The African woman in the viral video that broke the internet with her football juggling skills and caught the attention of U.S. President Donald Trump has been found after a search for her identity.
She is Hadhara Charles Mjeje, a Tanzanian mother who is juggling footballs professionally in Malawian capital of Lilongwe, reports German video news agency Ruptly which spoke with her on Tuesday.
Wearing her usual African wrap skirt and flipflops while she juggles a football amid a cheering crowd, the 29-year-old viral sensation said she started juggling to earn money for her two sons.
She told Ruptly in a video that she has juggled professionally in several countries across the continent including South Africa, Gabon, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Malawi, Kenya and Mozambique.
“Some people think that I use black magic but I don’t. There is nothing in this ball. I use my talent which I have developed for six years of practice. It is pure talent, not black magic,” she said.
She added that she wishes to become a professional football player and she admires players like Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Ronaldinho.
Hadhara Charles Mjeje is reported to have in Malawi since January where she charges about $4 for each two-minute performance. The money she earns foots her rent and buys food to support her family, she claims.
The viral video was shared by Twitter user Akin Sawyerr on Saturday with the caption, “Talent is evenly distributed, opportunity isn’t”, shows Hadhara juggling the football with her legs, head, shoulders, knees, hands and neck, as many people cheered.
Talent is evenly distributed, opportunity isn’t pic.twitter.com/bWvFVLlyHN
— Akin (@AkinSawyerr) February 16, 2019
Garnering millions of views and thousands of Likes and Retweets, her talent received a big praise from the United States President Donald Trump who shared the video on Tuesday with the comment: “Amazing!”.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 19, 2019
At that moment, the identity and exact location of Hadhara were not known, and the only information available was that she spoke Swahili as heard in the video and she was in Malawi – as noted by other videos shared from the country.
She is heard accepting a challenge from the audience to bounce 100 juggles. After the close to two-minute execution of their request, the woman said, “Pesa yenu ndogo” in Swahili which means, “Your money is not enough”, in reference to a possible bet.
While many Africans were tweeting about finding the woman after gaining the attention of the U.S. president, Americans criticised Trump for sharing the video which they described as “bizarre” and a “waste of time”.
These are the reactions of African Twitter uses to the video and Trump’s reaction.
Lol. Donald Trump RT you!
— Rebecca Enonchong (@africatechie) February 19, 2019
— Rotus (@Rotankwot) February 18, 2019
It's Malawi. There's she is again. pic.twitter.com/jvFwrkkm91
— Harvey (@jorge_shapiro) February 18, 2019
— Rotus (@Rotankwot) February 18, 2019
Ball juggling doesn’t necessarily mean you are a good baller but I’ve got to give her credit.She even did all that with her skirt on. wild 🙆♂️
— RawSteen (@Simply_Jide) February 16, 2019
You forgot to mention with her flipflops also 👌🏽
— Damian® Daymos™ (@DJDaymos) February 17, 2019
— Dman Lionhardt (@DManFWTX) February 19, 2019
And here are reactions of Americans to Donald Trump’s interest in the woman’s talent.
hey guys call me crazy but I'm beginning to suspect that our president has the attention span of a coked-up squirrel
— Jeff Tiedrich (@itsJeffTiedrich) February 19, 2019
Yeah how dare he waste time. 🙄 pic.twitter.com/lfTIxC3BuJ
— CF John 8:32🇺🇸🇮🇪Éirinn go Brách (@FasslerCynthia) February 19, 2019
— thereal_hair (@thereal_hair) February 19, 2019
We're apparently in day 3 of a national emergency, and Trump is tweeting about things he's watching on TV and random videos he found on the Internet.
— Robert Maguire (@RobertMaguire_) February 19, 2019
My goodness…no matter what the President does someone has got to make a bad thing out of it. Give it a break!!!! Thanks for sharing Mr President!!!
— Dawn (@Davcam1216) February 19, 2019