Kibera’s rougher diamond in ‘Alolo’

Wednesday, July 8th, 2020 00:00 |
Kibera United’s captain Nassoro ‘Alolo’ Yussuf gestures during the interview at Mediamax offices yesterday. INSET: Yusuf in a past Division Two action with his club. Photo/PD/JOHN OCHIENG

He is described as the kingpin of Nairobi Division 1 League side Kibera United and it is his strong spirit that makes him stand out among his team-mates.

Another attribute is that he is swift and comfortable with both legs, and reads the game well which makes keeping sentry in midfield quite easy for him.

Before joining Kibera United, Nassoro Yusuf also known as ‘Alolo’ by his peers, was for long the dynamo that propelled Ligi Ndogo, a team from the neigbouring Ngong Road, to several wins which prompted the former’s handlers to swoop on him just like an eagle does.

The talent of the 30-year-old orphan was first noticed during Kibra derbies involving Kibera United and Gogo United in the league front in 2019 and 2020.

Incidentally, the first derby ended 1-1 followed by a 2-2 score in the reverse fixture, but the talking point would rather be Nassoro’s exploits in which he scored all Kibera United’s goals and many fans wondered how he had not been noticed by teams in foreign leagues or top Kenyan Premier League sides.

“If this is not incredulous, what is?”, posed a Kibera United fan who shares a name with Nassoro and who witnessed first-hand when his namesake made scoring seem so easy.

“He dummied his way into Gogo United’s defence with relative ease. What kind of offensive midfielders do the national team selectors need,” queried the senior Nassoro who is twice the age of the player.

In his own words, the midfielder said he cherishes the neighbourhood football yet he has lofty ambitions of ever donning the shirts of a Kenyan Premier League team like Gor Mahia, Mathare United, Sofapaka and even AFC Leopards.

“I enjoy playing estate football but that does not mean I have limited choices. I’m ready to offer my services to any KPL team that needs me,” said Nassoro.

A soft-spoken player, Nassoro has also been a key figure in Lang’ata Kiko Cup Championships where he plays for Olympic Talented alongside other products of Kibra in Gor Mahia midfielder Edwin Lavatsa and Jesse Were who plies his trade with Zesco United of Zambia.

Despite all that football talent, Nassoro did not go past Primary School as his late parents were too poor to pay for his high school fees.

“I went to Kibra Primary and that was the end of my education but I always knew that God had other plans for me when I ventured into football.

Maybe, one day I may opt to continue with education, subject to availability of funds as age is still on my side, but let me concentrate on football for now,” he says.

A staunch fan of Arsenal, Nassoro attributes his success on the pitch to advise given by former Ligi Ndogo scoring machine Ken Maritim.

“He (Maritim) would constantly tutor me on the virtues of a good player and I was willing to learn and I guess that’s why I have succeeded in football,” he says.

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