Windhoek City gets real with ‘Kasi’ sports …Hail sports pivotal socio-economic spinoffs
By Jeremiah Ndjoze
Windhoek – In a deliberate move to enhance the lives of all its residents while promoting social progression among the youth, the City of Windhoek recently launched the Windhoek Informal Settlements Soccer Tournament 2017, popularly known as Kasi Cup.
For many years now, since independence in 1990, the various sports played on the dust and stony fields in poor townships across the country, including the capital Windhoek, have gone unnoticed by sports authorities.
Though sport bodies are entrusted with the responsibilities of developing the various sports codes, they mostly focused on the advantaged and developed neighbourhoods.
But this, according to City of Windhoek Chief Executive Officer Robert Kahimise, is bound to change in cognisance of his administration’s responsibility to the enhancement of access to services, which do not exclude sports and recreational programmes and activities.
To this end, this year’s Kasi Cup was not played on the dusty grounds of the Havana Informal settlement in the high density suburb of Katutura, but rather on the globally acclaimed, artificial soccer turf at the Sam Nujoma Stadium.
Speaking at the launch of the competition last week, Kahimise maintained that the City of Windhoek recognises the importance of providing equal opportunities for all its residents on a sport and recreational level.
“Local government plays a pivotal role in socio-economic up-liftment, as one of the main promoters and facilitators of local sports development across the country. The city’s five-year Transformational Strategic Plan (2017- 2022) strives to improve efficiency and sustainable revenue. Once this is achieved through the public private partnership (PPP) model, the city and business communities must create more facilities for multi-purpose functions.”
This, he said, is why the city is hell-bent on demonstrating how a municipality can help energise the local communities through local and grassroots sport and recreation activities in the context of local, social and economic development strategies.
“By creating such programmes, the city is also doing its part in connecting to the Harambee [Prosperity Plan], as adopted and put to work by the Namibian Government,” Kahimise stressed.
The tournament is hosted under the theme, ‘To enhance the quality of life of those living in the informal settlements, for social progression and to promote the duty of care of the City’.
It is co-sponsored by Coca Cola Namibia and OTB Sport to the tune of N$300,000 and N$20,000, respectively, while the City of Windhoek availed an additional N$40,000.
“It is important to note that the city can never run these projects on its own, considering the immense challenges the city face with housing, [as such] Coca-Cola Namibia and OTB are on board as sponsors in support of our collective goals,” Kahimise said.
The CEO reiterated that the city will not stop here in its quest to enhance the quality of life of its residents as plans are underway to formalise a number of informal playing fields and erect a series of family parks within the informal areas.
He called on the concerned communities to take ownership and care to protect these valuable facilities from vandalism and out-right theft of property.
He further emphasized the importance of the integration of other sport codes in the tournament. These are codes such as netball, athletics and volleyball, just to mention a few. “Women should form part of this project,” Kahimise said.
Brave United walked away with top honours in a gruelling final against Havana City played at the weekend.