He is soft spoken yet candid, humble yet honest. He won’t boast about his accomplishments. He has accomplished alot more than what you will read in this article but he pleaded with me not to add them. Therefore you would never know that there is a man living in Seattle, Washington his name is Alex “Bushman” Kajumulo.
Kajumulo is the most unknown accomplished soccer man walking among us in the United States. Born in Muleba, Bukoba, Tanzania, among the world’s most exotic animals, the reason for the nickname Bushman, Kajumulo has dedicated his life to the sport of soccer. As an Author, Businessman, Designer, Trainer, and Champion for diversity, it is safe to say that Kajumolo has given his all to the sport of soccer not just in the US but throughout the world. He doesn’t dress up when among US Soccer’s elite because as he would say, “These people have more than me, so why do I need to impress them?” And he is not afraid to ask the most compelling questions to address diversity to the likes of US Soccer’s Former President Sunil Gulati and recently elected President Carlos Cordeiro.
This year was my first US Soccer Annual General Membership meeting as close to 1,000 attendees from US Soccer Executives to State Presidents to guests assembled in Sea World Orlando, FL, yet needless to say this was Kajumulo’s sixth. When I asked him his thoughts on the newly elected President and where he sees US Soccer heading in the next four years under Cordeiro’s leadership he replied, “Change is made by action not by talking. So many people talk about change but they don’t want to pursue it. The interesting thing is, when you ask people to change they say yes but if you go to their house and ask them to move their sofa to another direction or move the TV to another spot they will ask, why are you telling me what to do, this is my house? The point is, will Carlos think this is his house or is he going to be an outsider making change? I don’t know.”
In 1996, Kajumulo moved to Seattle after a prestigious professional club soccer playing career in Holland, France, and Saudi Arabia and became the first African to start a youth soccer club in the Pacific North West when he founded the Kajumulo FC. The following year he founded Kajumulo World Soccer, geared towards providing soccer coaches in the US the opportunity to travel with him to further their education abroad in Brazil and Ghana. Alex’s claim to fame as a professional coach of a club was when he was an owner, coach, and a player for Kajumulo FC who defeated Brazil’s Fluminense FC who at the time was coached by the 1994 Brazil World Cup winning coach, Carlos Alberto Parreira. At that time Kajumulo FC was the only team outside of the South American continent to defeat a Brazilian club team, needless to say Parreira resigned that night.
As an author, Kajumulo was the first African born person in the United States to write a children’s book for young soccer enthusiasts when he wrote “Soccer Monster Teaches Basic Skills”. Currently on Amazon, his book continues to be a top seller among soccer playing children as young as 3 as it teaches the fun and love for the soccer ball.
In 1997, Kajumulo started his own sporting brand and rightfully so labeled it “Kajumulo” where he provides custom uniforms and gear for lower to middle income clubs throughout 85 countries around the world. In 2014, he started PASS Academy where he works with Marcelle, focused on providing players the opportunities to pursue a college, professional, or national team career. He also started the Academy to share with players his knowledge of player development that he had learned in other countries. He uses the word “Academy” because it is a hot term used throughout the country to sell parents on programs, but Kajumulo believes, “Soccer in the U.S. is confusing. All the great players from Africa, Central America, South America and Caribbean don’t come from development programs.” Meaning, the best players in the world are not developed in academies, rather they are school and street players with great enough technical skills to excel at an Academy in the top clubs around the world.
In 2016, he started an amateur team called City Pro and this year partnered with the UPSL to build a strong league around the Pacific North West and the U.S. that provides players a bridge to the professional ranks.
At 53, Kajumulo has a lot more energy and knowledge to give to the game in the U.S. He is excited about the constant growth of the leagues and how much attention U.S. soccer has received around the world. With MLS expanding to 25 teams in the coming year, world-renown clubs such as Barcelona, Bayern Munich, just to name a few setting up bases in the US to scout talent, and the UPSL expanding nationwide, he knows that the sport has a lot more growth and he will continue to do his part behind the scenes in the best interest of the sport, he is the Silent Thunder – Alex Kajumulo.