High school students still in shock after Harambee Stars call up
Teenage sensation James Mazembe admits he is surprised to receive a call up to the national football team.
The 18-year old however plans to make the most of this “dream” opportunity to curve out a successful professional career in football.
The Kakamega High School midfielder spoke to Nairobi News on phone from Gulu, Uganda, on Saturday moments after he was, alongside schoolmate Alpha Onyango, included in Harambee Stars 30-man provisional squad ahead of the friendlies against Mauritania and Togo.
Mazembe and Onyango are currently featuring at the East Africa School games in northern Uganda.
“I didn’t expect the call-up even though the coach (Stanley Okumbi) told me I was an exceptional player,” Mazembe, who already has signed for SportPesa Premier League side Kariobangi Sharks, explained.
“This has been a very successful year for the football pitch. I hope we can win the (East Africa) schools competition, and the national team games. I am also hopeful of passing my O-level exams later this year,” he added.
Mazembe was scouted by Football Kenya Federation’s technical team at the 2017 Airtel Rising Stars National Secondary Schools Term Two B games earlier this year.
He was named Most Valuable Player at the tournament even as Kakamega finished third at the games.
Meanwhile, also making the cut to the Harambee Stars squad are Stephen Waruru, Kepha Aswani and Joseph Okumu, who was recently released by top tier South African club Free State Stars.
Conspicuously absent however is Gor Mahia midfielder Kenneth Muguna, the reigning Kenya Premier League player of the year, who has hit the headlines of late for trying to force a move out of the club.
The games will be played at a neutral venue, in Morocco, on August 31 and September 4 respectively.
Boniface Oluoch (Gor Mahia), Patrick Matasi (Posta Rangers), Peter Odhiambo (Gor Mahia)
Benard Ochieng (Vihiga United), Harun Shakava (Gor Mahia), Musa Mohammed (Gor Mahia), Omar Mbongi (Ulinzi Stars), Simon Mbugua (Posta Rangers), Collins Shivachi (Tusker), Joseph Okumu (Unattached), Mohammed Hassan (Ulinzi Stars), Jockins Atudo (Posta Rangers)
Ernest Wendo (Gor Mahia), Victor Majid (AFC Leopards), George Odhiambo (Gor Mahia), Jackson Macharia (Tusker), Daniel Waweru (Ulinzi Stars), Alpha Onyango (Kakamega High School), Duncan Otieno (AFC Leopards), Boniface Omondi (Gor Mahia), Moses Mudavadi (Kakamega Homeboyz), James Mazembe (Kakamega High School), Ezekiel Otuoma (Western Stima)
Samuel Onyango (Ulinzi Stars), Boniface Muchiri (Tusker), Kepha Aswani (Nakumatt), Masoud Juma (Kariobangi Sharks), Stephen Waruru (Ulinzi Stars), Joe Waithera (Wazito), Chris Ochieng (Mathare United), Nicholas Kipkirui (Zoo Kericho).