Tanzanian mother finds fame with soccer skills

A mother from Dar Es Salaam has become a global sensation, even attracting the attention of President Donald Trump, thanks to her keepie-uppie technique. Sisipho Skweyiya reports.

DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA (Reuters) – Wherever Hadhara Mjeje goes – she attracts crowds.

Coming to watch – in awe – at her seemingly impossible soccer skills.

And now this mother from Dar es Salaam is on the verge of becoming a global star.


“I started juggling using orange peels and I liked it a lot. I watched Ronaldo and Messi, they inspired me. I used orange peels, then a handmade soccer ball and then finally a proper soccer ball.”

Hadhara couldn’t become a soccer player because of a problem with her breathing.

But she spent years honing her keepie uppie technique.

Eventually catching the eye of event promoters in East Africa.

A recent video of her in Malawi went viral and was retweeted by President Trump – gaining her new fans across the world.

And back home in Tanzania – she’s earnt grudging respect from the players of what is a male-dominated sport.


“I have observed her skills and I feel intimidated. There is no way I can match her ball control. She has been recognized globally so it’s time we recognized here as well.”


“Our leaders; let’s not only support men’s soccer, support the women as well. President Magufuli; take care of this lady. She has an amazing talent and she’s flawless.”

Hadhara is now waiting to hear about a potentially life-changing sponsorship deal – off the back of that viral video.

In the meantime she’s using her head – to keep making videos – and draw in even more fans.

Associated Links

  • Juggling
  • Keepie uppie
  • Dar es Salaam
  • Sports
  • Geography of Tanzania
  • Wards of Tanzania
  • Geography of Africa

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.