Watoto Wasoka changing lives through slums soccer

Friday May 24 2019

Potential.  Children in action during the Slums

Potential. Children in action during the Slums Derby games over the weekend at Kazoo. Photo by George Katongole 

By George Katongole

KAMPALA. On a muddy Kazo Primary School grounds, more than 1,500 children played participated in a two-day youth football camp, themed Slums Derby.
An invention by Watoto Wasoka, (loosely translated as “Football Kids” from Swahili), a community-led NGO based in Bakuli, one of the most prominent slums in Kampala, the Slums derby attracted 113 teams (96 boys and 17 girls).

Children living in slums are facing a series of social problems like poverty, a high rate of HIV/Aids infection and high crime rate and football has always been a good way to encourage positive behaviours among them.
Kennedy Ssekabira, the chief organiser said the camps are exponentially changing children’s lives. KCCA’s defender Mustafa Kizza and Vipers’ midfielder Moses Waiswa have been part of the journey. Waiswa was present to give the players a pep talk.

Eddie Kenzo’s Big Talent Soccer School were crowned the champions after beating Kisenyi’s Soccer Stars 3-2 on penalties after a goalless draw. Everton UG emerged victors of the girls’ category, which is in its fourth year. Each team was rewarded a certificate and a ball.

Watoto Wasoka Slums Derby

Boys U-13 winners:
Soccer Stars 0-0 Big Talent (Pens. 2-3)
Girls open:
Everton UG 0-0 G-3 (Pens. 7-6)
Individual awards
Top scorer: Thomas Ogema 8 (Sparta)
Best coach: Isaac Ogogo (Soccer Stars)
MVP: Jawadu Jawad (Soccer Stars)
Best goalkeeper:
Dirisa Kasumba (Soccer Stars)