By Caroline katana
Bandari Queens Football Club has signed a one-year contract with the Diani Queens football team after recruiting three girls to join the club.
Bandari Queens officials discovered the talent of the three girls during the Kwale women’s league finals supported by Tandaza Trust in December 2023.
“We have recruited two players from Diani Queens, Leila Bakari who plays the striker position, Mariam Abdallah, and Chikophe Kazungu. There have been complaints that we are poaching players without following the right procedures but today I want to prove to people that we have procedures for recruiting players in our club,” said Amunga.
Amunga said the main agenda of the Bandari Club is to nurture talents and support young girls to fulfill their dreams in life.
“We don’t want to stay with these girls for long, if we get other opportunities out there we will automatically connect with them and this will not be our success but for everyone involved in this journey,” she added.
Bandari Queen’s team manager Mureithi Stephen said the club will support the girls’ education despite promoting their talents.
“We are at the forefront to ensure talented young girls get the right to education, we want them to be a motivational tool to other girls, our players are very young, some are in grade 8 and this tells us that in the future we are going to have a generation of equipped players,” said Mureithi.
The manager confirmed that the girl child lives in a challenging environment that needs a lot of attention.
“I want to applaud their coach for mentoring them up to date, girl children face a lot of challenges in society but we are here with them today. This is a great achievement and I want to challenge other stakeholders to come on board and support girls to grow their talents,” he added.
On his part, Diani Queen head coach Fredrick Wanyonyi Wafula said the team started in the year 2001 intending to promote girls’ talents in soccer in Kwale County.
“My aim is not to see them playing in this region only but join premier, national, and global teams. Girls have been left behind for a long time so I decided to register them with a federation to get recognition globally, “said Wafula.
Wafula is optimistic about Diani Queens becoming the first team in Kwale County to join the premier league.
Leila Bakari, 14, a grade 8 student and a striker (7) in Diani Queens said Harambe starlets motivated her to become a footballer.
“My dream is to join FC Barcelona, Turkey, and Newcastle. I am happy to join Bandari Queens Club today, I didn’t know one day I would reach this level,” said Leila.
Leila’s father Ndiro Bakari confirmed to have identified his daughter’s talent when she was 9 years old.
“I used to oppose her dream of becoming a footballer so she took the matter to one of the sports teachers from Kaya Tiwi, the teacher advised me on the same so I had to support her up to date. I am happy today she is joining Bandari Club and I take this opportunity to urge parents to support the talents of their children, especially girls,” said Bakari.
Speaking during the signing of the contract at the Matuga NG-CDF office, Matuga member of the parliament Kassim Sawa Tandaza said plans are underway to build a sports arena.
“I already bought land through the NG-CDF for the project. I understand we have talents in different fields like rugby, netball, and basketball but the challenge remains to be the field to practice. For the first time, I will be building a swimming pool for those with swimming talents. I know some youths can swim to their level best here in Kwale,” said the legislator.
Tandaza urged parents to stop practicing harmful culture and traditions that undermine girl child development.
“We want to ensure there is Equality when it comes to nurturing talents, as we all know girls have been left behind for a long time in terms of development. Let us give girls the required support,” said Tandaza.
Tandaza Trust has organized a friendly tournament between Diani Queens and Bandari Queens on Wednesday 31st in Kwale and after the friendly match, Bandari Club officials will unveil the 3 players joining the club.