Monday, December 30, 2019

Nine Important Things to Consider, Community Grassroots Soccer Tournament

It's now 8 years since I initiated the Mathare North Festive Season Soccer Tournament. The main purpose of the tournament is to engage the youth in meaningful activity, especially during the long festive season in December. We believe the tournament will create an avenue for the youth to interact among themselves and the wider community.

Lastly, through soccer we get a platform to advise the youths to stay out of drugs, crime and alcohol. There are a lot of milestones to celebrate and in equal measure there are a lot lessons, and challenges we have to deal with each year.

 Below are 10 important things to consider when organizing a community grassroots Soccer especially with limited resources.

 1. The teams Map the teams and explain the concept of the tournament. Determine if the teams will have to pay registration fee or not.

 2. The pitch: Do you have full access to a field or will you have to hire one?

 3. The organizing committee and Support group Who else is involved in the logistic and all planning? And are they available to volunteer? Do they understand how their role will create value and add to the tournament success. Who among your friends (network) is willing to walk with you through the journey?

4. The purpose Explain the main purpose / objective of the tournament. Is it for social gain or political gain? Defining the WHY.

5. The communication plan Ensure you arrange in person meetings with the teams, follow up calls, poster, SMS and social media. There should be only one person handling the communication.

6. The awards Who is sponsoring the tournament? Is it from team’s contribution or 3rd party? Let the team know what they are playing for at the appropriate time.

7. The security and community. How will security be arranged? How will the community be involved and will it be directly or indirectly?

8. The tournament rules What are the rules of the tournament? Share with the teams before the start of the tournament.

9. The documentation. How are you going to document the tournament? Think of videos, pictures and blogs.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

2019 Review - The Journey

Today morning on my usual stretch, I found this beautiful bird on the clothing line. I went straight for my camera and lucky enough the bird was still around. I made the shot +throughMylens and the next quote that came to mind...
"Like a bird so we shall fly into new and unknown territories and still find our means of survivals." Which is a reflection of my journey from 2017 and as I look forward to an influential 2020 and beyond.
More about my journey

Friday, December 20, 2019

Celebrating Mentor Mentee Journey 2019

Meet the Passionate Coach with Golden Heart for Soccer. 

 This festive season I want to appreciate my soccer mentee coach Omore for his achievent and dedication in nurturing soccer talent in the community level also known as grassroots soccer. Many successful soccer stars like Mariga, Wanyama, Oliech, Erico aka Mapake just to mention but a few came from a humble beginning, playing soccer in the dusty fields such as Drago, Depo, Red carpet, Drive inn and many others.

 Coaches at the grassroots levels have been instrumental in nurturing our greatest talents despite the many challenges they face from lack of further professional training, adequate equipment and materials, lack of funds etc. Omore is the head coach of all Mathare North Rangers teams namely U10, U12, U14 and seniors.

He is one of my mentees in soccer after I delegated him with the role of handling the senior team in 2016 and so far so good.

Below is his achievement in 2019;

  1.  U12 MYSA championship quarter finalist 2019 
  2. Winner Mathare North Festive Season Soccer Tournament U12
  3.  Winner flames tournament U12
  4. Winner Kariobangi tournament U12 
  5. Mathare North Festive Season Soccer Tournament. Group stage Mathare North Rangers senior team. 
  6. Mathare North MYSA league zonal champion U12.
  7.  Smile tournament semi-finalist Umoja. 

Omore aspires to get more professional coaching, learn some technical skill especially in repairing TV’s and cellphones. His team needs more support with soccer balls, conns, soccer boots, track suit and training bibs. Call to action Wilsen initiative (Wi) has been mobilizing for soccer equipment and materials for grassroots clubs like Mathare North Rangers. Even though we don’t have the budgets we continue to request well-wishers, institutions and individuals to join hands with us in realizing a vision where every child in the slum plays in a safe space, acquire the right gears for the game, receive training and coaching for both on/off the pitch.

Donate a new ball to my mentee coach Omore

 At Wilsen Initiative (Wi) we advocate for; 

  1. Safe spaces for children while ensuring they receive quality education. 
  2. Use soccer as a vehicle towards creating a vibrant society of role models and leaders.
  3.  Empower young people to use their talent and skills for prosperity. 
  4. We are looking at a model that connects both education, soccer, entrepreneurship and creative arts for the youth at an early age from 12 years. 
More about coach Omore

Monday, December 16, 2019

8th edition Mathare North Festive Season Soccer Tournament 2019/ 2020

@Wilsen Initiative Mathare North Festive Season Soccer Tournament seek to unite people on and off the pitch.

 We can do more if we come together, develop working policies, activate our dreams, support each other etc. As the founder / coordinator it is always a great pleasure organizing the annual event with young leaders despite the many challenges we experience from finances to equipment.

We are now on the 8th edition and so far so good and always hoping for the best every day. Sometimes I feel like giving up but thanks to all that have supported me, encouraged me, shared their dreams and aspirations, shared resources etc, to make the tournament happen every year.

 It isn't easy and we need more support to go the next level, feel free to get in touch we are looking for soccer balls, uniforms, playing shoes (boots), cons, goal post nets, quality friendly matches, training clinics for teams etc.

I'm encouraged by this quote ;

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” John Quincy Adams 6TH US PRESIDENT 

More photos

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Starting a Youth Initiative, Which Way To Take

Do you have an idea and wondering if you should go for it alone, invite a team or find a partner as a co-founder?Are you a group of young people with great ideas on how to solve a problem in the society and wondering if it is the right time and team to give it a shot?

Then keep on reading, over the last ten years I have interacted with different youth lead initiatives in the community who had great ideas that our society needs, but unfortunately some of them died off slowly not only because of lack of funds, but also because of the weak foundations on how they started the initiative which led to poor leadership, shift in vision, fatigue and the idea eventually became obsolete with time.

 This phenomenon led my curiosity in understanding what really happens between the successful model versus those that failed. Majority of the young people have the desire to innovate projects that would solve existing problems in the society and promote their well being taking an active role in either embracing emerging solutions in use of technology, sports. music, agriculture, business etc.

One of the biggest question is HOW TO START? How do you initiate an idea and which route should one take? Should one take the individual route or form a team at the earliest stage of the startup.

In my experience those initiatives that have lived the test of time are based on the Super duo type at the early stages and eventually grows into a bigger team as the project scale with time versus availability of the necessary resources to support the laid foundation.

In my observation there exist two routes for starting which are;
  1. Super Duo type.
  2. The Gathering Type.
Super duo type; The model is based on the founder and co-founder. Individual moment is at the centre of everything. The idea starts with one person and later in the stage of idea lifecycle invites a complementary person as a co-founder and later after stability recruits the next layer of members.


  1. Swift decision making and compact in idea.
  2. More focused and can survive without money for a start.
  3. Focused vision and the founders are dealing with what they have gone through or thinks need to be done based on some research. It is easy to streamline the direction to take and set goals.
  4. Ownership is clear and easy to make transitions.
  1. Might suffer limited resources within the duo compared to a team of more than two.
  2. Might have limited knowledge compared to a group more than two
  3. Might suffer burnout, doing too many things.
  4. Might fail to realize the set goal incase of major conflict which can lead to a split.

The gathering type; Group shared moment is at the centre of everything and is usually started by a group of three people and beyond. Everyone feels like the founder in a way because the idea was born with a group either in a meet up event, fellowship, school experience, work experience, etc.

  1. Wide spread knowledge based on the number of members.
  2. Wide spread resource
  3. Continuity incase a member is absent.
  4. Wide spread delegation of tasks and roles.

  1. Slow in decision making because of wide consultation and everyone wants to feel included in almost everything.
  2. Can fail to take off incase of conflict within the team. Might suffer moving of 'goal post' in the transitions.
  3. Wide spread vision which is not checked can randomly change.
  4. Might take a long time / route before internalizing the idea into a product that is agreed by all.
  5. Members might drop out incase they find other better engagements if the initiative isn't paying them anything.

The gathering type usually suffers What is in it for me syndrome from the onset and if members don't see immediate rewards for their efforts they might opt to leave. It can be tough to set long time goals with a gathering type of more than three people. On the other side the super duo type is grounded on long term gains as opposed to short term gains. It is more driven by What is required of me to make it happen, the founders are set to do more to see the idea into reality and they strive to learn more and find the best match of people as the project grows.