A Tanzanian woman travels across Africa to show off her soccer ball juggling skills to feed her family. His music videos have gone viral on social media and captured the hearts of many across the continent and beyond. This month, one of his clips caught the attention of US President Donald Trump who tweeted “Amazing!”
Hadhara Charles Mjeje began honing her ball juggling skills as a teenager in Tanzania playing for a local women’s soccer team.
She maneuvers the ball with her feet, head, chest and shoulders.
For the past six years, Mjeje, a single mother of two sons, has used her skills to raise funds to feed her family.
She says it helps her pay school fees for her two children, buy food to feed her family, and pay household bills and other needs.
She has so far traveled to several countries in Africa, including Cameroon, Burundi, Gabon and recently Malawi.
She charges $4 for a two-minute performance and earns between $45 and $50 a day.
She denies accusations of using dark magic to develop her skills.
“There’s no magic in this ball,” she says – “it’s my own talent that I started developing a long time ago.”
In Malawi, her skills captivated national women’s football officials who thought of integrating her into their women’s football development programme. But she declined the offer.
Sugzo Ngwira is the chairwoman of the Central Malawi Women’s Football Committee.
“If she was ready to have an impact on her skills with others, I think we would explore all other options. I would liaise with teams and how best to use his talent to have a particular impact on youngsters who are just starting out,” Ngwira said.
His skills have also dazzled male footballers.
Samuel Zeka plays social football in the capital Lilongwe.
Zeka says it’s a rare talent for women to juggle the ball like this lady does. I would be very grateful if she taught me such skills, he added.
His video shot in Malawi also caught the attention of US President Donald Trump.
Mjeje, 29, says she wishes the US president could do more than tweet her astonishment.
She says she wished he would help feed her family. She has two children and elderly parents, they all rely on her for help. She wanted Trump to help boost her talent so she could be known around the world and make more money.
But after Trump’s tweet, Mjeje received various interview requests from local and international media organizations like the BBC and Reuters.
She returned to Tanzania this week after an agent who came to Malawi from Zimbabwe last Friday convinced her of a possible lucrative advertising deal in Spain.
Mjeje told VOA that she hopes the new contract will mark the start of a better life.