A successful talent search is always a heart warming story. When a talented individual never thought their potential could go beyond their local community or school stage, then they get discovered and the world opens up to heights they would never have dreamed of. We have seen this among sports people, models, musicians, actors, actresses and in many other fields.
Such is the story of Safaricom Chapa Dimba which is now back after a 3-year hiatus. Chapa Dimba is a grassroots to national tournament that identifies and nurtures football talent among youngsters aged 16 to 20. This not only offers them a platform to showcase and improve their game, but also gives them exposure through traveling and playing competitively outside of their regions. Competitive sports give players hope and purpose and this impacts their overall growth even outside of the pitch. For a more thorough understanding of Chapa Dimba, have a look at this page.
This is also the story of Tuinuane, a rallying call and brand philosophy by Safaricom for us to stand up for one another as Kenyans. With Chapa Dimba and many other sports and humanities projects all over the country, Safaricom is leading Tuinuane from the front. This is more so because throughout the tournament across the country, Safaricom will interact with communities by conducting free medical camps and organizing financial and digital literacy clinics, in partnership with other relevant players.
A look at previous Chapa Dimba tournaments is a clear testimony of just how far football can take players. We have kids whom football has seen through school without their guardians having to dip into their pockets. We have others who have been spotted by team agents and have since been recruited into brand and national teams. They are now not only making a living out of the sport but are also a great inspiration to the younger kids still dreaming about being players. We also have many who have been saved from idleness and associated vices by having their time occupied by football. We will tell as many of these stories as we trail the tournaments.
One of the biggest highlights of Chapa Dimba if not the absolute biggest is Safaricom’s partnership with La Liga in which at the regional finals, the two best football players (one boy and one girl) will be identified and selected to form an All-Star team, with the opportunity to participate in a 10-day training boot camp in Spain. Two players (one boy and one girl) will also be granted international placement in a youth team in Spain.
With this partnership, the youngsters get to see what big football is about – the sheer discipline that comes with it, the huge stadia, and the quality of the grounds where football magic happens. They got the privilege of training on these grounds, to watch big matches live and also to play friendlies with junior clubs in Spain. Ultimately, they get to experience how far ahead of us the big leagues are and to adjust their dreams upwards. The mark that such a trip will leave on these kids is indelible and if that is not what powerful nurturing of dreams is, I don’t know what is.
The national registration exercise for Chapa Dimba is now open on the official website. If you know of a grassroots football team or are in one, register and be part of this great initiative. This year’s tournament will kick off on 3rd June 2023 in Western Kenya, with the national finals to be held on 14th January 2024.