When I was first offered the opportunity to play in a Nepali club, I had no idea where Nepal was.
The deal that I was offered was lucrative. I had to play for two weeks to demonstrate my footballing skills, and if the club liked my performance, I could stay on with a work permit, and would be paid €5,000 a month.
After reading up on the country online and seeing the beautiful pictures of mountains, I was convinced that it was a good offer.
It was only after I arrived at Kathmandu airport in late 2015 that I realised I was duped by Nepali and African ‘managers’. There was no one to pick me up at the airport, an early indication that I would deeply regret what I had signed up for.
I had to figure my way around, which was difficult especially because I did not even speak English back then. Relying on a kind taxi driver, I somehow managed to make it to a hotel.
It was only on my third day here, after many follow up calls that the ‘manager’ showed up in person. The first thing he asked me was to pay him €1,000 in cash. This was absurd — why was I paying money to play when they should be the ones paying me?
I knew football is a lucrative business in which agents exaggerate and even lie about the attractiveness of the deals to draw young players who want to desperately make it big in football.
But I would soon learn from players from other African countries I met in Nepal that it is very common to pay agents exorbitant cuts, something I was unwilling to do. I also soon learnt that no one earns €5,000 a month here, not even the best national players.
Since the 2015 earthquake, there had apparently not been any league tournaments in Nepal. However, even though I refused to pay the agent, I managed to get some opportunities to play in tournaments with different teams here and there, mostly outside the capital.