Football : The ingenuity of a Chrislain Bekala at the service of football in Cameroon

Cameroon has its name on football pitches thanks to great soccer players like Roger Milla and Samuel Eto’o Fils. Others are also on the spot light through their creative minds. One of such is Chrislain Bekala.

He is a young Cameroonian who has been involved in the production of hand-made football.

He set up a workshop for the production of balls used by local teams and also train other young people from financial aid offered by government.

The production of balls bearing the green, red and yellow colour of Cameroon has gradually awakened national pride.

The Genesis of his creative works

From Football player to football producer, Bekala stood out back in 1999 while he was a student at the Government Technical High School Batouri in the East region of Cameroon.

He began by repairing balls used by his football team

He quickly got the attention of “clients” who brought in their balls for repairs.

In 2004 he relocated to Yaounde Capital of Cameroon where his repair activity became an income generating job to sustain his family

For close to 20 years, he was based at the Yaounde central market where he gradually acquired knowledge on ball production.

Chrislain Bekala got an opportunity to perfects his skill in China.

In 2015, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Civic Education identified his rear talents and subsidised his trip to China to perfect his skill in football production.

“ This gave me the opportunity to discover the quality of material used” Bekala declared.

He was encouraged to set up his base in the North of Cameroon to start hand- made football, and to train other youths, because of proximity to leather, the main raw material used in football production.

“But the leather made in Cameroon is not well processed, this affects the quality of balls” .He regrets.

This explains why he moved back to Yaounde and has been at the service of Football Clubs.

Presently, first and second division clubs are making full use of his talents.

His workshop at the Yaounde Central market is highly solicited.

A ball that cost about 95000frs CFA can be repaired and given a second life

Chrislain Bekela’s immediate plan is to operate a modern football production unit in Yaounde.

By Prisilia Lum

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