Safaricom, in partnership with the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has launched the fourth edition of the Safaricom Chapa Dimba football tournament after a three-year hiatus at an event held at Camp Toyoyo in Jericho, Nairobi County.
Speaking during the launch, Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa stated that the telco has committed over Ksh400 million to support the tournament which will run from June 2023 to January 2024. It will be held from the grassroot to national level across the country.
“We are proud to announce the return of Safaricom Chapa Dimba after a three-year break due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Previous seasons of the tournament have been a huge success, and we intend to enrol even more participants this season. Football is a beautiful game that brings people together. Its popularity cuts across ethnic lines and social status and is a powerful tool for social change, inclusion, and respect,” said Mr Ndegwa.
Safaricom Chapa Dimba aims to provide a structured platform for scouts and coaches to tap into new talent and build feeder systems for the Kenyan leagues across the country, while also training a total of 250 coaches.
“We are equally happy to announce that 32 young players from the tournament will be scouted to the national team and get an opportunity to visit Spain for a 10-day training boot camp. In this new season, courtesy of Safaricom and M-PESA Foundations, we shall also offer TVET educational scholarships to 150 players that will go to the best boy and girl player in every county, as well as members of the winning girls’ and boys’ teams at the national finals. We look forward to forging deeper connections with our customers and showcasing our commitment to transforming lives,” said Mr Ndegwa.
This year, the total prize money for the tournament has doubled to Ksh20 million to reward the winning boys’ and girls’ teams in the county, regional and national finals. The best football players, 2 boys and 2 girls will be scouted during each of the regional finals, to form an All-Star team and get an opportunity to visit Spain for a 10-day training boot camp, with two players (boy and girl) getting international placement in a youth team in Spain.
During the tournament, the company will engage with communities across Kenya through free medical camps, financial and digital literacy clinics with key partners, and various offers for Safaricom products and services.
“I want to laud Safaricom for supporting various sports developments in our country. Previous editions of Safaricom Chapa Dimba have helped us recruit new, talented players for our clubs and the national teams. We are happy to see the return of the tournament. I believe and hope that this season will be even more exciting and impactful,” said Nick Mwendwa, President of the Football Kenya Federation (FKF).
Safaricom Chapa Dimba was first launched in 2017 to give young people between the ages of 16-20 years a platform to showcase their talent and get rewarded for their passion. The tournament has become a much sought-after event by local and international scouts seeking new, talented footballers.
The tournament has produced many talented players such as Benson Omalla of Gor Mahia, currently a top scorer in the Kenya Premier League; David Majak of Tusker FC; Jentrix Shikangwa of Simba Queens in Tanzania; Jane Njeri, Cynthia Livondo, and Judith Osimbo among others.
The tournament will be open to both boys’ and girls’ teams. It will kick off with a national registration exercise from May 1, 2023, in Nairobi, Eastern, Western, Nyanza, Rift, Coast, Central, and North Eastern regions.
Registration forms will be available on the Safaricom website: www.chapadimba.safaricom.co.ke. The group stages will be played at the grassroots level, with successful teams qualifying for the regional finals across the eight regions.
This year’s tournament will kick off on June 3, 2023, in Western Kenya, with the national finals to be held on January 14, 2024.