KEFWA come to the rescue of former AFC Leopards defender after battling dark past


FOOTBALL KEFWA come to the rescue of former AFC Leopards defender after battling dark past

Festus Chuma 19:03 - 23.03.2024

Community and KEFWA have united to support former football star Abdallah Juma's journey, offering him hope and a new beginning through a family business initiative.

Former AFC Leopards defender Abdalla Juma is charting a path back to health and normalcy, thanks to the intervention of the Kenya Footballers Welfare Association (KEFWA).

Renowned for his skill on the football pitch, having played for the national team Harambee Stars and top clubs like Thika United and Sofapaka, Juma's life took a dark turn post-retirement as he battled severe mental health and depression issues.

The challenges Juma faced are not unique in the realm of Kenyan sports where mental health problems have become increasingly prevalent among athletes. 

In response, KEFWA stepped in, facilitating Juma's six-month rehabilitation at Port Reitz Sub-County Hospital in Mombasa. 

He underwent intensive counseling and guidance, marking the beginning of his journey towards recovery.

Reflecting on the process, it is clear that Juma has made significant strides, emerging from the program with a renewed sense of self and ready to face the world anew.

Bandari FC head coach John Baraza, who is a former Players Welfare officer,highlighted the union's dedication to addressing the challenges faced by former players. 

“The case of Abdalla is just one of the many challenges our players are currently facing. However, we are determined as the department focusing on the welfare of former players to address these predicaments, one by one, amicably. We will be going across the country with such capacity-building initiatives,” noted Baraza as per KEFWA.

In an effort to ensure Juma's stable and sustainable recovery, KEFWA recently inaugurated a restaurant in Shanzu for him and his mother. 

This establishment is set to offer a selection of spicy coastal dishes and cold, healthy fruit juices, leveraging his mother's culinary skills and business acumen in Swahili cuisine. 

This venture is not just a source of income but a step towards rebuilding Juma's life and dignity, offering him a foundation to support his family and eventually make his way back to the sport he loves.

James Situma, president of KEFWA, called on the sports community to recognize and address the struggles faced by athletes like Juma.

 “The case of Abdalla Juma is an example of the saddening ordeals our football legends are going through. It's high time for stakeholders, including the Ministry of Sports, clubs, and officials, to re-look into our players' welfare, incorporating guiding and counseling sessions to ensure a seamless transition be it psychologically, financially, or professionally,” Situma asserted.

Juma's mother has voiced appreciation of the support from KEFWA and the broader community urging more stakeholders to assist in her son's recovery.

Her hope is that Abdalla will once again play football reigniting his passion for the game. 

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