Alhamdulillah, after 6 long years following the ‘Furaha Sports Festival’ held in Nairobi, the Africa Federation Sports Council hosted a mini Umoja Sports Tournament in the beautiful city of Arusha –The Geneva of Africa!
With the blessings of the Africa Federation Office Bearers and our generous sponsors, the Umoja Tournament was a great success and an enjoyable one for all the 161 sportsmen hailing from nine different cities: Arusha, Dar Es Salaam, Kigoma, Lindi, Mombasa, Moshi, Nairobi, Tanga, and Zanzibar.
Arusha Jamaat as the host led by Alhaj Musaddiq bhai Versi as the convenor and his dedicated team put in tremendous effort and hard work to ensure a smooth flow of the tournament and all the needs of the participants were well met. The 3-day action-packed tournament included five sports: Football, Volleyball, Badminton, Table Tennis, and for the first time ever Cycling was introduced.
The men from the coastline, the Zanzibaris who arrived in Arusha first finished first as well, being crowned the champions of the Football Cup event after winning with a score of 1-0 in a thrilling final against Dar Es Salaam.
The host team Kilimeru Arusha clinched the plate cup after a nail-biting final against SAAJ Nairobi that was decided through penalties.
The top scorer award was shared between two finalists of the cup event, Arif Khalfan of Dar es Salaam and Humoud Suleiman of Zanzibar. Dr. Hamza Sajan and Ally Damani both from Kilimeru Arusha were awarded as the players of the tournament. The golden glove (best goalkeeper) was awarded to Mohammed Mukhtar Hussein from SAAJ Nairobi.
The organizing team must be commended for facilitating the use of advanced technology during the tournament similar to the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system that is currently being utilized in major sporting tournaments across the globe.
The underdogs and the host team Kilimeru Arusha dominated the volleyball tournament and were crowned the champions of the Volleyball Cup Event after winning 2-0 in the final against team Lindi.
The plate cup was claimed by Team Kigoma after defeating Team Kili by 2-0.
The award of the tournament’s best player was shared between two stars, the winning captain Imran Dhalla and veteran Mohsin Abdulrazak Sachedina from team Lindi. The best net lifter was awarded to Arsalan Lalji from Kilimeru Arusha and the upcoming player was awarded to Abbas Murtaza also from Kilimeru Arusha.
Team Lindi were crowned champions of the Badminton Cup event after defeating Team Tanga B in the final and Team Kili won the plate final defeating Team Tanga A in the finals.
The host team Kilimeru dominated the Table-Tennis tournament and clinched the winner’s trophy in the Cup event after defeating Team Dar es Salaam ‘A’ in the final. The plate cup winner’s trophy was claimed by Team Dar es Salaam ‘B’ after defeating Team Meru in the finals.
Held for the first time ever, cycling was the highlight of the tournament. The 4 cyclists that took part in the competition cycled through the scenic East African Bypass Road, a length of 50kms on a beautiful Sunday morning. Three out of the four cyclists were from Dar es Salaam namely: Murtaza Kara, Mustafa Ladha, and Salman Dhalla, and one cyclist was from Arusha namely: Bashir Shah. The winner of the event was the experienced Murtaza Kara.
The blessings and support from our sponsors were extremely vital in the success of this event. A special appreciation to all our sponsors; Manjis RoadX, Manjis Gas, GF Trucks & Equipments, Masumin Printers, Fragrance World, Tanfoam, Red Dot Distribution, Simba Safaris, Ithna’Asheri Polyclinic, Jaffery Academy, Rosho, Nurture With Noor, Gadgetronix, Blink, Golden Tulip Zanzibar Airport, Travel Link and G1 Security.
We pray to the Almighty Allah (SWT) to bless the sponsors and all our well-wishers abundantly and bestow His special blessings on them and their families, Ameen.
The awards ceremony took place on Sunday 19th March 2023 at 11 am. The closing ceremony was attended by the resident Aalim Syed Imran Naqvi, dignitaries from Africa Federation, members of the organizing committee, sportsmen, members of the Arusha Jamaat and most recognizably the past leaders and elders of the Arusha Jamaat who have been pioneers in the sporting fraternity and have always been a source of encouragement for the sportsmen in Arusha and beyond. The Africa Federation Vice Chairman Alhaj Aunali bhai Khalfan in his address thanked Arusha Jamaat for hosting the tournament and commended the Convenor of the Umoja Sports Tournament Organizing Committee, Alhaj Musaddiq Versi, and his competent team members for their exemplary and determined efforts in the organization of this Tournament. He emphasized and appealed to other Jamaats to make greater efforts to participate in such events whose objective is to foster brotherhood, build strong bridges of friendship and also develop sporting skills amongst our youth and sports enthusiasts of different age groups from the Jamaats of the Africa Federation.
Below are some pictures of the award ceremony:
Our special appreciation to all the participating players for being part of this tournament, showcasing and strengthening the brotherhood and unity we have amongst ourselves. We hope to see you all soon inshallah in our upcoming MEGA event which will be announced in due course.
Africa Federation Sports Council
2nd May 2023