Saturday, November 27, 2021

Soccer For Change – Mathare North Festive Season Soccer 2021-2022

Soccer For Change – Mathare North Festive Season Soccer Tournament (MNFSST 2021-22). Tournament Date: 23rd December 2021 to 1st January 2022 during school holiday

By Wilson Masaka – Wilsen Initiative (Wi), Nairobi, Kenya Mathare North Slums 

Since inception in the year 2011, I have been in the forefront in Mathare slums promoting soccer activities either in conducting soccer clinics, life-skills training and mobilizing soccer resources for community grassroots kids clubs in Mathare North (U10 - U15). 

My biggest success has been running an annual soccer tournament for teams of the age between U10 to U15 years during the Christmas holiday and Easter holiday. The majority of the children between 10 years to 15 years, are one of the most vulnerable groups and they lack necessary platforms, safe spaces, mentors and resources to help them pursue their talents to the best levels they can. 

During the festive season the risk of indulging in unwarranted activities rises because schools are closed and everyone falls into a more festive mood of parties and explorations while the parents are fully occupied fending for their family and there's no one left to take care of the children. 

At least it is a bit safer playing soccer in a team that has a coach who might not have the right skill set, but they will always find time to provide the necessary guidance away from home. I started the annual tournament to offer a platform where the children, youth and community in general would interact in a competitive, safe space, be awarded with the important resources and most important stay away from bad influences in the community. In informal settlements like Mathare it's normal routine to find kids roaming the streets engaged in nothing meaningful. 

My intervention through Wilsen Initiative (Wi) platforms, is to help the children and youth realize their full potential while also finding a meaningful environment to engage in soccer and life-skills training that would help them grow into responsible citizens. We use the soccer tournament to sensitize the youth and children on the issues that affects them directly and indirectly for example, drug abuse, technology, peer pressure, education vs. sports among others. 

Soccer is a great tool that provides a platform for social inclusion while embracing diversity that promotes a peaceful co-existing of people in the society. Our main focus is addressing the future generation on how they can be agents of positive change through their character, behavior and habits (role modeling). Our activities create a platform where youth leaders, coaches and players interact in a meaningful way with targeted outcomes. 

Rarely, the coaches and players receive life-skills training especially off the pitch that would promote their well being and career development. As Wilsen Initiative (WI) we want to make a deliberate effort of filling the skill gap through our Skill -UP master classes that train youth and children in creative and innovative ICT skills, creative arts, creative entrepreneurship, life-skills, leadership and personal branding (21st Century skills). 

My mission is to help the kids play in a more dignified ways using the right resources that will boost their self esteem and also help them avoid the unnecessary injuries. The soccer tournament is a way of having fun, learning, healthy competition and an awarding process for the best teams as per the acquired resources. 

I would have wished to award all the teams, but at the moment, having a tournament is the best way and the most fair way of awarding the needy teams. Call for Support for Mathare North Festive Season Soccer Tournament 2021-2022 (U11 and U13 teams).

This year's theme will be; Do More, Be More and Be Different. 
Goal: - Restoring hope and self drive. 

General objectives: Soccer activities 
  1. To encourage peaceful co-existing of people from different diverse background through soccer. 
  2. To promote soccer talent in the community where children and youth participate in meaningful activities that keep them away from different vices like drug abuse and crime. 
  3. Create awareness about playing safe and importance of education and sports. 
  4. Striving for transformation of different realities / stimulating positive change in the society through young people’s talents and skills. 
Last edition;

Monday, November 22, 2021

The Jigsaw Puzzle in Kenyan Football.

Below is My 10 Points Agenda. It is so unfortunate how things have turned to be on the alleged corruption and misappropriation of funds. I have read many online posts of people saying how the looming FIFA ban will be devastating to their career, livelihood etc. 

The only concern that I have is that the people who will be directly affected should the FIFA ban come, have chosen to sit in a corner while watching from a distance as things unfold. If they talk the best thing they can say is we need dialogue, we need to talk, a solution need to be found and so on. I find this vague and lack substantive ideas in terms of solutions.

I'm talking to all current players, coaches, referees, FKF instructors, etc. I know it isn't easy in your situation, but you need to be bold enough and help come up with real solutions rather than play safe. You know what goes on, even if you can't talk in public seek anonymity and reach out to the caretaker committee. 

Well, maybe I'm over ambitious here, anyway below are my 10 points agenda or should I call them solutions; 

1. Accountability of funds given should be timely. It shouldn't wait, let say three years to account for funds given, for example, in the case of funds given for AFCON. 

In any case, if the audit were done the government should seek to audit at the right time and act swiftly should there be any misappropriation. 

2. The football constitution in terms of voters should be reviewed to accommodate all stakeholders which will also increase the number of people who vote for the president of the federation. I find it very strange like less than 100 people can decide our football fate that is loved by millions. 

3. The officials running football matters in Kenya should have the right qualifications (credentials should be reviewed) and be subject to integrity test, professionalism test, education background in relevance to the post, etc. Here I mean at all levels from grassroots to the top level. 

