Little known Tumaini School from Makueni County was named Chapa Dimba Na Safaricom Eastern Region champions after emerging victorious in the boy’s finals defeating Black Panthers 4-1.
During the match played in February at the Machakos Stadium, Yasin Mohamed scored a hat trick in the 4th, 19th, and 47th minute, before Enow Abdumalik scored Black Panther’s consolation goal in the 83rd minute. Kapirante Moris sealed Tumaini’s win in the 88th minute.
However, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Chapa Dimba nationals that were to be played in June were postponed.
Khusoko, spoke to Martin Mulalah, the Director of Tumaini School to talk about his team’s journey of Chapa Dimba Na Safaricom, its highlights, and what the tournament is about.
Mulalah says he will rely on the team’s dynamic offense, skills, and resilience to generate success.
Tumaini School is where they have groomed the soccer team that participated in the Chapa Dimba Na Safaricom competitions. He says they are continuously training the boys to participate in school competitions and other competitions.
This was their third time to participate in the Chapa Dimba competitions, “In the previous seasons, we lost in funny ways. We went, we played but there were issues that made us unable to proceed. But this year, since last year, we put in place a strong team and played. We emerged triumphant until we went to regional levels and won,” says Mulalah.
How do you feel after your team’s well-deserved win after seeing off Black Panthers 4-1?
We were very confident that we would win this competition. We have played other teams in other competitions and we won. In fact, we were very excited to meet a team that is tough. We knew if we manage to defeat this tough team and head to the national levels, even if we would not be top, our self-esteem to have reached somewhere would have been fulfilling.
Otherwise, it would not have been of help to play a weak team. Surprisingly, it is like Black panthers had been assumed to emerge victoriously. They had massive media visibility and financial support from the county government. This was meant to scare us.
We came with the skill and after many years of training.
So the first goal, second, third of course we said it is finished.
I realized that it doesn’t matter how conspicuous a team is. If you know what to do, if you have the skill and you focus on what to do, you triumph. Our boys knew what to do.
Following canceling of sporting activities due to Covid-19, how is your team coping?
Right now, we do not have any special arrangements to continue our training. Our team consists of boys from schools. When they were closed they went home and it is very demotivating. We told them to train from home.
We hope by September that when things begin to normalize, we hope they will be fit to participate in the competitions.
Tell us how Chapa Dimba is helping in nurturing local talent?
Well, Chapa Dimba number one, it motivates our boys a lot. There are categories and as you move up, you know that there is something you will win. And if you do very well, there is a high chance of traveling to Spain.
Number one, it motivates the boys a lot. It gives them hope that this game can help them. It also helps them to know that there is a future in sports and so they take it seriously.
What can we learn from Chapa Dimba?
For us what we have learned is that talent is something that you should not throw away. If you have talent, follow it up. This talent can help you a lot. This talent can take you places. This talent can be a source of income for you and your family.
How many talents have passed through your hands under Chapa Dimba?
Not counting the team participants, there are many other talented boys at our place and other schools who have shown an interest in joining our school. This is because they want to be a part of the team that is winning. They want to be part of a team that is going places. Three of our boys were picked as part of the All Star players to attend a 10 day Bootcamp in Madrid, Spain, and play against top La Liga youth teams. This motivated boys a lot. Now many people are taking football seriously.
Even though we do not have a girls’ team, but even girls are working hard. If we count numbers, they are many whom we have touched through Chapa Dimba in the last few years.
Ohh! Yes, we have been thinking of starting a lady’s team for the next season. (Which we do not know when it will be realized because of this pandemic). In the future, we hope to field two teams.
In your analysis as an expert, what would you like Chapa Dimba to do more for young talents like Tumaini School?
The Chapa Dimba team can really help a lot. One, through motivational talks, because these are youth with an emphasis to encourage them to showcase their talents.
In these talents, there is a lot to do with discipline and in Chapa Dimba there is a lot of discipline an observation I have taken note of.
Another thing Chapa Dimba can do if they can …boys do not have kits, enough balls… these are some of the things they can do to assist clubs with the resources.
If possible, assist teams with coaches. Having a good coach can help the boys a lot. There are many boys who are talented in football but because they do not have a coach, they may not sharpen their skills. This is because they cannot afford to pay a coach.
If they have programmes where Chapa Dimba can occasionally support teams and clubs and providing some resources needed, with time it will be possible to see football thriving with quality teams.
With your experience with Chapa Dimba and working with young talents, what do you make of Kenya’s Football world (from the grassroots to the national team)?
There is one thing that I have never really understood why because if you take for instance Harambee Stars, it rarely wins African competitions to the top. We have never heard the national team play at the world cup.
Number two, very few Kenyans are playing in the major clubs in Europe and other regions. Most players are from West Africa.
Recently, when we had the competitions in Egypt and Kenya played against Senegal during the Africa Cup of Nations, it is like our footballers we are not trained at all. They were only defending and Senegal looked as experts in football. They are Africans like us.
What is happening with Chapa Dimba in Kenya, in the coming years we shall be playing at par with teams like Senegal, South Africa among others because we shall have boys who are good enough to compete with others worldwide.
What I would like to say is that Chapa Dimba is a good thing and it should continue. I would like to urge the promoters to keep it up and not to give up. This is a countrywide initiative. This is a big motivation because annually, peop[le will be preparing to compete.
This is bigger than the school’s competition and it will assist people who are also not in schools. There are people who have not been in school but are under-20 and Chapa Dimba is giving them an opportunity to showcase their talent.
Chapa Dimba Na Safaricom is a national football tournament for male and female youth aged between 16-20 years.
The aims of the tournament are to transform the lives of young people by giving them a platform to showcase their talent and an opportunity to earn from their passion.