Chippa star Frédéric Nsabiyumva makes SA second home

Frédéric Nsabiyumva and his fiancée Lydia Kanyambo are both Burundian.
Frédéric Nsabiyumva and his fiancée Lydia Kanyambo are both Burundian.

It is no child's play for any teenager to adapt to life in a different country thousands of kilometres away from home. 

And Burundian-born Chippa United defender Frédéric Nsabiyumva is no special case. The lanky centre-back arrived in SA to play for Jomo Cosmos at the tender age of 18 in 2013.

While admitting that acculturating to the South African way of living was difficult, Nsabiyumva, now 23, thanks his former Cosmos and Kaizer Chiefs compatriot Valery Nahayo for advising him about how he should make SA his second home.

"It's always a mountain to climb to start a new life, but it's even tough[er] when you do it in another country. Nahayo made my life a little bit easier. He told me what to expect when I joined Cosmos," Nsabiyumva said.

"It helped me that he also played for Cosmos and was a centre-back as well. Burundi is a small country and South Africa is big and developed, so it's a different life altogether."

The Chilli Boys defender enjoys spending his spare time on the beach with fiancée Lydia Kanyambo, who is also Burundian.

"I don't go out a lot but when it happens, I go to the beach with my fiancée. During my stay in Johannesburg I missed walking on the beach but now I am happy that I am in East London with Chippa.

"Every Sunday when we are not playing I go to church. I am a faithful member of the Catholic Church. God has helped me in many ways in my life. It's through Him that I am here in South Africa. I'll forever be grateful."

Nsabiyumva may not have adapted to the SA lifestyle as quick as he would have loved but his sheer determination saw him being selected as Ezenkosi captain barely three years of being in the country.

On Friday, he featured in Burundi's Africa Cup of Nations qualifier fixture against Mali. The match ended goalless.

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