Last month, the country of Zambia rejoiced as Leicester City’s Patson Daka became the first player from the country to ever score a Premier League goal when he netted for the Foxes against Manchester United.
Only five days later, the 23-year-old was back amongst the goals when he bagged four goals for Leicester in their Europa League triumph over Spartak Moscow.
For Daka, the bright lights of Europe’s top competitions are a far cry from the humble surroundings of his first club, Zambian outfit Kafue Celtic.
As the striker returns to his home nation to compete in a pair of World Cup qualifiers, the Daily Mail caught up with Lee Kawanu – director of Kafue Celtic – to learn more about a man who is now considered a national treasure in Zambia.
“The whole country was united in excitement. You could feel it everywhere,” said Kawanu of Daka’s goal against the Red Devils. “Everybody was talking about it, including the president,” he explained, referring to a tweet that Daka received from the country’s leader Hakainde Hichilema.
For all of his success, though, Daka has never forgotten his roots.
Perhaps not surprisingly for a player who used to give his £25 weekly salary while playing in the Zambian Super League directly to his mother, Daka has a strong sense of both family and community.
Whenever he returns to Zambia on international duty, Daka makes sure to stop in at his former club – even paying a winning bonus to its players on his last visit.
“Luckily we won!” Kawanu said of the bonuses. “None of us expected it. He does stuff like that. He has helped with training kits and football boots.”
Family, though, has always come first for Daka, with Kawanu revealing the lengths that Daka has gone to look after his mother and older sister – following the death of his father when he was just 12 years of age. – GiveMeSport