When Erich Juma was 11 years old,
he spotted a group of young boys,
training at a football pitch near his house in one of the Nairobi poor informal settlements Kariobangi,
this particular teams too large for Juma because it seemed organized.
He will join the team soon after.Juma was then 11 years old,now he is 25 and captain of the team.
Football.As it let me, individually,first it kept me busy after school,
because we never had enough money for my farther education,
so I had to join football.
That is what I can say football has made me who I am today,
because it kept me busy and I maybe I stayed away from some other things.
That I could have done like I like any other person in Kariobangi,
and that ended up maybe in jail or dying.
Kariobangi is plagued by unemployment and crime.
And Juma says many of his childhood friends ended up in gangs.
Most of those friends he says are now dead, killed by police.
The Sharks kept Juma on the right side of the law.
But being a team from a poor settlement brought its own challenges he sees.
We never have enough money.We lack, and we used to go to Mombasa and go to Kibokoni.
Under the circumstance,maybe we dont leave enough money to buy the mineral water.
So we used to carry water from Nairobi to Mombasa.
And I think those are the challenges we faced as a team.
And as a player individually maybe sometimes you dont have football shoes.
You have to borrow from another player when they are not playing,
In 2019 Juma had one of his greatest days as the Sharks defeated British football team Everton,
winning the game 4-3 on post match penalties.
It is not clear who organized the young boys who founded Kariobangi Sharks.
Residents say the group of young players organize themselves.
They received donations and began competing in tournaments.
Such donations they say came from well-wishers.
We include the current Cannibal Federation Chairman Nick Mundra who is credited as a founder of the club.
In any case the Kariobangi Sharks have gained a huge fan base in Kenya competing in the Kenya Premier League with two dozen other teams.
The Football Club as a youth team that comprises of boys below the age of 20,a team for younger ages.
By coincidence Kariobangi and 20 team,he says he has seen his players lives transformed.
As a club we are influenced with them but basically in the right way.
So basically whenever the society sees the Kariobangi Sharks football player officially,basically also act as a security to the society,
all because he provides more virtues than vices.
Jumas dream is to lead his team to play in the Africa Cup.
He hopes the youth of Kariobangi will find some hope when they look up to the players,
and that the club will continue chasing after hope after this player. Rael Ombuor for VOA Nairobi.