Rangers new boy Fashion Sakala has not lived a conventional life.

The Zambian international has grown up in an poverty-stricken area where he had to fight, scratch and claw - as well as literally hunt for food.

In an incredibly revealing interview with Belgian publication HNB back in February, Sakala explained how he used to take care of dogs - 18 of them - and hunt for rabbits and impala for his village.

The striker, who signed a pre-contract at Ibrox earlier this week, still to this day uses his Oostende salary to keep the village in which he grew up afloat. He also described his formative years growing up as a young footballer, desperate to do big things in his career and move to Europe.

Glasgow Times:

There have been trials and tribulations for Sakala, including enduring racism in Russia at Spartak Moscow. He goes back as far as when he was a kid looking for his first steps into the game, when his father heard of a soccer school opening in the city. "Only we didn't have a car to drive there," he said. 

"My dad and I huddled together on one bike and drove into town for seven hours. We arrived late. Nearly all the boys had already been chosen, but there was one more match between the elected and the non-elected. I was very insecure, they laughed at my dialect and my clothes. We had no money for a football jersey, so I wore pieces of cloth my mom sewed together. I didn't have football boots either - normally I played barefoot - but luckily there was one guy who lent me his: Philippe. I still support him and his family now."

Sakala has been known as 'Fashion' since he was a lad, but his real name is Timothy. Not sure how that happened? Neither was he. "I'll tell you a little secret. My name is actually Timothy," he added. "For a long time I did not realise this myself, until I had to go to school and saw Timothy on my school books. 

"Where did that come from? Everyone called me Fashion since I was born. Then my dad had to explain a few things. Apparently his name was Timothy too and I had to follow in his footsteps. Except, my father was a creditable striker in the local football league. He scored often and because he had some flair, his nickname was Fashion. Everyone spoke to him like that, and so I became a Fashion Junior. That's my name. That's how I had it put on my passport."

During the interview it's clear the love and admiration Sakala has for his dad. But it was he who put himself towards the head of the table when he was dubbed 'Captain' for his hunting bravery. Something, he says, his father did not share.

“My dad wanted me to play football, so made it every three days - they broke quickly - a ball of tape and plastic. Only then I often went to sleep with an empty stomach. My dad had many qualities, but he didn't have the courage to hunt in the bush. We lived near the border with Malawi and lions, leopards and snakes live there. You don't see snakes here, do you? As the oldest son, I therefore took responsibility. As a teenager I regularly hunted for eight hours in the jungle. On those days I was called Captain.

"In the village I was the only one who took care of the dogs. At one point I had eighteen and they all had names. We worked together: when we saw an impala or rabbit, we cornered that prey. The dogs jumped on the animal and I finished it with my axe. When I see a rabbit walking here (in Belgium) at the exercise complex, I still think: Hey, there is food! Sometimes those hunts weren't successful, but when I came back with a meal, my pack and I were very popular in the village."

Sakala never fully made it at Spartak Moscow after leaving his native Zanaco. Some claim it was a racially motivated decision not to promote him from their B-team, but the player has not allowed that possibility to creep into his head. "I was there with three African friends and they got really desperate," he said. "During matches we sometimes received racist noises and one of my comrades responded by kicking hard balls towards those people. 

"Eventually my African teammates also thought that we were not getting promoted to the A-team for racist reasons, but I didn't believe that. Then why had Spartak brought us from Africa? I continued to train on my own, while my colleagues watched in a chair, playing with their cell phones. Yeah, then you bash yourself. I wanted to be ready for another team and all of a sudden Oostende called. I couldn't get on the plane fast enough."
Weather in Russia, he claims, was also a tough aspect to get acclimatised to. So it's an interesting prospect to see how he'll fare in Glasgow. "First it took some getting used to the cold. I had nosebleeds because of the temperature differences."