Uzimatele Football League

Become a club Chairperson

Move over fantasy manager, this is your opportunity to have your own, real team. Become an honouree chairperson and receive an official certification of chairship and club reports. The Uzimatele Football League isn't about the fast cars and designer glasses; it's about the game, it's about hope. Accordingly the fees are significantly lower, just £9 a month. Or if you'd like, you can make a single investment to the league.

Stories

Dan's story

Dan founded of People after he and his wife visited Gituamba and supporting a one-off tournament.

I have two vivid memories from the first tournament I watched. The first is the utter disappointment of the player when they realised just how useless I am at football; they had expected far more from. The second is my overall impression of what I saw.

I remember the walk from the community to a clearing at the top of a hill that overlooked the slums. On the way there was an acrid smell that burnt my nostrils. I asked someone what it was. They stopped and inhaled deeply with a quizzical look, almost as though they couldn’t make it out. I guess they had become so accustomed that it had been lost in the background – like the hum of a car engine. Then he caught the scent ‘oh’ he said, ‘some of the people here can’t afford fertilizer so they dig up the a pipe that runs from Nairobi and smash it so they can spread the sewage on their crops’.

I was dumb struck. They grow their food in excrement?! Why then are we playing football?

But I soon saw that football has the capacity to bring people together. There must have been 150 young people at that first tournament and it presented us with an opportunity to invest into their lives. It presented the opportunity to talk about food and nutrition, sanitation and hygiene. And, they loved it.

Jackie's story

Jackie has lived in Gituamba all her life. She has three children who all play in the league. She told us what it meant for her son, David.

David has always been a good boy, he works hard at school and gets on well with his teachers. But last year he began to change. During the holidays he started to hang out with older boys and he stayed out late into the evenings. I never saw him come home and he'd sleep until the afternoon, then be gone again. He stopped talking to me and was disinterested in everything. When school started again he continued to be uninterested. His teacher contacted me to ask 'What's wrong with David?' He wasn't doing his work and he was skipping classes.

I saw that he had joined a gang but when I told him that it was no good for him he got angry and stormed out. But then something amazing. The gang heard about the football tournament during the holidays and entered as a team.

They trained all day from early in the morning to dark. David would come home early, exhausted but excited about the football. He began to talk with me again.

They finished third in the tournament and next time want to do even better. When he went back to school his teacher reported that David was working hard again and engaging in the lessons.

He was back.

Aaron's story

Aaron has participated in the football league for three years

I am grateful for the football league. I am now the captain of New Trafford FC. Last time we were crowned champions and we must win again.

I am now a very strong captain and train my team hard. We practice on the field all holiday to prepare. We must train hard because we are champions and people will expect a lot from us.

Before the football, we had nothing. We would just sit around and make trouble. Now we look forward to the holidays and the football.

The league has shown us the importance of preparation and working hard.

Meet Wilde

Wilde is the official mascot of the Uzimatele Football League. Don't underestimate him. He may not have the roar of a lion or the speed of a cheetah, but wildebeest form the strongest teams that make them a formidable force. Together they are strong.