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  Tuesday, 20 August, 2002, 14:09 GMT 15:09 UK
Lonely Njohole

Renatus Njohole is a rarity
Playing for Swiss second division side Yverdon Sport, Renatus Njohole is one of just two professionals Tanzania has ever had playing in Europe.

It is a dream come true for the 21-year-old former youth national youth team captain.

"After my high school education in 1999, I secured a scholarship to America. But a friend of mine advised me to try my luck in professional football in Switzerland instead.

"I was tried by Yverdon Sport and won their hearts. I was given a three year contract and got a place in the first team right away".

  Njohole's career
Born 1980 in Dar es Salaam
Begins 1st class career age 16 FC
3 years at Milambo FC and Simba FC
1999 moves to Yverdon

Njohole says his country has many good players, but they are discouraged from seeking careers abroad by Tanzania's FA.

"In the national youth team I was not the best. But many of my team-mates are no longer playing.

"When a player decides to go to Europe, his club will first stand in his way, and then our football association bosses are another hurdle because they don't care in smoothing the way for a player to leave".

Njohole says he would like to play in a more competitive league in France or England, but the obscurity of his national team is making that very difficult.

"European managers follow major tournaments like the Cup of Nations. National teams are forums where players are known. I am sure if we had a progressive national team, we would be having many professional players in European leagues.


When you are out of someone's sight you are out of their hearts
Swahili saying
"Sometimes people wonder where I am from - I've even been called a Brazilian".

Njohole says FA incompetance has prevented him playing for his country.

"They would name me in the squad but wouldn't write to me nor send a request to my club.

"I have been getting news about my inclusion from friends and the media. There is a saying in Swahili that when you are out of someone's sight you are out of their heart too".

Njohole has been selected in the national team for 2004 Tunisia African Cup of Nations and he is very optimistic to lead the team through. He believes the group that includes Benin, Zambia and Sudan is 'soft' if good preparations are made.

Born in Dar es Salaam Tanzania in 1980, he started playing in the national premier league at 16. He played for Milambo FC and then Simba SC and the national under-20 team where he was made a captain.

See also:

17 Aug 02 | Africa
14 Aug 02 | Africa
13 Aug 02 | Africans abroad
Links to more Africans abroad stories are at the foot of the page.


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Links to more Africans abroad stories

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