Almost twenty years ago, Colince Kouwa had to leave his native country Cameroon for an asylum seekers’ centre in Groningen. ‘My homeland was at war with Nigeria; a political conflict about oil,’ he says in a charming mix of Dutch and French. ‘I had to flee.’
He ended up in a strange European country and stayed in various asylum seekers’ centres. ‘The first year was the hardest: the language, the culture, the habits,’ he says. On the bright side there was football club Z.V.V. ‘56 in Apeldoorn, the city where he has lived for 17 years now. The municipality’s promise to enrol him in a pedagogy course turned out to be empty. Colince did voluntary work until a fellow club member told him about Ekro. He ended up with the company through an employment agency, in various positions. The 43-year-old former drafter and teacher now works at the production department. With the precise eye of a carpenter, he was able to figure out the anatomy of calves and is now excellent at deboning. Colince has been working at Ekro for four years through the employment agency and would like to rise through the ranks. Humour and football are the things he lives for. The striker likes well-aimed passes and scoring goals. Let us hope he scores a permanent position in the Ekro team.