Football juggler with sticky shoes

Football juggler with sticky shoes

Freestyle: Jabu "The Celeb" takes solace in football freestyle

This is passion and courage wrapped in astounding football-juggling skills. Jabu “The Celeb” Mdaka (27) went to the extent of taking his savings and boarded a bus to visit countries like Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia to entertain people.  He had to buy a return ticket because he did not know anyone in those countries.

Got each other’s back: Cecil Chiila and Jabu “The Celeb” ready to juggle their way to children’s hearts

“I would catch a bus in the evening and arrive at my destination the following day in the morning,” he says.  Jabu would then identify a spot and starting “freestyling”. “I am doing this for a living. If you don’t risk you might not achieve your dream.”

Through Facebook he met his equal from Zambia, Cecil Chiila (25). “I saw him on Facebook, that’s how we were connected. I asked to visit him,” Chiila reveals. He is temporarily living with Jabu in a rented backroom in Chiawelo.

Cecil Chiila: taking his football juggling skills beyond Zambian border

The two are planning a SADC tour and sharing their skills with youngsters in townships. They have what it takes. Jabu has showcased his skills in some European countries and been to Qatar.  Problem is sponsorship. “I have to use my savings for the tours. Some sponsors provide with traveling tickets only,” he laments.

Cecil represented Zambia at the Africa Freestyle Championship tournament which was hosted in Nigeria. He too, had to use his money to participate. The two are – for now – performing where they can to raise the annual European competition, plus to sustain themselves as they are unemployed.