Home Lifestyle Mazrui Ndubi: Championing Grassroots Talent with Wajir Queens Under Safaricom Chapa Dimba

Mazrui Ndubi: Championing Grassroots Talent with Wajir Queens Under Safaricom Chapa Dimba

by Femme Staff

The story of Wajir Queens who were part of Safaricom Chapa Dimba national finals is a clear demonstration of how the tournament is unearthing grassroots talent. The team took on Barcelona Ladies SC and even though they did not win, traveling to Kisumu and participating in the finals is already a major win in itself, and a confidence boost for the players, coaches and supporters.

We had a sit down with Mazrui Ndubi, the resilient founder and coach behind Wajir Queens and other sports like basketball in his area.

Born and raised in Busia County, Mazrui went to Wajir in 2014 as a BOM (Board of Management) teacher at a time when everyone was afraid of Northeastern due to terrorism reports. Three years into teaching, he was absorbed by TSC as a math and chemistry teacher at Ahmed Liban Mixed Day Secondary School where he teaches to date. When he’s not teaching, he’s heavily involved in sports and other community welfare activities.

For a team that is under two years old having been formed in July last year, Wajir Queens already has some very impressive achievements. For instance, it is the first ever girls’ team in Northeastern, and through Talanta Hela and Chapa Dimba tournaments, they were taking on more experienced teams from football friendly areas and schools.

For their practice, they have six balls and each of the players has four sets of football uniform, two of them courtesy of Chapa Dimba. Most of the players also have shoes. These may seem trivial, but kits and balls are some of the biggest challenges that grassroots football is facing in every region in the country.

Mazrui is nurturing sports in general and especially football under severe challenges, chief among them being extreme heat, severe rains, sandy pitches, long distances for players to cover between homes, schools, and pitches and what he refers to as cultural victimization which affects girls. None of these dampen his resolve to soldier on though, and it helps that he has support from fellow teachers, volunteers, and even the local police who have offered the station field for players to practice in the safety of a fenced compound. The police officers who are well versed in football also help in in coaching.

Getting the local community to accept sports among girls is also quite an uphill task due to cultural perceptions. As much as parents and school heads have softer stances towards this, society in general is adamantly against it, to a point where resistance is strong enough to completely stop some girls from playing. Mazrui is sometime forced to drop good players because of this.

All is not lost though. As mentioned earlier, Mazrui involves himself in a lot of community engagement initiatives, so he’s well known in the area, a fact that smooths the way for him when he’s preaching his sports gospel. Seeing that the fruits of his efforts are beginning to show, it is safe to believe that acceptance levels will rise over time.

To Safaricom, Mazrui would like to express lots of gratitude for the platform that is Chapa Dimba, and for availing flights out of Wajir since the roads had been partially swept away by floods. He and his team area also grateful for quality uniforms.

Seeing how football is increasingly growing especially among girls, we can only wish Wajir Queens and other grassroots teams around the country the best as we look forward to the next phase of Chapa Dimba.

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