Chapa Dimba: Rising stars set to sparkle as Kenya’s football future blossoms

By Clinton Nyabuto: Thursday, June 20th 2019 at 13:58 GMT +3 | Sports
Kiambu based Euronuts football team celebrates after being crowned winners during the Chapa Dimba na Safaricom Central Finals held at Thika Stadium [Courtesy]

Chapa Dimba Na Safaricom has frankly given Kenyan youth an exemplary platform to showcase their talents and grow their skills for a better future.

Being a national football tournament for male and female youth aged between 16-20 years, Chapa Dimba Na Safaricom seeks to transform the lives of young people.

The tournament welcomes teams from different parts of the country, each comprising of 15 players and two officials in the group stage.

The teams that progress through group stages are allowed to recruit three more players to their squads, with the overall winner in both boys and girls’ categories pocketing Sh1 million.

In it’s first season, a team of 32 (17 boys and 15 girls) attended a 10-day La Liga training camp in Barcelona, Spain.

In the second season of the tournament, eight boys’ teams and seven girls’ teams from eight regions in Kenya will take part in the national finals set for June 20 – 23 at Kinoru Stadium, Meru County.

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In the girls’ quarterfinals, Acakoro Ladies (Nairobi) will play NCOED (Nyanza) as St. Mary’s Ndovea (Eastern) plays Barcelona Ladies (Central). Archbishop Njenga (Western) was slotted with Kitale Queens (Rift Valley) while Changamwe Ladies (Coast) earned straight entry to semifinals since there was no team from North Eastern.

In the boys’ quarters, Lugari Blue Saints (Western) will tie with Super Solico (Eastern) while Euronuts (Central) is set to wrestle the ground with Manyatta United (Nyanza). Berlin FC (North Eastern) will play Al Ahly (Rift Valley) and Shimanzi Youth (Coast) play South B United (Nairobi).

Ahead of the season, the Football Kenya Federation President Nick Mwendwa said:

“The tournament is a perfect example of how football can be used to open doors for girls and boys from all backgrounds.

“We have already signed a number of these players, into our National U-20 and Premier League teams since the inaugural edition, a clear indication that this is not just a football tournament; but a lifeline for these young men and women.

“We wish them all the best as they embark on the quest to be crowned national champions,” said Mwendwa.

The inaugural season of the tournament was prolific as over fifteen young players joined the Kenya Premier League and the National Super League.

David Majak, Fredrick Krop, and Oscar Kengwa have already signed up for Kenya Premier League teams while the likes of James Omsinde and John Njuguna earned call ups to the national under 20 team.

As Kenya is set to host the CECAFA U20 Women Championships, the Kenyan squad consisting of 36 players was named with no surprise, as it featured top performers from the Chapa Dimba na Safaricom.

St. Mary’s Ndovea’s Nuru Hensley, Bishop Njenga’s Lavenda Murumwa, Barcelona Ladies’ Jane Njeri, and Kwale Girls’ Joy KingLady, who were among the All-Stars team to Spain, earned calls to the squad.

Former Liverpool and Barcelona winger Luis Javier Garcia will grace the second season finale as a LaLiga ambassador and will take part in some mentorship clinics.

The Spanish legendary footballer will also attend the semifinal and final games of the tournament.

More talent from the local leagues is anticipated to be unmasked in the second season as the young stars brace themselves for battle in the finals in Meru.

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