MAYOR MAKUEI CHAGAI was born in Yirol in South Sudan. He lived in Kenya for a number of years where he became involved in basketball. He came to Australia with his cousin’s family and is now busy working and managing a local basketball team in Blacktown. He also studies agricultural science and works with local youth organisations to help build relationships among young people of all backgrounds.
Mayor Changai, Community advocate
Mayor likes being connected to young people and linking them up with other youth providers in Blacktown and other places in Sydney, NSW.
When Mayor Chagai was six years old he fled civil war in South Sudan, becoming one of Africa’s “lost boys”.
In 2006 he came to Australia as a refugee, 19 years old and penniless. A decade later he is a community leader in Western Sydney, drawing on his love of basketball to change the lives of young Sudanese men.
Thursday nights in Blacktown used to be called “fight night” as young men from different ethnic groups clashed, but Mayor realised sport could heal the trauma of war and keep wayward Sudanese youth out of trouble.
He started a basketball program that is turning out the champions of tomorrow. American coaches regularly attend tournaments here to scout for talent and 14 of Mayor’s players have been recruited to the USA.