Kapenguria Heroes from West Pokot and Plateau Queens from Nyanza are the National Champions of the Chapa Dimba Na Safaricom Youth tournament.
Kapenguria Heroes emerged National champions in the boys category after beating the tough Gor Mahia Youth FC 3-0 in post-match penalties after a goalless draw in regulation time.
In the girls’ category, Plateau Queens won 4-3 against Tar Tar girls from West Pokot in a post-match penalty shootout to be crowned national champions after a 1-1 draw in regulation time. The star of the match was the young striker Mercy Akinyi, who was also named the top scorer in the national finals, girls’ category.
It was a beautiful game as each side displayed amazing skills with jittery fans chanting in support of their favorite teams in a fully parked Bukhungu stadium.
Samson Tanui, Captain, Kapenguria Heroes cheerfully said: “This is a dream come true for us. The game was not easy at all but we made it. We are supper excited to be crowned the national champions of the tournament and take home the KES 1M. Flying to London to meet Wanyama face–to-face is something our team will never forget. We are happy!”
Mercy Akinyi, top scorer of the Plateau Queens also couldn’t help but express her joy: “It is a good feeling to win against such a tough opponent. We have fought hard and we have come a long away. Today is a big day for us and we are so happy. Most of us come from a poor background but now we can smile while knowing the KES 1M will help us solve many of our problems. I still cannot believe we will be flying to London, but yes, it is true. This is a big thing for us!”
Kogalo Youth and Plateau Queens each bagged the coveted prize of KES 1M, as well as a trip to London for a one-week training camp and mentorship program in April. While in London, they will get a chance to interact with the tournament’s Brand Ambassador Victor Wanyama, who is a fierce midfielder for English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur.
The tournament launched in June last year with an aim of promoting grassroot football and propelling gifted players into the national teams, already boasts to have some of the tournament’s top players such as David Majak, Fredrick Krop, Hassan Iddi and Ahmed Subri signed up for Kenya Premier League teams. The likes of James Omsinde, Alpha Chris, John Njuguna, and Yusuf Mainge are among 13 players who have also earned call-ups to the national under 20 team.
“We have made remarkable achievements so far. A number of our best players have been assigned in the national teams and Kenya Premier leagues teams. This is what transformation mean to us. To the winners today, congratulations on winning the 1 million shillings,” said Joe Ogutu, Head of Strategy and Innovation, Safaricom.
“Even as we come to the close of the first season of Chapa Dimba, we do not intend to stop here. Owing to the success of the first season, I’m happy to officially announce that we will soon be launching the second chapter of Chapa Dimba Na Safaricom later this year. We look forward to working once again with our reliable partners FKF on the second season,” said Joe Ogutu.
Safaricom invested KES100 million towards the program, which includes KES10 million worth of prizes, as well as funds for renovation of select community, pitches through a legacy programme