FKFPL side KCB has signed talented winger James Ogachi Mazembe. The 23-year old joins the bankers on a free transfer after leaving Kariobangi Sharks.

He was earlier linked with a move for Gor Mahia but has now decided to join KCB after apparently being warned against signing for the cash-strapped record Kenyan champions.

An official communication from KCB confirming the deal is expected soon but a photo of Mazembe and head coach Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno holding the club’s jersey has all but confirmed the move.

In the 2020/21 league season, Mazembe scored two goals and provided 11 assists.

He got his first call-up for the National team Harambee Stars when he was just 18 years.

Mazembe’s Rise

James Mazembe (L) of Kariobangi Sharks FC contest for the ball with Daniel Waweru of Ulinzi stars FC during their Kenya premier league match at Kasarani stadium on November 21,2019 Photo/Oliver Ananda

Born on May 2, 1998 in Kericho, into a family of seven children where he is the fifth born, Mazembe began playing football in 2009 for a youth side, Ujuzi.

Here, he was taken through his first steps in football by coach Ibrahim Muganda while turning out for the side in the U-14 and U-17 categories. Meanwhile, he was attending Kericho Township Primary School.

In 2014, he proceeded to Kakamega High School after his Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and it is there that his star began to rise.

Undoubtedly, his coach at Ujuzi, Muganda had played a good role in nurturing him, given he began featuring for the school team immediately he joined Form One, plying trade as an offensive left.

That year, the Green Commandos of Kakamega High School beat Kisumu Day in the football finals to emerge the national champions at Bukhungu.

His performance attracted instant attention in top flight football circles and soon he found himself donning Kenyan Premier League side Zoo Kericho colours.

It was coach Ken Ochieng who gave him his first chance to perform on the big stage when he fielded him. He had followed him at Ujuzi throughout and got impressed by him.

In 2017, he bumped into an opportunity to join Kariobangi Sharks after coach William Muluya observed his performance during the high school games. It wasn’t easy getting game time at Sharks given he had to compete for position with Ovella Ochieng who was experiencing his peak at the time.

Ovella would later find greener pastures abroad, creating a good opportunity for Mazembe to consolidate his position at the side where he spent three years.

Additional Reporting by The Star