4. The credentials of the FKF president and the vice president should be reviewed. 

5. The vice president of the federation should be given more roles if that isn't the case. 

6. Increase funding and government support. 

7. Meaningful partnerships :- Work with government in coming up with policies that will see all government institutions and parastatals have football clubs. Remember we had NSSF, NHIF, Kenya Airways just to mention but a few. 

8. The government should enact policies that will encourage the private companies to invest, sponsor the clubs and the league. 

9. Help all the clubs to invest in income generation activity by registering as companies. This will also see the clubs have benchmarks for leadership, operations, financial viability, sustainability, etc. that is allowed or approved by the government. 

10. Work on modalities that will bring back the fans in the stadiums. These are my proposals, if you approve them, please forward them caretaker committee šŸ™‚ 

"People will come and go, but football is here to stay. - "Wilson Masaka +throughMylens 

 Just remember, the fish start to rot from the head and a system is as good as the people who runs it. We can't fix the system without having the right people in charge. Kenya kuna vipindi nyingi tu sana yaani 'michezo

Creative Moment Out & About + throughMylens

I have had this bracelet for 2 years on my wrist. It is unfortunate it broke this weekend, but on the contrary, instead of throwing it, I decided to develop some abstract concept based on my feelings about our beloved nation Kenya. 

Everyone has a part to play in the Kenya we want so; Do More, Be More and Different. #DoersCommunity #PositiveChangeMakers Blog: - +throughMylens 

Don't overly on PASSION, because at some point it fades, 
 Don't overly on TALENT because it comes a time when it obsolete, 

Rather make all efforts to build and rely on your WISDOM because it is one of the surest things that can live in you forever.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Photography 101 - Skill Transfer.

#KnowledgeTransfer #Parenthood #ParentGood Out & About +throughMylens

Some of the very basic of using a DSLR camera are; 
  1. Holding the camera the right way. 
  2. Pressing the shutter button.
  3. Getting the right composition through the viewfinder. 
  4. Getting the right focus and keeping the camera steady. 
 I'm very amazed by how fast my children have learned all the above skills under my guidance. One weekend we went out for a shoot whereby my daughter Debrah (5 yrs) made the below photos.

Picture taken by daughter Debrah  

Below pictures I took of my daughter Debrah in action using my smart phone

Grade 3 Assignment - Creativity & Innovation CBC Curriculum.

#Parenthood #ParentGood #parentsmeeting

On 11th November 2021 I attended a parent meeting for my son's class, grade 3. Top on the agenda was the CBC curriculum and the project that we were informed to guide our children develop. 

I used to feel very happy whenever my dad attended school meetings or made those an announced stop overs to check on me while at school. Now it is my turn to be there for my children. 

I will always make time for my children to have this experience which is unmatched and it's one of the gifts you can give your children. 

 Highlights of the weekend assignment from the meeting #CreativityAndInnovation 

1. Practice and dance with your child a folk song. 
2. Create ornaments with available resources.
3. Cook a traditional meal from your community and take pictures of the same. And many more! 

As a creative parent, I understand where this is leading towards promoting a more creative mind in our children. #TheLeftRightBrain This assignment wasn't tough for me because it was my daily 'cup of tea' and I saw no hurdles in helping my son finish the assignment. 

The most important part that I enjoyed most was the skills transfer through a creative process that was fun and full of exploration. 

 Below is part of the process. 

  1.  Collect all materials that we required. 
  2. Make a sketch of the concept.
  3. Develop further. 

 Special acknowledgement to my wife who also contributed to the assignment. May God bless us all to go through the new curriculum known as Competency Based Curriculum (CBC). 

Thursday, November 18, 2021

When The Time to Say Goodbye Comes!

#WorkPlace World of Work... Have you been in a situation where you left your work place for one reason or the other and during the last day in office your workmates got a chance to share all manner of great things you did, how you made them feel, how you inspired great innovations and how they will really miss you etc. 

Surprisingly, after a few weeks, months or even years no one calls you to check on you or even call you for the next big opportunity that you definitely qualify or even better create time to discuss an idea that you can genuinely explore together. At this point, you reflect back down the memory lane and realize you were alone all along in the journey and you only mattered when you had the position and privileges that many envied. 

Did you know most of your life is spent together with your workmates and sometimes less with the family? And over a period of time should you move from one company to the other you happen to build a ring of network of people if you are lucky enough can be resourceful in inventing the next big thing? It is unfortunate that this golden opportunity is rarely exploited because once people leave a workplace they tend to move on and never look back neither reach out to discuss their desired future with people they have a shared value. 

I wish we can exploit our greatest potentials even after our work place experience, because those good moments can be converted into the next big thing think about a company, organizations etc. Treat everyone at work place the way you would wish them to treat you. 

