Football is one game which has been known to bring people from all walks of life together. As a matter of fact, it is widely considered to be the most popular sport in the world with statistics from FIFA indicating that there are over 5 Billion football fans across the world.
One of the reasons for its popularity is the fact that unlike other sports, it is actually pretty simple to participate in. All you need is a ball, a patch of grass and a few people to play with and you have yourself a game. This means that people from all over the world, regardless of their economic or social status can be able to enjoy playing football together.
Other than just being a sport to keep one busy and fit, it has become a means to a better life for some those who live in the not so well off neighborhoods. Growing up in these neighborhoods young girls and boys have very few options of making their lives better due the fact that most often than not they are not able to continue with their studies brought about by lack of finances. Simply put, football is a life saver.
In the Kenyan context, Chapa Dimba by Safaricom has been termed as the most exciting and innovative grassroots football tournament. Launched in 2017, the tournament showcases the talents of young players from all over the country. This tournament has become a platform for young footballers to showcase their skills, providing a pathway for future stars to emerge and make a name for themselves in the world of football.
One of the success stories from this tournament is Judith Osimbo, a goalkeeper who helped her team, the Plateau Queens emerge as the winners of the Chapa Dimba tournament in 2018. In the match, which had ended up in penalties she managed to make a save which ensured that her team won the tournament. Her performance during the tournament, saw her get signed up by Gapco FC and later the Ulinzi Starlets. She also got a chance to play with the Harambee Starlets where they managed to win the Cecafa Women Challenge in 2019.
Another product of Chapa Dimba who has made it big is Benson Olouch. Benson is currently the top scorer in the Kenya Premier League where he plys his trade with Gor Mahia one of the most successful teams in Kenyan football. Benson grew up in a not so well-off neighborhood, where he decided to take u football so as to keep away from vices which he knew had a possibility of messing up his life. In 2019, he joined a football team, Manyatta United through which he participated in the Chapa Dimba football tournament. The team ended up emerging as the winners at the national finals with Benson being the top scorer. His exploits during Chapa Dimba saw him get signed by Gor Mahia with reports that various clubs are interested in him including Orlando Pirates, a topflight South African team.
It is safe to say that Safaricom is changing the lives of the youth in Kenya, one footballer at a time. By giving these young men and women a platform to showcase their skills, they are slowly but surely changing the Kenyan football scene for the better. Without this tournament, we most probably would not have come to know about Judith nor Benson. One can only imagine how many such talents have slipped through the cracks before this tournament came to be.
So, if you are a footballer between 16-20 years and in a team, sign up here today for a chance take your football career to the next level. The tournament will kick off on 3rd June 2023 in Western Kenya, with the national finals to be held on 14th January 2024.