Walking the Dream, Turning a Moment into a Concept

We take the opportunity to learn more about our founder and his journey in founding Mathare North Festive Season Soccer Tournament (MNFSST) which started from a moment where there was a need to engage further into soccer activities especially during the festive holiday. Below is the one on one interview during the finals of the 6th edition of MNFSS Tournament which ended on 1st January 2018;

Mr. Wilson Masaka addressing the players and the officials before the kick-off . He encouraged fair play and unity of purpose.

Mr. Wilson Masaka addressing the players and the officials before the kick-off . He encouraged fair play and unity of purpose.

Tell us about yourself

“My name is Wilson Masaka, I have a lot of aka’s which cut across many experiences in my journey both as a coach, community leader, IT expert and former soccer player. Some call me Gambino, Gambrez, Wilsen, Maja and the list continues. I’m a web designer / developer and photographer, when I’m not doing all this I love serving my community in different aspects especially activities to do with grassroots soccer. I have a blog which is http://www.wilsenx.blogspot.com where you can find more about me.”

What inspired you to start Mathare North Festive Season Soccer Tournament?

“The idea of the tournament came about after noticing that during the festive season, especially between November to December there wasn’t any soccer tournament in our neighborhood, most of us either participated or went to watch other tournaments outside our neighborhood. This called for the quick action to start a local tournament to address the need whilst to promote the local talent and avoid indulging in unnecessary activities. The first edition was in 2012 with only 8 teams participate in a resource constrained environment.”

What is the main goal of the tournament?

“The main aim of the tournament is to bridge the gap during the festive season where many young people are vulnerable to either over indulging or starting new behavior that would cut short their dreams. Through the tournament we seek to promote competitive play, build new networks, foster peace and unity amongst people of diverse backgrounds and encouraging everlasting friendship. The indirect impact is felt at the community level who come to support the youngsters grow further in an environment that support soccer.”

Who is the tournament sponsor?

“Currently we don’t have any sponsorship, we rely on the goodwill of our teams by paying a minimal registration fee that can help with logistics and prize for the winner and the 1st runners up. On the administration, communication and other logistic we work with volunteers. I work as volunteer taking the lead role as the tournament coordinator.”

What type of support would you like to have?

“ We would like to have sponsorship for kits for participating teams, first aid kit, balls, funds for officiating, publicity, especially video, awards during the finals, awarding best players and top scorers etc. Football clinics especially for the grassroots soccer players and coaches.”

What was special about the 6th edition of the MNFS Soccer Tournament?

“The 6th edition had 16 teams participating and all the matches were well attended by both referees, players and spectators. The tournament came just after a hotly contest political environment and many were skeptical of its success and in some instance we had to make the fixtures considering the political environment experienced. It was the most covered on social media and a good photo-documentary of the best moments.”

How is the tournament designed (concept)?

“We have two levels of the tournament; namely the senior level, which is an open age (anyone can play) and the junior level (U12 and U14). For the senior levels, there is a registration fee and for the junior level no registration fee is required. We aren’t able to run the U12 and U14 consecutively because the model fully depends on sponsorship of the activities from a donor or any well wisher/s. All the tournament is played during the holiday especially Easter holiday and Christmas to New years eve.”

In conclusion

“We continue to be part of the journey as a team in realizing our vision of a society of self-confident young people who inspire positive change using their talents and skills for prosperity and soccer is one of our vehicles.”

Feel free to contact us on info@wilsenx.com or you can contact Wilson directly on wilson.masaka@gmail.com

Interview by;
Lawrence Jato

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