The annual Obama Cup is a tournament played in honour of Alan “Obama” Onyango, who met his untimely death in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on the 23rd of January 2015. Alan, a budding IT professional, moved to Tanzania in search of work after failing to secure gainful employment in Kenya.
Obama played for Strathmore University FC and until his death was still a student of the institution, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Business Information Technology (BBIT).
As friends and teammates of Obama, we decided to organize a tournament in January 2016, not only as a way of remembering our departed brother, but also to afford us an opportunity to come together and celebrate our friendship, network, and enjoy what brought us together – football.
At the time of his passing very few of his friends and former teammates, the author included, knew about his whereabouts, let alone that he had moved to Tanzania in search of employment. The fact that we did not even know that our teammate had moved to Tanzania is not in the spirit of the game famed for bringing people together. It is with this in mind that Obama Cup was born.
The first edition was a great success. Five teams participated: Strath Wazee (former Strathmore University FC players made 2 teams), Strathmore University FC, Wazito FC (University of Nairobi) and Madaraka Estate Youth. Strathmore Wazee were the eventual winners of the round-robin tournament.
Following the tournament friends of Obama under the Nairobi West Youth Development Association (NWYDA) umbrella decided to make the tournament an annual feature. The tournament is themed Tackling Unemployment Through Sports. The tournament features teams drawn from the corporate sector, academia and local teams, providing a platform where players and fans can interact not only to enjoy the beautiful game of football but also to seek out career and business opportunities/contacts.
The 2017 edition was held on Saturday 21 January 2017 at the Strathmore University Sports Grounds (Madaraka, Nairobi). You can view the report here: Obama Cup 2017 – Report. The 2018 edition is set to be held on Saturday 27 January at the same venue. Please support Obama Cup 2018!
To lead this initiative it was decided to form a project team. The team is constituted as follows:
- James Kombo – Marketing and Logistics
- Kevin Kusimba – Finance
- Kevin Omondi – Logistics
- Michael Owiti – Academic and Corporate Liaison
- Toddy Thairu – Finance and Legal Matters
- Brian Wesaala – Project Lead
We are seeking support, both financial and in kind, in order to make the tournament a success. Any support afforded will go towards the following areas: Venue preparation; catering and refreshments for players; purchase of equipment, compensation of match officials, team and individual awards, etc. We will have a detailed budget and subsequently a financial report of the tournament.
Making a difference through sports