Harrison Mwendwa, 23 is a midfielder who plays for the Kenyan premier side Mathare United and the National team Harambee stars squad under 23. His mother Lucy Mueni speaks of his life, career and interests
Describe Harrison in three words?
It’s quite hard to describe my son in three words as he has a lot of attributes and qualities that I admire. But the three top most qualities are; he is a hard worker, social and most of all, he is a wise young man.
If he was not a footballer what else would he have became?
I wanted him to join the military and I still insist. However, it’s all up to him to choose the career he likes. But I think it’s impossible to separate Mwendwa from football because even if he was to join the military, I think he would still play for the Ulinzi Stars.
What made your son stick to Mathare United even after top league teams showed interest in him?
We had had this discussion with him severally and he explained that he was not ready to leave the team after spending one and half year in it.
He wanted to show gratitude to the team that gave him a chance to showcase his great talent. Also, he felt he was not ready mentally and physically and he was at ease at his current club.
How does he handle fame?
He knows that fame is not everything and that it comes and goes. He doesn’t consider himself famous. Actually, he is a humble young man whose hard work, determination and love for football has borne fruits, which he’s now enjoying.
How can you describe Mwendwa off the pitch?
He loves making new friends and travelling. He also spends most of his free time coaching and mentoring young and upcoming footballers around Dandora and its environs. Lastly, he is an Internet addict.
What are some of his major weakness?
He takes a lot of time before making a decision because he knows hasty decisions can be quite a mess. Also, he easily gets agitated when someone invades his privacy and the third and most common is spending a lot of his time on the Internet learning how to advance his football skills and keenly following latest fashion trends.
What do you admire most in your son?
His prowess as a footballer. I watch him practicing in the backyard and I’m usually perplexed. I always say that this is more of a gift than a talent because there are things he does with the ball that astonishes many. Also, I admire how he thinks, not just in football but also in real life. He is an ambitious man.
Describe his football journey?
My son loved football from a tender age. I knew that one day he will make a mark in the Kenyan football. He started playing at the Indomitable Lions United in Dandora before joining Jamhuri High School in Ngara. Later he was signed to Mathare United and frequently stars in the national under 23 squad.
How have you influenced his football career?
I always try to advice him when I can mainly on financial and legal matters such as signing new contracts and how to keep a positive mind.
How is your son recovering after sustaining a massive injury during the Kenya against Botswana in the recent 2016 Rio Olympic Qualifier match?
It was quite unfortunate that he suffered a hand dislocation after he was brought down by an opponent. With the help of the national team doctors and Mathare United doctors, he is slowly recovering after eight weeks of missing in action.
Also, with the help of Mathare United physiotherapist, he has been hitting the gym and is fit to play as evidenced with the recent league matches, when he has come out of the bench to play in the last minutes of the game.
Where does he get his drive?
I appreciate him because he believes in God and he is prayerful. He further has a positive mind set.
What’s his favourite past-time?
He likes eating, sleeping and swimming with his pals.
What don’t people know about him?
I know this will sound a little weird but my son actually loves teddy bears (laughs).
Where do you see him in the next five years?
I pray that his hard work will earn him a place in the international arena.