Football is the most popular sport in Kenya, as is the case in many parts of the world. Maybe this is because it requires fewer resources compared to other sports.
Perhaps this might also explain why boys and girls across the country start playing football at a very young age. For some, it’s a hobby while others are keen on harnessing their skills and playing in the world’s biggest leagues such as Spain’s La Liga.
Most young boys and girls are keen on becoming the next big deal, drawing inspiration from the likes of Victor Wanyama, Divock Origi and McDonald Mariga. However, they are often forced to abandon their dreams midway because of one reason or the other.
A young player might dream of representing Kenya at foreign competitions but there’s no one to single them out of a crowd. So, after waiting to be noticed for many years, they give up.
Seeing how dire the situation was, Safaricom unveiled Chapa Dimba as a way of giving back to Kenyans, who have always been a part of their story since the firm was established in 1997.
Through the tournament, the telecom giant aims to transform the lives of boys and girls, aged between 16 and 20, by giving them a chance to earn from something they are very passionate about – football.
Safaricom also seeks to develop football at the grass root level, propel gifted players to the national teams which translates to give hope to young boys and girls.
Chapa Dimba has five stages; Group Stage 1, Group Stage 2, Round of 16, Regional Finals and National Finals. Both boys and girls participate at every stage of the competition.
Nyanza and Western already wrapped up the regional stages of the competition and are training ahead of the national finals to be held in Meru in June.
Western region’s Bishop Njenga Girls and Lugari Blue Saints as well as Manyatta Boys and Ndhiwa Queens from Nyanza won their respective regional finals and secured slot in the national finals.
After Nyanza and Western, all roads lead to Kitui Showground on March 9th and 10th for the Chapa Dimba Eastern region finals where 8 teams, 4 girls’ teams and 4 boys’ teams, will go up against each other for a chance represent the region in the national finals.
The boys’ semis will see Isiolo Young Stars play Triumph boys from Embu while Mwingi’s Super Solico will take on Samba boys from Moyale. The girls’ semis will have Karugwa Queens from Meru Central face Chuka Starlets from Meru South as Marsabit’s Sakuu Queens meet St. Mary’s Ndovea from Makueni.
The winner for both the girls’ and boys’ teams will pocket KSh. 200,000, while the runners up will take home KSh. 100,000. The best player, top scorer and best keeper will each pocket KSh. 30,000.
After Eastern, Chapa Dimba will head to Rift Valley, Coast, Central, North Eastern, Nairobi and culminate in Meru where the national winner for both the girls’ and boys’ teams will each get KSh 1 million, while the runners up will pocket KSh. 500,000.
Two boy best players and two girl best players from each region will also be selected to form an all-star team that will be sponsored on a 10-day trip to Spain where they will play La Liga academies and access world-class training facilities.
Turn out in large numbers and support your favourite teams at Kitui Showground this weekend. You can also follow the conversation on social media #ChapaDimbaNaSafaricom.
Watch the video below and see how Chapa Dimba has transformed Brian Lumumba’s life.
Comme ci, comme ça