Build sustainable partnership beyond those happy hours in the office (parties) but be more strategic about where you would like to see yourself beyond the workplace and don't hesitate to reach out to people you have worked with before if they have the qualities you are looking for. Most importantly, always build your social currency (networks) within your workplace and beyond because they come in handy in your next endeavors. I take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been part of my journey especially in different transitions. #DoMore #BeMore #BeDifferent

Great TBT - 2012... 9 year ago! Do School

Great TBT - 2012... 9 year ago! #DoMore #BeMore #BeDifferent #GlobalCitizenship One of those life changing experience that shaped my attitude, knowledge, aspirations, etc. is attending the D&F fellowship academy in Hamburg now known as The Do school 

 I would love to attend one of this types fellowship come next year :) I have been once to the finals of Acumen Acumen East Africa and in 2013 I was a fellow at Amani Institute, this were also great life changing experiences which I would wish any young people to go through. 

To all young people there are many opportunities out there, especially on the internet, but what matters most is the due diligence, exploration, application etc. Get in touch with me for a session on how to build your own personal brand online and offline to attract the next level opportunity. 

By the way, you don't really need to know someone to get some of these opportunities, how you package yourself and your story is already good enough to pivot you to the next level. 

 Read more about my experience in Hamburg in 2012.  

Digital Literacy Program (DLP) At Maria Rossana in Huruma.

#DoMore #BeMore #BeDifferent #SkillsTransfer 

 Doing What I Love and Loving What I Do 

 Every Thursday and Friday I'm happy to connect with my mentees at Maria Rossana Centre where I train them on creative ICT skills and Lifeskills. 

Today's session was about how to create a curriculum vitae (CV) and how to edit photos using Adobe Lightroom. Get in touch with me for short master sessions with your youth on different creative and technical skills. More about me Read more about Maria Rossana Digital Literacy Program

Do More | Be More | Be Different the General Concept

Do More | Be More | Be Different is rallying call that can applied in anything that we do that would eventually propel us to our own meaning of success. 

 Vision:- Restore Hope and Self Drive. The goal is to ignite that spirit of self discovery, resilience, team work and individual brilliance. 

 The slogan is self made. 

 "Be the change that you wish to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi 

 The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." - Eleanor Roosevelt 

Part of what I want to do, is to organize a monthly inspirational session with different guest speakers to come and share their journeys that will touch on the three pillars. 

 The targeted group are especially young people from the underserved communities who are somehow losing the self belief, self drive and hope in a society where uncertainty is the order of the day. L

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

The Doers Community - Reimagining Yourself.

The Doers Community - Re-imagining Yourself. Courtesy of Wilsen Initiative and +throughMylens. #SelfRetrospection #DialogueSelf #StoryTellingForChange 

 Do More | Be More | Be Different 

The T-shirt is just a launch pad, we want to do more in advocating for issues that affect the youth while also equipping them the necessary skills. This is a platform that seeks to help young people build a more relatable personal brand in different sphere of life. 

We acknowledge that a combination of skills, talents and education can accelerate us towards our desired goal or dream. We want to create a community of doers who will also champion all the UNSDG 17 with a key attention on UNSDG1: No poverty, UNSDG4: - Quality education and lifelong learning and UNSDG8: - Economic growth and decent work. 

 We want to celebrate and learn from our personal journeys and encourage collaboration (co-creation) in reaching the goals. We also want to acknowledge the team's effort in making our lives better while recognizing our own individual effort in making both ends meet. It is all about teamwork plus individual brilliance in achieving a targeted goal which is summarized in our mantra; Do More, Be More and Be different

Our mission is to help the youth acquire relevant skills, access quality education, harness their talents while they document their journey which we encourage them to share and become lifelong learners.

Our formula towards achieving our meaning of success is based on; Skills + Talent + Education = Defines our meaning of success. 

The Slogan is Self Made.

 We highly appreciate and acknowledge the contributions made by different people in our life, but on the flip side, we want to put special attention to that extra individual effort that we make towards making things happen for better. 

Self made is a deliberate effort towards becoming a better version of ourselves everyday. We believe in the change that start from within self. 

 "Be the change that you wish to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi 

Skill-Up & Motivational Session 

We would like to host a series of monthly inspirational session where the guest speakers will get a platform to share their journeys at different locations based on the theme Self Made: - Do More, Be More & Be Different. 

The guest speakers will cut across different spheres in the society and we would like to tap into those stories that haven't been told that propelled us to where we are. Currently we don't have the supportive resources, but we are looking for collaborators in running the sessions by using the already available resources at different centres or community based organizations. 

 Do More | Be More | Be Different #SelfMade The T-shirt is just a launch pad, at Wilsen initiative and +throughMylens we want to do more in advocating for issues that affects the youth while also equipping them the necessary skills. We believe in using the available resources in driving the change that we wish to see while collaboration being our main pillar. 

 Join me today by purchasing a T-shirt, a percentage of the t-shirt sale will be ploughed back in organizing Skill-Up Master sessions at different locations for youth & children from underserved communities. For more get in touch with Wilson Masaka +throughMylens Youth Advocate & Social Entrepreneur. wilson.masaka [at]