By Martin Siele
Arsenal midfielder Mesut Özil surprised Lawrence Masira with various gifts as schools re-opened in Kenya.
Masira received a signed autograph with a message from Mesut on Tuesday, January 12 as well as a consignment of 1,000 face masks.
Standing alongside his mother, an ecstatic Masira couldn’t hide his joy and thanked the midfielder profusely.
The two have a long history, that starts with a viral photo shared by sports journalist Eric Njiru in 2019. Njiru captured Masira herding cattle in the streets of Nairobi having inscribed ‘Özil’ and his jersey number 10 on the back of his shirt with a marker pen.
It quickly caught the celebrated midfielder’s attention, and Ozil twice sent Masira and his friends several Arsenal jerseys and club merchandise.
Masira went on to be selected as a child mascot for AFCON 2019 in Egypt thanks to VISA Kenya.
He got the experience of a lifetime walking out into the 30,000-seater Al-Salam Stadium in Cairo as a player escort during Tunisia’s clash with Madagascar.
In his school uniform as he prepared to start a new term in 2021, Masira noted that the masks would help him and his family comply with Covid-19 precautionary measures.
“I say thank you for the masks, it will help me and my family because of the pandemic…the ministry has said we should wear masks.
“We say thank you for the masks, thank you very much,” Masira stated.
Ozil has been linked with a move away from the Gunners in the January transfer window. Turkish giants Fernerbahce are a likely destination for the mercurial no. 10.
Watch a news report on Masira’s gifts below: