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!-