Retired Kenyan striker Asman Ngaywa now a successful salesman in Sweden
Former Mathare United and KCB striker Asman Ngaywa is now a successful salesman in Sweden after hanging his boots in 2013.
Ngaywa, who was a household name in Kenyan Football in the 90s and early 2000s as a prolific striker for Mathare United, moved to Sweden in 2007 joining Division Two side Smedby Sais where he played for two seasons and later joined Assyriska.
He would later move back to Kenya briefly joining KCB for a season before going back to Sweden where he played for lower-tier sides Enskede EIK and Bogarmossen before retiring from the game for good in 2013.
“I had a bad knee injury and despite healing, I still felt so much pain after playing in artificial turf. I thought my time was up and retired from football in 2013. I had also become a family man at that time and decided to dedicate more time to that aspect of life,” Ngaywa told Nairobi News last week.
“I am now a professional salesperson and I work for a company that deals with hydraulic equipment and it is a phase of life I am really enjoying,” he added.
Ngaywa, however, is still in touch with the game and scouts for Kenyan talent through his networks and helps place them in clubs in Sweden.
Despite his talent, Ngaywa only played five times for the national team, Harambee Stars. But he has no regret.
“I started playing for the national team as a very young player and it was really hard to break through into the senior team that had very good and experienced players like Mark Sirengo, Mike Okoth and Bonevature Maruti. Sammy Simuyu and I were the youngest players in the team and we were lucky and very privileged to learn and play with such legends,” he recalls.
Ngaywa singles out former Mathare United coach Jonathan Niva and current Harambee Stars coach Francis Kimanzi as coaches who played a big role in his career, amongst others like Rashidi Shedu, Twahir Muhiddin and Nigerian Christian Chukwu who gave him his first call up to the national team.
Ngaywa says he played with very good players at Mathare United but reserves a special mention for Ali Mohammed.
“He was more like my guardian. He was a very good player who taught me a lot and help me settle at the club,” he said.
BEST OF MATHARE
Ngaywa also revealed his all-time preferred Mathare United starting squad.
Goalkeeper: Duncan Ochieng Defenders: Alfred Chege, Ezekiel Akwana, Philip Opiyo, Edgar Fighter Ochieng, Ali Mohammed Midfielders: Walter Odede, Titus Mulama, John Kureshi Strikers: Asman Ngaywa and Dennis Oliech Coach: Jonathan Niva
His word of advice to upcoming Kenyan players who dream of playing football at the top level?
“You have to work twice as hard as the native players if you are in African player in Europe and therefore this is something that has to start early. Whatever league or team you are in at the moment, put in the extra effort in training and be disciplined,” he says,
“Patience is also key. Some players achieve their dreams early while others very late. You must realise this and trust the process,” he said in conclusion.