When Embakasi South Ladies United club regrouped this year, they had one goal: to reach finals or semi-finals of the Kenya women’s football premier league.
8 months later, the Embakasi South Ladies United has emerged second best in the recently concluded Nairobi Women Championship cup. The one month long competition entailed 16 women football teams in Nairobi battling it out for a trophy and prize money.
The team was formed with the aim of supporting young mothers and girls in Mukuru kwa Njenga slum.
For these girls, playing soccer has meant better time utilization which is helping them keep off vices such as drugs and alcoholism.
Embakasi South Ladies United is one of the 5 youth groups being supported by World Concern through a multi-sector project on entrepreneurship and self awareness which is facilitated by Commons, a Kenyan based organization.
The team’s efforts have paid off so far with the Ksh 100,000 prize money they bagged having emerged second.
According to team members Pauline, Anastasia and Everline, the quarter finals match was their most memorable. “Within the first three minutes of the game we had scored. In the first half, we had two goals and added two more in the second half,” said Pauline.
The team also produced the tournament’s top scorer and goal keeper.
Janet Moraa , 19 years old, born and brought up in Kisii but now lives in the slums of Mukuru kwa Njenga carried home the Nairobi Women Championship cup best scorer title, a trophy and KSh 25,000 having scored a total of six goals.
Martha Nyaboka, 22 years old, a mother of one who grew up in Mukuru Kwa Njenga has played football since age ten. She carried home the title of the best goalkeeper and pocketed KSh 25,000 as well.
Despite their lack of resources and little support for Women’s football in Kenya, commitment has kept this group going. “Sometimes we play some matches on empty stomachs,” one team member said.
In order to keep their families afloat, most members are resorting to running micro-enterprises during the day, and training for matches in the evening.
World Concern is boosting their incomes by training members in personal finance, group management as well equipping them with skills in running micro-enterprises.
“I no longer feel sad about being in the slums, instead my eyes are open to see the slum population as a ready market only if I begin to sell something relevant and affordable to them,” said Anastacia.
Embakasi Ladies United football club has organized a fundraiser on Saturday November 7th, 2015 to enable members to join computer colleges, dress making and beauty schools in order to improve their skills.