The Apprentice is back on our screens tonight as Sir Alan Sugar begins another epic adventure to find his next business partner and one man has more experience than most of rubbing shoulders with future stars.
Kenna Ngoma from Ashton, now 24, spent the majority of his teenage life on a football pitch, to great success. Starting at Fletcher Moss Rangers, the same club that produced Premier League talent such as Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard, he was picked up by Man City’s academy aged 12.
He then moved to Barnsley at the age of 16, where he played alongside Manchester City and England defender John Stones for a spell. Despite showing all the talent to make it to the top, he sustained a serious injury, which spoiled his chances of earning a professional contract. He told the MEN: “There’s no way I could even try to play - even if I tried it’d just set me back longer and get worse. Unfortunately due to the length of time it took to heal, I lost my chance for a proper contract.”
By the age of twenty, Kenna had graduated with a business degree from Gloucester University, choosing to fast track his three-year course into just 24 months, before he worked as a football analyst for a short period of time.
Moving back to Manchester inspired the start of his fledgeling business, one that he hopes will shoot him to Apprentice glory. The money-spinning idea? Alcoholic ice cream, an idea that came to him while on a date on a particularly sunny day.
“It all started after I was taking out a girl on a date and it was a really hot day. I thought it would be nice to get some ice cream rather than a drink, and that made me think about alcoholic ice cream.
“I thought it must have already been done before but I was surprised to find a gap in the market.”
Now with his business idea in hand, he will hope the celebrity status and financial reward that comes with being a top-flight footballer can be achieved by winning the Apprentice this year, if he can avoid Lord Sugar’s fabled finger of fate.