Launched in 2017, the Safaricom Chapa Dimba tournament has grown to become the biggest grassroots football tournament in the country. After taking a three-year hiatus, Safaricom in partnership with the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has launched the fourth edition of the football tournament at Camp Toyoyo in Jericho, Nairobi County.
Chapa Dimba aims to give youth between the ages of 16-20 years a platform to showcase their talent and an opportunity to be rewarded from their passion. During season one, there were over 1,600 teams and 35,000 players, who played 5,000 matches across the country. During this time, 21 players were scouted to the Kenya National Under 20 team, and the winners (boys and girls) travelled to London for an exciting football experience with Victor Wanyama.
In season two, a partnership with LaLiga and FKF, saw the tournament engage over 1,700 teams and 40,000 players, who played 6,000 games. From this pool, 15 ladies were scouted to join Harambee Starlets, while 3 players received scholarships to the US and Sweden.
Some of the key players that the tournament has produced so far includes 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 of Harambee Starlets, just to mention a few.
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.
This year, the total prize money for the tournament has doubled to KES 20 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.
Speaking during the launch, Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa stated that the telco has committed over KES 400 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.
“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.
“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).
The tournament will be open to both boys’ and girls’ teams. It will kick off with a national registration exercise from 1st May 2023 in Nairobi, Eastern, Western, Nyanza, Rift, Coast, Central, and North Eastern regions.
Registration forms are available here with the group stages being 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 3rd June 2023 in Western Kenya, with the national finals to be held on 14th January 2024.