Efforts needed to get more Samattas

17Jan 2016
Guardian On Sunday
Efforts needed to get more Samattas

When someone we know dies of a disease, people go to great lengths to make his funeral a success. They volunteer for everything and use a lot of money to cater for the burial rites.

Mbwana Samatta

But, surprisingly, when the deceased was still ill and needed financial support for medicine, food and other necessities, nobody would bother to help him or her even in a small way.

This could be likened to Mbwana Samatta, who was recently named the African-Based Player of the Year by CAF.

Since the TP Mazembe striker won the award government officials, companies and individuals have been competing to praise him.

Everybody now wants to be associated with his victory, forgetting that the victory did not come effortlessly.

Samatta’s success is a result of an individual effort, for nobody contributed to his achievement except himself.

Those who now want to be famous through cheap publicity because of Samatta’s triumph must realize that stars are made.

For us to have many Samattas in future, the government, Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) and sponsors should invest in youth soccer.
If this will not be done immediately, it might take us another 20 years to get another Samatta.

Giving many prizes to Samatta is good, but it is not the best way to motivate. A better way would be to invest in sports and support games from the grassroots and set long-term youth development programmes.

The programmes should start from primary school to sports academies. It must be noted that Samatta joined TP Mazembe from Simba SC, whose coach was then Patrick Phiri. It could be that his success was a result of good grooming of the Zambian coach.Who knows!

It must be noted that Samatta played for Simba for only one season, in 2009, before moving on to the Congolese club. He joined Simba from African Lyon, which was earlier known as Mbagala Market.

Everyday we hear and read in the media how football clubs in developed countries invest in soccer academies. How many football clubs have dared to do the same here at home?

Lack of soccer programmes has begun to bring about negative impact in Tanzanian football as football clubs are now busy scouting for good players outside the country.

It should be understood that bringing good players from outside is not a criminal offence; rather the point we try to underscore is that clubs could avoid such hassle if they had soccer development programmes to groom the youth.

Producing more Samattas is possible; the only thing that is needed is will. No more no more less!

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