How Kalwale balances talent and profession
For a yonk, most people believed sportsmen and women are illiterate, but meet Nickson Kalwale Gamuso - a footballer by talent, a teacher and computer literate by profession.
Kalwale who is currently playing for Vihiga Bullets as a defender, is a father of two and a second born to a single parent of four children from Hamuyundi village, Vihiga constituency in Vihiga County.
Citizen Digital had a one on one with Kalwale on his talent and profession.
Q: What inspired you to start playing football?
A: We are blessed in our family. This is a sport-full family. My siblings do engage in sporting activities. My elder brother plays football but a county based league for Chandumba FC. My late father was also a footballer.
My younger brother plays hockey though still in school while my sister was unable to balance sports and job, so she had to wave to handball.
Q: How has your soccer journey been?
A: When I was young, I used to like playing soccer. From primary school till to date.
While schooling at Mukingi Primary School, I discovered I can glow! I managed to join Califonia FC, currently Wazito FC which nurtured me very well as a footballer.
Later, I joined Chandumba FC, currently in county league then I moved to Sabatia Eye FC while they were playing second Division. I joined Vihiga All Stars when they were participating in nationwide league.
After High School (Mbale Boys), I managed to advance to NSL under Palos FC where my football career doors opened leading me to my current club Bullets till to date.
Q: After advancing to NSL, did any club or team make an effort to sign you?
A: When we were still playing FKF-NSL (Bullets), I got a call up to join Kibera All Stars, but since both of us were still participating at the same level (NSL) and we needed depth on our side (Bullets), I decided not to leave my club.
We strived and managed to advance to FKF-PL during.
That was the only call up I had. I have wished to play for Sofapaka FC, Ulinzi FC or Bandari FC.
Q: Apart from soccer, what else do you do?
A: Am a teacher and I hold computer skills too.
Q: How did you become a teacher?
A: After finishing my high school studies at Mbale High, I heard there was a recruitment at Eregi TTC. That was two years after High School (he emphasized). I used the opportunity to join the institution. I was able to finish my P1 studies in 2016.
Q: Were you sponsored by the institution to study?
A: It was my parent’s efforts. I had no idea my talent could lead to sponsorship. I realized late when I had already joined Eregi. But if I knew it early, I could have joined the institution immediately after finishing High School.
Q: Were you still playing while at tertiary level?
A: Yes! In my first year, I helped the institution to finish runners up in the nationals (Inter-college games), for the first time after 13 years. I was the second best scorer again with seven goals.
In my second year, I was the captain and I managed to help Eregi TTC to lift the inter-colleges sports trophy in Machakos. This time I had five goals. Eregi had not won this trophy for twenty years.
Q: How did your family take it now that you are a footballer and a teacher?
A: It hasn’t been easy. They have been pressuring me to leave football and concentrate in class especially during this hard times - football isn’t paying.
Before, there used to be a rumor that if you're playing top league locally, you are earning handsomely but they are disappointed…Sometimes I have to convince them all will be well soon if sponsors come our way.
Q: And your wife… does she give a hand?
A: She is happy and she understands the ups and downs I am going through because she was once a player at the same institution and she even helped her side (women team) to win a trophy twice.
Q: How is your relationship with the Bullets fraternity?
A: I have a good relationship with the new coach and players at large. We are good, it's just that we haven’t had that winning lack.
Q: Computer literacy, how did you acquire the skills?
A: In High School (Mbale Boys), I was taking computers classes. I dropped it in my second year due to my study load. After High School, I spent two years before joining the University – that’s when I decided to upgrade my studies to certificate level. Currently, the skills put food on my table besides teaching and playing football.
Q: How do you balance the three tasks?
A: It’s all about determination and planning. I start with teaching early in the morning. By nine in the morning, I veer to my training (Kirundi stadium) then embark to school later to make it to my students. I find teaching early in the morning enjoyable.
Q: A good number of people say sports men/women are illiterate, is it true?
A: It’s just a virtue. They have papers and skills… It’s just that they don’t manage their time well. They should consider books too and abolish the foregone rumors.
Q: If given a chance to choose between soccer and teaching, what will you choose?
A: I will choose teaching since it’s a long serving profession. Football it’s not a long lasting career. One can retire anytime but teaching is a career with demands.
Kalwale maintains that he will continue defending for Bullets till he gets another greener pastures.