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NGO 'I Love Africa' gives Mathare teams reason to smile

FOOTBALL By Jonah Onyango Orimba | November 25th 2020
From left- Coach Hurricanes FC-Huruma Titus Mulama and striker Simon Makocha receiving football kits from MP Mathare Constituency and Board President of I Love Africa Chang Ok Lee at Kenya Medical Training College in Mathare Nairobi. Nov 23, 2020. [Jonah Onyango, Standard], 2020. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

For football players in Mathare Slum, playing bare chest is a common sight.

Being a place where sports facilities are hard to come by, a tattered Arsenal jersey will always come in handy for the talented but needy players. 

It's never easy for a club to have matching shorts and jerseys. Things are not always rosy here.

But thanks to an NGO, ‘I Love Africa’, some 16 football teams have every reason to smile after they were kitted by the well-wishers.

The NGO, in partnership with Mathare Constituency CDF, donated sports uniforms and balls to the lucky teams during the weekend.

The NGO's board president Chang Ok Lee, who is a specialist in international relief and development from South Korea, is in Africa to give hope to vulnerable families.

The organisation was founded in 2011, with its core mission being helping vulnerable families access clean water, reliable food, as well as empowering women and youth.

Lee challenged the teams saying: “This is just the beginning of our relationship. We want to strengthen our partnership, but will depend on your performance," she said.

"I would like to see you play in the National Super League next season."

Former Harambee Stars player Titus Mulama, who now coaches Huruma Flats Club, lauded the move saying it will go a long way in assisting the youth from the area to nurture their talents.

“I thank 'I Love Africa' for the gesture and generosity, which will boost our training and enhance talents," he said.

Beijing Raiders captain Selvin Kasoha said the clubs will now have a good time in training.

Kiamaiko FC coach Tonny Odoyo also thanked the donors saying the donation will help them prepare for league matches.

The NGO has also sunk boreholes in Kajiado, built a dispensary in Samburu and distributed food in Turkana.

Meanwhile, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he will not rush Sergio Aguero back into action despite his side's lack of goals in the Premier League.

City's record goal scorer was an unused substitute in Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Tottenham as he nears a return from his latest injury problem.

The 32-year-old Argentine missed the end of last season and the start of the current campaign after undergoing knee surgery in June. He has since had another lay-off after suffering a hamstring injury last month.

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