Jadidi Ndambuki (C) flys the Kenya flag during the opening ceremony of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The attacking midfielder surpassed expectations to lead his side to the finals of
the juniors competition scoring a hat-trick and providing two assists as the
Komodo Dragons comprising of kids from Brazil, Wales, Dominican Republic,
Guinea Bissau and Philippines lost 2-1 to the Chimpanzees in the finals staged
at the Lokomotiv Stadium.
Ndambuki’s all-round performance saw him not only receive massive praises
from his team-mates but also equal measure of approval gestures from the
sizeable developmental scouts who graced the finals, referring to the Makadara
Junior League academy prodigy as a talent in the making.
“I will most definitely want to monitor Jadidi’s (Ndambuki) career path in the
coming couple of years,” Ramiro Van de Laar from the Ajax Football academy in
the Dutch capital Amsterdam, remarked.
In the pre-world Cup tournament put together by Gazprom, the official partners of
FIFA and the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the organisers have also taken it upon
themselves to mentor the youngster by forwarding his name to be one of the
young coaches in the next edition.
Jadidi Ndambuki in action during the Football For Friendship in Russia, Komodo Dragons lost 2-1 to Chimpazee.
“Sometimes it’s not easy getting kids who speak different languages coming
together to not only make formidable friendship but also gel so well, Jadidi
(Ndambuki) was one of the standouts in the team performance and also being a
team player-one of the core values of the Football for Friendship (F4F)
International Children’s Social Project,” Yana Pavelnko, one of the educators
spoke passionately about the Kenyan ambassador who got the opportunity to
participate in the International Team of Friendship in the European City.
The star of young Ndambuki, was not about to be dimmed, he got the once in a
lifetime chance to fly the country’s flag at the Luzhinki stadium together with a
few selected kids from different parts of the globe last Thursday before the 2018
World Cup kicked-off in a match the hosts Russia treated the packed to the brim
spectators to a sumptuous 5-0 hiding over perennial whipping boys Saudi Arabia.
“This is not what I envisioned when I was selected to be part of this project. As
far as my career is concerned, I believe this is only the beginning,” Ndambuki
Jadidi Ndambuki lines up with his team-mates before the final match of the Football For Friendship in Russia, Komodo Dragons lost 2-1 to Chimpazee.
Having made amazing friends from all over the world is another win for me, this
are the moments you cherish,” Ndambuki, who was also given the official World
Cup football as a souvenir, recollected.
For developmental coach Stanley Achima, one of the founders of Makadara
Junior League academy, he credits the rise of the Parkland’s Baptist school’s
career growth to great discipline.
“It is fair to say, he is not the best talent wise in the academy, but what makes
him standout is his discipline and sheer hard work, many upcoming talents forget
the discipline part, which is essential for career make or break,” Achima stated.
Kenyan Ambassador to Russia
Perhaps a pep talk to the acting Kenyan ambassador to Russia, Hillary Kyengo
when the Kenyan delegation paid him a visit at the consular headquarters was
itself a propeller in getting the good results.
“Football in the country depends on how much investment we put in this juniors, I
believe Kenya can qualify to the World Cup if a lot of emphasis is put in nurturing
talents, I am so proud of your achievements,” lauded …when he hosted the team
to a Kenyan delicacy at the embassy.
The F4F aim was to bring together youngsters from 211 countries to play football
while upholding the values of friendship, equality, peace and respect.
The format of the tournament features 32 International Teams of Friendship,
each named after endangered animals, and comprising players aged 12 and
coached by teenagers from 14 to 16.Teams were made up of footballers from
different countries, genres and physical abilities.