that it’s actually Godly given. For a person to come up with an idea to help youths of a different nation is not an easy thing. When I first heard of the TFP, I thought that this were guys who were only interested in shaping our talents only to find out after joining Society 43FC that TFP care for more about us than I thought.
Currently, things cannot be compared with how they were a year and a half ago. I must accept that through TFP things have turned around for the better. In the beginning they gave us better football training by providing us with a coach who not only trains us football but also teaches us about God during devotions that are normally after training. Then there were better soccer balls, community service that has seen us earn respect from our community. It is through this community service that the community now believe that I can be someone in future because I care.
Another big thing that TFP has helped me have is employment. I must agree that TFP is working with us to see that the level of unemployment with the youth of Kenya has gone down. We were given a chance to think of what would make money for not only Society 43fc but also for our self as income. We thought that starting an outlet for selling ladies clothes would work right. My teammates selected me to be one of the workers at the outlet and that felt very nice because currently I have a job that helps me cover for my needs. We started off on a low note but now we’re growing. Bit by bit.
Q. How do you see futbol helping out your society?
A. Since futbol is a game loved by many, it can be used to bring people together regardless of tribe, gender, race or nationality. This means that it can be uniting factor and from the unity people can know where problems are and work out a way of solving them.
Q. If you had a chance of talking to our sponsors about the needs that our team has. What would you tell them?
A. I highly thank them for their generous support. And would also like to urge them to help us reach out to more youth by helping us financially in order to set up more TFP teams