Kenyan Footballer Who Grew up in Poverty, Now Earning Ksh 800K Monthly Salary

  • Nashville FC player Handwalla Bwana scrambles for the ball during a past match.
    Nashville FC player Handwalla Bwana scrambles for the ball during a past match.
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    Handwalla Bwana
  • When Kenyan footballer, Handwalla Bwana, grew up at Kakuma refugee camp, Turkana County, his fate was seemingly sealed. 

    Living a poverty-stricken life, Bwana's chances of rising like the phoenix grew slimmer by the day. This was deterred by the fact that he had to travel for six miles every day in order to fetch water.

    As days went by, Bwana would count his losses in life. He, however, turned to football as his safe haven. 

    Kenyan footballer Handwalla Bwana poses for a photo inside his car.
    Kenyan footballer Handwalla Bwana poses for a photo inside his car.
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    Handwalla Bwana

    Crafting a ball made up of garbage, Bwana and his friends would play till late at night. Unbeknownst to him, his hobby would ultimately be his saving grace.

    "Playing with a ball made of garbage made me better with my feet," he described the experience at a past media interview. 

    After spending six years at the camp, a well-wisher intervened and his family was resettled to Atlanta, Georgia in the United States of America. 

    They later relocated to Seattle where his family settled. Bwana completed his secondary education at Ballard High school. Seeking to develop his football skills, he joined Seattle Sounders FC Academy in 2015.

    After two seasons, Bwana was signed to the club as a homegrown player. In 2018, he made his debut against Los Angeles FC- showing off his impeccable skills and footwork.

    Later that year, Bwana scored his first goal, the game-winner against Toronto FC. A week later he scored his second goal against Orlando City SC.

    "From walking six miles every day to get water to scoring my first Major League Soccer (MLS) goal. Being able to keep having faith in God and working so hard to be where I am today.

    "The team fought incredibly hard to get 3 points. Lastly, that goal was for my mother, it belongs to her she is the real hero," he tweeted after scoring his first goal. 

    After impressive seasons at the club, Bwana was poached by Nashville FC at the tender age of 21 years with the transfer deal amounting to a whopping Ksh2.8 million. 

    At the age of 22, he currently earns a monthly salary of Ksh809,225 which translates to an annual salary of Ksh9.7 million

    Nashville FC player, Handwalla Bwana, during a past training session.
    Nashville FC player, Handwalla Bwana, during a past training session.
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    Handwalla Bwana