Gode Katembo is a visionary entrepreneur and community leader who has combined his passion for sports and youth excellence in establishing the Manitoba African Cup of Nations Inc. With 15 years of experience playing soccer, along with 6 years of coaching. The vision of MACN is to unify African communities through soccer. The original idea started by just reaching out to other communities for friendly games. As for last year July 2019, we decided to start a soccer tournament and only 4 teams were able to join Senegal, D.R Congo, Ghana, and Eritrea. And, this year 2020, we had four new countries team that joined; Zambia, Nigeria, Cameroon and Kenya. During the tournament, more countries showed big interest and would love to participate next year. As for 2021, Uganda, Rwanda, Moroco, Egypt and Somali Teams plan to join us.
– We might have different political views; different religions view but there is one thing we all have in common which is the love for Soccer (Football). It’s more than just a game, it’s a way of life, and it has a power to unify people – Gode Katembo
ABOUT MANITOBA AFRICAN CUP OF NATIONS INC (MACN)
The Manitoba African Cup of Nations Inc (MACN) . is Not- profit organization established on the principles of citizenship, leadership and impact. MACN seeks to create a safe space through soccer- for refugee and immigrant youth in underserved communities to overcome culture, shock and influence from peer pressure.
With over 28,000 Africans of different nationalities in Manitoba, it is pertinent that the ever-expanding African community stays united. The African immigrants in Manitoba cut across many professions and fields, ranging from medical practitioners to entrepreneurs and students. Half of this population comprises young and energetic people between the ages of 15 and 35, who have lived most of their lives in Africa, and are trying to adapt to the new environment they now find themselves. Research has shown that over 60% of immigrants experience culture shock and loneliness in their first few years of relocation to a new environment. Many of the African youth come from a culture where they are taught not to express their feelings. This suppression leads to various mental health issues, coupled with low self-esteem, depression and loneliness among the youth. They also face other career challenges that they wish to share with people who understand their plight. The negligence or avoidance of these issues will not lead to their absence. Thus, it is essential that we foster a safe space where they can be addressed while engaging in productive activities like sports.
There have been past attempts made to unite Africans through numerous activities, some of which have failed due to an absence of purpose or a commonly shared goal and poor leadership. MACN hopes to not only unite the African community but to achieve success through the creation of a network that will exist outside of leisure activities. In order to attain this, we have levied on the failed trials of the past and discovered a way to unite Africans, through a widely accepted leisure activity, that will also help to keep our network of connection alive.
Our aim with the Manitoba African Cup of Nations (MACN) is to bring the African community together as one. Further, we hope to foster networking opportunities, as well as facilitate a support system for all members of the community, through a leisure sport like football. Our attempt to connect over 30,000 Africans in Manitoba has been met with success, albeit in a small proportion.
Our intention is to create a home for African integration in Manitoba, which African nationals in other provinces will look up to, and possibly imitate. Our continued interest in the unification of Africans in the diaspora is not only motivated by pleasure and leisure, but also to benefit from the combined economic potential of Africans residing in Manitoba. The creation of avenues like this will assist in expanding economic opportunities and affiliations, even when the thoughts do not come to the mind of participants.
MACN believes in soccer as a gateway of engagement and empowerment for children and youth within African communities in Winnipeg. By bringing the programs closer to the youth, MACN aims to assist them in enhancing their athletic abilities while aiding their development of essential skills and competencies.
An empowered and unified community of Manitoba’s African youth through soccer.
Founder of Manitoba African Cup of Nations Inc.
&Progam Coordinator of “FREE TO PLAY SOCCER”