Junior Makozo Mkandawire is a 12 year old boy from a remote township called Masasa in Mzuzu city and is studying in standard 4 at Masasa primary school.
As a second born in the family of three, his father works as a watchman at another township in Mzuzu called Chiputula whereas his mother does small businesses at home; with limited resources, Junior strives for better future through education and sports.
Junior is one of the beneficiaries of the Sports and Health project of Luke international, who plays in Play Malawi club, a club that trains young boys and girls in lawn and table tennis.
Junior loves to play lawn tennis.
He started playing lawn tennis in the year 2014. Before started playing lawn tennis, Junior was under high risk of being involved in bad behaviors since the context he lives was full with drinking joints, television shows room and adolescent fights. The future of the boy was gloomy and uncertain.
Junior acknowledged that his involvement in tennis has helped him avoid situations that most of the boys in Masasa Township are involved in – slowly drowning in the vicious cycle and losing out the possibilities to bright future.
“Because I am always busy with tennis, I do not have time to go to drinking joints, smoking, fighting and many other things that can destroy my future” said Junior.
Despite the challenged situation that Junior is facing, he is the most outstanding player in the club. By his outstanding performance, in Lilongwe where there was a “F4F Forehand for Friendship Tournament of Champions” tournament in 2016, Junior took the first position out of 18 players extracted from the six clubs that participated at the tournament in the whole country.
Asked of how he managed to perform this way, he said by very hardworking and he listens to his coaches’ instruction and guidance. “I listen to the coaches and I am hardworking, despite that I love playing tennis that’s why I always perform well” explained Junior
Not only is Junior good at Tennis but he is also the best performer in school since he is always in the top 5 in school while he acknowledged this to the time management that he has for tennis and school. “I know how to manage my time for school and tennis, apart from tennis I try to have time to study so that I perform well at all things” narrated Junior.
Junior says He dreams of being a best player like Stan Wawrinka in the future.
At the moment LIN in its Sports and Health project is working with two sports clubs namely Play Malawi and Cool Volley, play Malawi deals with tennis whereas cool volley deals with volleyball.