October 31 2021 is the end of the month in which we celebrate the International Day Of The Girl Child but the fight to uplift the girls still rages on.
My highlight of this month is when we managed to change the minds of people who are rooted in their religious beliefs, to accept that their daughters can play soccer and can take it as a career. We brought together religious leaders, elected leaders, and traditional leaders to speak with one voice of ending child marriages and letting girls be girls. I wish I could end with this video and photos, but I believe, you all deserve to hear the girls speak.
On an ordinary Saturday, these friends would have been at their church worshipping. On Friday, October 15, while my 2 friends were in camp for the tournament, their grandpa in yellow was marking the soccer fields. On Saturday, October 16, while the rest of their fellow church members were worshipping, grandpa and the girls were at the MTC Educate A Girl Inc. IDGC tournament. The girls were wearing soccer shorts, something they were never allowed to do, and fighting it out on the soccer field. The friends played their hearts out, their team won the Juniors' championship match sponsored by Redspot Care Ltd. One of my friends won the most disciplined player award sponsored by Keeper Goals. These narratives warm my heart. please keep supporting my work on
The MTC International Day of the Girl Child Girls Soccer Tournament under the theme, Nothing For Girls Without the Girls, End Child Marriages Now, held today, October 16th, at Nhedziwa, Chimanimani, Zimbabwe was a roaring success. It was indeed a day bubbling with uncertainty, palpable tension, and eruptions of pure joy for teams that made it past the tough group stages to march to the finals. What a day!
Six community-based clubs from the Chimanimani rural area were invited to participate and later, a seventh guest team from Murehwa, Rozaria Memorial Trust Girls meant the stakes went a notch up. Chiramba Blue Dragons, Rowa - Eastville, Bumba, Wengezi, and the hosts, MTC Sirens of Nhedziwa knew they had to up their game to match their ambitious guests led by the skillful Anna -Mercy Matedza who famously led her team to the inaugural RMT Girls Soccer championship back in 2017. Two junior teams from MTC Sirens and Mhandarume squared off in the championship match where a trophy was the prize.
On offer were individual medals as well as other medals for Goalkeeper of the Tournament, Most Disciplined Player and Golden Boot award, and the big one: the championship shield! We had a tie on top goal scorers that was shared between Anna Mercy Muradzi from Rozaria Memorial Trust and Yolanda Shuwa from MTC.Sirens, Golden Glove went to Rozaria Memorial Trust. The most Disciplined player award went to Cecilia Munjoma from MTC Junior Sirens The Hon Member of Parliament handed the girls their silverware,
There was heartbreak for the hosts as they could not proceed to the final in the senior category as they were eliminated by more seasoned Mhandarume Queens. In the end, Mhandarume Queens faced off against the guest team, Rozaria Memorial Trust Girls in the final. Panashe Matesva struck early in the first half and no further goals were scored, handing the big prize to the team from Murehwa.
As hosts, it hurt to lose the senior match before our own fans but despite this heartbreak, our message of ending child marriages was the day's biggest winner. Thanks to our sponsors, all players and dignitaries received t-shirts challenging them to "Dream Big!" and to "End Child Marriages Now!"
There was a measure of consolation in the junior category championship match where MTC Sirens juniors eased past Mhandarume juniors 2-0.
Despite the limited time, speaker after speaker reiterated the importance of education for all girls and the need to fight together to end child marriages. Guest of honor Mrs. Saliwe Mtetwa-Zakariya also donated sanitary wear to all the girls who had participated courtesy of her own non-profit, Talia Women's Network. The evening saw girls from MTC . Rowa Eastville, and Rozaria Memorial Trust participate in Nhanga, a cultural innovation crafted by RMT to empower adolescence around issues of sexual and reproductive health education, mental health, accessing services, child marriages, harmful cultural practices, and using the arts to support girls.
MTC Educate A Girl is genuinely grateful for the support from our sponsors, Dream Big, Connect Her, Wisconsin Women Soccer Advisory Council, Wisconsin Youth Soccer Association, Royal Fencing, and Keeper Goals. We will continue to push for more inclusive policies and practices in girls' education, empowerment, and sport. As MTC founder Maka Chikowero said in her video message to the girls attending the tournament, "the future is young, the future is bright and the future is female!-
On behalf of MTC Educate a Girl Foundation , we would love to congratulate Rozaria Memorial Trust on winning the MTC Educate a Girl Foundation International Day Of The Girl Child 2021 tournament in the Seniors Category The runners up were Mhandarume. We would also want to congratulate the MTC Sirens Juniors for lifting the trophy in the juniors category. They also played against Mhandarume Juniors in their championship matchup Let’s keep fighting child marriages and empowering our girls.
Maka Chikowero, MTC Founder & President congratulated the team of Tendai 1, Miriam 2, Estery 3, Anita 4 ,Munashe 5, Anna Mercy 6, Trish 7, Levia 8, Panashe 9, Sharon 10, Melody 11, Substitutes Nyasha, Tariro, Chido, and Shylet . Captain for the day was Anna Mercy
Rozaria Memorial Trust was in Group B with Wengezi and Chiramba and in Group A was Mhandarume, Rowa , M.TC Sirens, and Bumba
Anna Mercy scored in the 3rd minute after halftime to make draw against Chiramba to make 1-1. Panashe Matesva placed another score in the 10th minute mark to beat Chiramba Blue Dragon 2-1. In the second match, RMT played against Wengezi and Anna Mercy did it again in the last few minutes of the second half, RMT 1-0 to win Group A.
Meanwhile in Group A
MTC Sirens lost to Rowa 1-0, drew 1-1 with Mhandarume and beat Bumba 1-0.
Mhandarume drew against Rowa1-1, Drew against MTC Sirens 1-1 and beat Bumba 1-0 to proceed to the finals with RMT of Murewa. RMT won the finals.
Maka also thanked #TeamMTC for pulling the tournament through. She said, "It was a lot of work but you stood out. Great organizing. Thank you Farirai Gumbonzvanda and Blessed Mudhaka for all the hard work to realize my dreams. I am so honored to have you. Congratulations RMT for winning the big one, and congratulations to all who didn’t win for great sportsmanship. It was all about celebrating the IDGC and sending a strong message on ending child marriages. Till next year, salute. And God bless." For more pictures of the event visit www.mtceducateagirlinc.org/international-day-of-the-girl-2021