12-year old Lawrence Masira and his family could not have seen this coming. Theirs is a story of the power of the internet.
It was not so long ago that Lawrence was herding cows on the streets of Nairobi in 2018. His shirt caught the attention of Kenyan journalist Eric Njiru. The shirt was a self-written “Ozil 10” shirt. Ozil is a famous football player of the Arsenal team.
Njiru tweeted a photo of Lawrence writing, "I saw this kid today grazing in the streets of Nairobi – a city without real grass for cows. He told me he loves @MesutOzil1088 so much (You can see his shirt). Maybe one day this can reach Ozil and get a real Arsenal shirt.”
The tweet quickly went viral. It caught the attention of Ozil himself who responded and sent two official Arsenal shirts with “Ozil 10” on the back and football boots for Lawrence and his young brother. Ozil tweeted the pictures of the young boys playing football in their new shirts writing, “The picture of the young Kenyan boy with a self-made shirt on Twitter touched me so much. And Look at Lawrence now – it’s so heartwarming to see him and his brothers happy."
And now, Lawrence's journey, the journey that began with a viral tweet, has become even sweeter as the young boy has won the golden ticket by being appointed the Visa Players Escort Ambassador for the forthcoming Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament scheduled for 21 June to 19 July 2019 in Egypt.
Lawrence, alongside his squad, will travel to Egypt for the 2019 AFCON tournament and will be walking the players into the pitch. He will make the trip accompanied by his mother.
"I’m so happy to be going for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nation, it’s a dream come true for me. I love playing football and to have a chance to be in Egypt is just an amazing experience. I will be happy to see our Harambee Stars play against Egypt because I like watching Mohamed Salah. My other favourite player is Ozil of Arsenal," said Lawrence, excited at the opportunity.
Header Image Credit: Standard Media