What you need to know:
- However, these negative stories that have turned once vibrant Nakuru estates into criminal dens may take a break as the area may soon rise from the shadows of criminal gangs to talks of the international football arena
- Gordson Chegema, 18, a budding goalkeeper may be on his way to writing history and giving the slums a new face when he attends the guaranteed football trials that may catapult him to top-flight football in England
- Chegema is in a financial dilemma as he is required to raise the Sh200,000 air ticket and meet other medical test costs including accommodation in the UK
- Premier Football UK provides professional UK football trials for players aged between seven and 21 from all over the world and helps them to fulfill their potential and realise their dreams to play professional football in England
To those who know the slums of Nakuru Town, just the mention of Kivumbini, Shauri Yako, Manyani, and Kaloleni among others paints a picture of an area infested by a terror gang.
Insecurity is high. Residents of this densely populated estates have been living in fear of attacks by a youthful criminal gang known as "Confirm." The criminal gangs have become so sophisticated that they are now using drones to carry out criminal activities.
However, these negative stories that have turned once vibrant Nakuru estates into criminal dens may take a break as the area may soon rise from the shadows of criminal gangs to talks of the international football arena.
One of the footballers in the area has made history by becoming the first player from the slums to earn a professional football trial at Premier Football United Kingdom in the city of Manchester.
Gordson Chegema, 18, a budding goalkeeper may be on his way to writing history and giving the slums a new face when he attends the guaranteed football trials that may catapult him to top-flight football in England.
Establishing a career in English football sometimes seems an impossible dream for many budding footballers in the slums but Chegema is on the verge of making history.
"I thank God I have got a unique opportunity to have a once in a lifetime chance of attending football trials at professional football clubs in England," said Chegema at St Theresa's Primary school where he is undergoing vigorous training under the watchful eye of youthful coach Abdulrahman Muigai ahead of the trials in November.
Not even the grazing livestock at the school and the dust from the bare field would distract Chegema from stepping up his training to remain fit before he departs to the UK for trials.
"I am determined to go to the UK and do my best and represent my neighbourhood which has been painted negatively as a den of gangs. I want to prove to many that even Kivumbini can produce a football star who can play topflight football in the UK," said Chegema.
Chegema started playing football at the tender age of class six at St Theresa's Primary School. Interestingly, unknown to many residents of the slums, St Theresa's has a place in the history of Kenya sports as this is where legendary boxer Philip Waruinge started his boxing career and Chegema may just be following on his footsteps albeit in a different sport.
Waruinge wrote history by becoming the first African boxer to win the coveted Val Barker trophy after losing to eventual gold medalist, Mexico's Antonio Roldan, in a controversial semi-final bout during the 1968 Olympics Games held in Mexico.
The trophy, which is a dream of any boxer at the Olympic Games, is named after the Englishman who was president of the International Boxing Association (AIBA).
The trophy is awarded to boxers who win gold medals at every Olympics since 1938 and it goes to the most outstanding boxer "for demonstration of excellence in the ring."
Since Waruinge won Val Barker trophy at the age of 24, more than half a century ago, it has never returned to African soil. But the towering Chegema who is 183 cm tall is determined to make St Theresa's and the slum of Kivumbini proud again. Chegema started as a defender at primary school but upon joining Kivumbini Secondary he shifted to goalkeeping. But how did he learn about the football trials?
"I was browsing on the internet and I landed on the Premier football UK site and I saw they were conducting football trials and I applied and got a favourable response. I have now started the paperwork and I am supposed to attend the trials before the end of the year," said a beaming Chegema who is unattached.
He added: "English football is the most entertaining, skillful, and passionate in the world and it has been my dream to one day play in the UK like Victor Wanyama."
However, even as he looks forward to UK trials, Chegema is in a financial dilemma as he is required to raise the Sh200,000 air ticket and meet other medical test costs including accommodation in the UK.
"I'm appealing to well-wishers to help me realise my dream of playing in English top-flight football," said Chegema who is the second born in a family of four – two boys and two girls.
He said his parents are poor and are unable to raise the money with his mother the sole breadwinner. Premier Football UK in its communication with Chegema stated that it cannot guarantee the players attending trials will get signed but will strive to give many young players a chance of playing in front of large crowds and a worldwide TV audience.
"This is a rare opportunity for Chegema to take part in individual football trials to attain a football scholarship and play football professionally in England, Europe, or further afield," said his coach Abdulrahman Muigai.
Coach Muigai said Chegema is a disciplined goalkeeper with a bright future in football, adding "football has help stem crime in the slums and Chegema will be our good ambassador in the UK."
Premier Football UK provides professional UK football trials for players aged between seven and 21 from all over the world and helps them to fulfill their potential and realise their dreams to play professional football in England.
Recent Premier Football UK individual football trialists who have been signed by top clubs include Jordan Harrison (Chelsea), Dale Eve, Dominic Kurasik, Ooyhun Park, Issac Lee, (Stoke City) and many more in lower-division leagues in the UK.
The brains behind this ambitious football project that has given many talented footballers an opportunity to exploit their talents through Premier Football UK are of former professional footballers, Uefa and FA qualified academy coaches from English Premier League.
Others are Football League clubs, European Clubs plus scouts and coaches from all over the world.