When he was bought by Aston Villa in January and subsequently made his debut in the Premier League, Mbwana Samatta became the first Tanzanian to play in England’s top-tier.
The striker has since scored two goals in five games for the Villains, including on Sunday against Manchester City in the EFL Cup final.
Samatta wasn’t able to get a second to take the game beyond the 90 minutes, but he has shown what he can do to his new fans, and his story, going from Simba SC to TP Mazembe in DR Congo, which led to a move to Genk in Belgium before his Aston Villa move, is inspiring other Tanzanians.
This is what Yassin Mustapha, who plays for Polisi Tanzania in the Tanzanian Mainland Premier League, told Mwana Spoti.
He said: “I follow Samatta. I have seen that you can’t lose if you commit yourself, then you can make a lot of money in Europe. So that has given me a great lesson.
“Football is the life I have chosen for now, so I have to work this out with goals for myself as I make sure I fulfil them when I play European or African paid football at a big club”.
This is the kind of path Samatta will have been trying to forge for himself and others through his own hard work, and there’s no denying it would be great to see others from Tanzania make it to the Premier League.