In 2014, a well-known community leader named Kaka (Swahili for brother) created a new sporting landmark in Mathare. With the help of many supporters (including UN Habitat), Kaka helped the community reclaim a football pitch. Since then, the space has been a beehive of activity, with kids and youth enjoying the space and community events taking place. The field also hosts lively crusades that attract people from all over and generates income for the group.
Most recently with the help of local Mathare MP, Stephen Kariuku, major donations were made that really impacted the only sports pitch in Mlango Kubwa. Safaricom has brought a number of large metal stands that make watching the game so much more enjoyable as previously there was no place to sit. Philips, the electronics giant, has installed two solar panel lights that allow the youth to play and train well into the evening. Both of these donations have helped in the positive long-term effects that this space has provided for the community. Parents in the neighborhood now say that whenever they need to look for their kid they go straight to the field. The rehabilitation of the pitch has greatly reduced the numbers of children playing on the road where they risk getting hit by vehicles. Donations and further support that will improve the space are still being sought.
The gripping documentary ‘Slum Soccer’ can be watched here: