Ericsson may have left Tanzania eight years ago, but he remains intimately connected to his roots at St Jude’s.
“Wherever I go, St Jude’s will always be my home,” says Ericsson, who is currently residing in the United Kingdom.
The story of Ericsson and St Jude’s began at the beginning of the 2000s when the school was still in its early stages.
“It was unlike any other school,” recalls Ericsson. “I was especially intrigued with the culture and diversity at the school along with the fact that St Jude’s offered free and quality education,” says Ericsson.
Ericsson realised the benefits of having a good foundation in education early on and so like any other aspiring scholar student, he applied for a scholarship at St Jude’s and hoped for the best.
“The Scholarship Application process was a very rigorous one,” recalls Ericsson. “I had to sit for a series of oral and written tests. I don’t remember the tests as being easy,” he adds with a smile.
Ericsson soon became a regular face around campus. He would hang around the school as he waited for his results, eventually one day, Ericsson got the best news he was hoping for!
“I think my journey with St Jude’s started when I received my school uniforms,” Ericsson recalls fondly. “I remember having daily training sessions with Angela, one of the earliest teachers at the school, on how to tie my tie – valuable life lesson for sure,” Ericsson adds with a smile.
Ericsson spent the next 13 years at St Jude’s, exploring his passions and interests in a wide variety of subjects. The resources and supportive learning environment allowed him to freely develop and evolve his interests until he finally found his groove both academically and outside academics.
“At first, I was fascinated with mathematics,” says Ericsson. “Then I ventured into other subjects like social studies, and the sciences, until I finally settled for extended business subjects like commerce, accounting and economics in secondary school years,” says Ericsson.
Outside the classroom though, Ericsson had only one passion.
“I have always love football for as long as I can remember,” says Ericsson passionately.
While at St Jude’s, Ericsson was a member of a local football academy and had dreams of playing professional football. As an emerging football talent, Ericsson took his passion seriously and was a regular starter on the team.
“I would train and play football every day,” says Ericsson. “I remember doing my homework on my way to school because I had spent the entire previous evening playing football!” he recalls.
However, things took a different turn and Ericsson had to adapt his passion for football to suit the changing dynamic, just as he did with his studies. When he began losing his starting spot on the first team, Ericsson shifted his focus to officiating football matches and soon qualified as a certified football referee.
“This was an interesting turn of events because I didn’t like referees back in my playing days,” Ericsson reflects with a smile. “The biggest lesson I learned during my transition is no matter how bad it gets; better days are always waiting. Never lose hope,” he adds.
Today, Ericsson has set a unique record of being the first Tanzanian professional football referee to officiate football matches in England aspiring to one day referee the Premier League. He also has a thriving career at one of the world’s leading reinsurance companies following a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management with honours and a Master’s of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Enterprise Development from Westminster University. He is a living example of dedication, ambition and adaptability.
“Whenever I find myself doubting how far I can go, I remind myself of how far I have come and how many people have significantly contributed to me getting this far. And that gives me the strength to press on,” says Ericsson.
In May 2023, Ericsson purchased 13 of St Jude’s latest book, The School That Hope Built, to be distributed to schools in Australia. The books were personally delivered by Gemma, St Jude’s Founding Director, during her Australian Tour in 2023.
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