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Kenya Jua Kali Workers Defy Odds, Hold Blazing Hot Football Tournament

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By Arnold Olando


Enthusiastic football lovers from the garage follow the tournament

Every garage worker and football lovers from Nairobi’s Eastlands area are waiting for the Jua kali garage finals between Enginer and Ogopa to determine the garage champions on Saturday June 1st.

This is after team Ogopa thrashed Unido 2-0 in the The JUA KALI garage football tournament semi final that was played on Monday.

Ogopa will now meet Engineer in the finals after it beat Buffing 2-0.

The Jua Kali Tournament which is being played at the Umeme Grounds in Ziwani, kicked of early this month.

Garages recruited youths who have expressed talent in football ever since they were young children but are on the verge of drug abuse making them lose their focus.

Jua Kali Garage football tournament has provided an opportunity for garage workers to stop engaging in drug abuse such as alcohol leading to addiction every time there is no work at the garage.

The game between Enginer and Buffing saw players from both side experiencing muscle pulls and stitches which are results of unfitness due to stimulation from alcohol.

Speaking to Ghetto radio sports chairman Kelvin Kawaya says that most of the new garage workers are youths and when there is no work in the garage they result is alcohol abuse leading to addiction.

“This is the first ever Jua kali Tournament in Kenya. Our main aim is to breakdown the culture that most Jua Kali workers have of drinking away their hard earned money in bars after work. We instead want them to focus on keeping fit and training for matches or preparing for tournament,” said Kawaya.

Speaking to coach Daniel Odinga of Enginer says that the players were showing weakness on the pitch because there is no enough practice to keep the players fit.

Currently the tournament is being funded by money from the organizers who are garage workers.

“The tournament has no sponsors in terms of facilitation and depend on the Ziwani field which is always booked so the only opportunity we get for practice is not enough.” he says.

The organizers of the tournament are hoping that well wishers or corporate organizations will come on board and help them run the tournament.



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