We seldom hear about what happens to Africans who trend beyond the occasioanl meme here and there. This is not America where trending can you get you on the day time talk show circuit, and have you well on your way to a lucrative career as an influencer - well, maybe not just yet. But this is a start. 29 year old Hadhar Mohamed Abdu went viral last week when a video of her expertly juggling a football surfaced on the internet – little did she know that showing off her skills while a bystander filmed her on a phone would be the beginning of a new chapter for her. Better known as ‘Mamatunde’, she displayed skills that are not only unique for a woman, but would be considered impressive for any professional male player. The viral video caught the attention of Zimbabwean social entrepreneur Tich Mawoni, whose background in sport includes organizing high profile football matches in Africa for teams such as FC Barcelona. Fueled by excitement, he decided to make enquiries about where she could be found. He says he was able to discover through his network that the lady was in Blantyre, Malawi and so with that information he hit the road in search of her. Mawoni recounts that her unique talent, and the potential opportunities that could come out of it for her motivated him. He said when he arrived in Blantyre he asked about her at the local bus terminal. Yes, they all knew ‘Mamatunde’ – a lady from Tanzania who frequently crosses the boarder to Malawi in search of a better hustle. She had no formal residence, and was known to loiter on the streets where she spent her free time juggling a football with the local vendors and bus conductors.
Mawoni found her, took her shopping for fresh clothes and shoes and offered her a contract to represent her and market her talent to the world. At the time of publishing, Mawoni and Mamatunde were preparing to travel to Tanzania to get consent from her parents to allow her to pursue this opportunity. He is excited at the prospects available to her, but is taking it all one day at a time. No one can predict what the future holds for her, but it is certain that she can say good-bye to a life on the streets thanks to social media and a man whose heart is filled with passion and optimism about her future. One thing we know for sure about this story is that it is undoubtedly true that your talents will make a way for you, and that the internet is not the enemy!