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From Village To The World: Jentrix Shikangwa Achieves Football Glory at 20

The Harambee Starlets forward is now in Turkey and is expected to sign a long-term contract

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Kakamega-born sensation Jentrix Shikangwa was born in a family of fine footballers. And at just 20 years, she is already taking after her peers and making mega moves in the world of soccer. She has played for Vihiga Queens and played well. And according to her, it was just a matter of time before she kicked off her professional football career outside Kenya. She is out and ready!

The Harambee Starlets forward is now in Turkey and is expected to sign a long-term contract with Turkish top-flight side Fatih Karagumruk S.K. and will see her join the expanding list of Kenyan footballers plying their trade in the diaspora.

“It was just a matter of time,” Shikangwa said in a recent interview. “I saw it coming. As much as my dream is to play in England, a chance to play in Turkey is a very good starting point and I am ready for the new adventure.”.

Shikangwa’s football prowess runs in the family with her elder sister Jackline Ashitsa having played for Harambee Starlets as a defender, while her brother Derrick Anani plays for Zoo FC. Her father was also a player and the pioneer of football as a sport in the family.

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“Football runs in our blood, we all followed our dad’s footsteps. Personally, I started playing football at the age of eight under Coach Chris Ambani at Shinyalu Sports Centre in Kakamega,” she says. “I remember I used to train with boys.”

Through football while at Shipalo Primary School in Khayega, Kakamega County, Shikangwa earned a scholarship to join the famous Wiyeta High School.

At Wiyeta girls under the guidance of Coach John Wafula, Shikangwa’s footballing star continued to shine. She was crowned the best player during the 2017 school games. This led to her getting a call-up to the U20 National team that took part in the World Cup qualifiers.

Jentrix Shikangwa
Jentrix Shikangwa in action. She was voted the Most Promising Player in the 2019 Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Awards.

She later joined the three-time Women Premier League champions Vihiga Queens while still in high school.

In 2019 she earned a call-up to the senior team; Harambee Starlets and had an unmatched show during the CECAFA Women Championships. She emerged the top scorer with a total of 10 goals, a moment she termed memorable.

She was voted the Most Promising Player in the 2019 Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Awards (Soya) after her heroics in CECAFA and the Kenya Women’s Premier League. She raised to the occasion again in 2021 with her team Vihiga queens during the Women’s Champions League CECAFA Qualifiers Tournament where she was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.

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“These are moments I will never forget in my career. The CACAFA qualifiers tournament was a door opening opportunity. I picked a lot of lessons from the tournament and I can confidently say it has made me better,” said Shikangwa.

Shikangwa has definitely left a gap in the Vihiga Queens squad having scored 5 goals in the 4 matches she had played this season in the Women Premier League.

“My aim was to be the top scorer this season but I believe I will achieve that with my new club. It is a new journey and I am confident I will make something good out of it. Be ready to see and hear me score more goals,” said Shikangwa.

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MERCY MMBONEhttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
Mercy Mmbone is a Sports Journalist and a Radio Presenter
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