Anthony Akumu: From Mathare Slums to Earning Ksh 1.5M Salary in South Africa

Former Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Anthony Akumu
Former Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Anthony Akumu

The story of Anthony Akumu, a Kenyan footballer, is perhaps one of the living examples of the adage from rags to riches. The footballer, popularly known as “Teddy”,  was born in Rachuonyo, October 1992 to a family of five.

He, however, grew up in Mathare, Nairobi County alongside his brothers. Teddy’s footballing talent was visible from a very young age. 

He started playing using homemade balls as is customary in many slums in Nairobi. Teddy subsequently joined football academies in Nairobi.

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He is a graduate of the Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA) which has a reputation of nurturing major football talents in the country. 

In 2010, Akumu joined Kenyan side Gor Mahia where his star rose and became the talk of the town. Three years later, the defensive midfielder left Gor Mahia to join Sudanese giants Al Khartoum in 2014.

He would later move to Zambia signing for Zesco United in 2016. At Zesco, he excelled yet again attracting the attention of South African giants Kaizer chiefs.  Akumu had played an important role in the three Zambian Super League titles he won with Zesco United. 

Premier Soccer League heavyweights, Kaizer Chiefs, signed him in January 2020, a move that saw him become one of the highest-paid Kenyan players. Teddy signed a three-year contract that would see him stay at the club until June 2023.

Akumu pocketed a hefty Ksh12 million as his signing fee with the Chiefs. In addition, Teddy was entitled to a Ksh1.5 million monthly salary. However, Akumu failed to replicate his impeccable form in his previous clubs. 

The Kenyan international was sparingly used throughout the two years, making only 47 appearances. Akumu managed to score two goals only in the abovementioned appearances.

In a statement posted on the Kaizer Chiefs’ website on Sunday, July 3, the club announced that it had terminated its contract with the 29-year-old defensive midfielder. The club had initially included him in its list of players offered for transfer. 

“After initially putting him on the transfer list, Kaizer Chiefs and Anthony Akumu Agay have mutually agreed to an early termination of his contract,” read the statement.

The club has since wished Akumu success in his future career. Focus now shifts to former Gor Mahia midfielder as he plans to make his next move. Previous reports have linked the player with a move to Tanzanian side Simba SC.