By Musa Milupi: Executive President (USA)
It is undeniable that the just ended African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament is one of the most memorable and historical in terms of its significance. We witnessed a tournament that had a favourite (Senegal) knocked out in the group stages without a single point to its name; and we saw teams like Botswana and Sudan make an appearance at the expense of heavy weights like Nigeria, Cameroon, South Africa and 5 time defending champions, Egypt. We watched a thrilling journey all the way to the final that had a team driven by the desire to honour their fallen heroes and another driven by the desire to live up to a name hailed and glorified by many around the globe. As spectacular, memorable, and historical as the tournament was, and as we still enjoy and cherish the moment, this is the time to look forward to what comes next.
Through this tournament, it has been absolutely inspirational to see the power that sport (football in this case) has in society. It is safe to say that even though Zambia emerged victorious, there was a tremendous wave of pride that swept the majority of the continent. As sons and daughters of the motherland, we have begun to have a greater faith and belief in the African game and player. It is this belief and pride that needs to be turned into something that will continue to build our continent into one that upgrades the meaning of life for the souls that call it home, one that will allow us to dream more and turn our spirit of delight into one of motivation and desire; the desire to continue to use one of the most powerful tools (football) to build and inspire generations. Just like the Zambian team honoured its heroes, we need to honour the AFCON spirit and make sure future generations can be glorified in it.
Honouring the AFCON spirit is not just about making sure your national team qualifies to the upcoming World Cup or making someone’s day by buying them a new pair of football boots so they too can believe; it is about inspiring others to do more, to be more and to want more. It’s about providing others with the opportunities that they will need in order to make their families, motherland and themselves proud and continue to have the hope that will keep their dreams alive. In an interview on SuperSport, Zambia’s striker and captain, Christopher Katongo spoke about the desire that he had to win and how he had to instill that desire into his teammates. He spoke about the inspiration that he had to provide for his teammates (especially the younger players who didn’t come with much experience). Just like Christopher, we need to provide that inspiration that will enable future generations (our youth) to believe in themselves, their dreams and their ability to be leaders in society.
It is organizations like CLUBHOUSE International that can and will enable this to happen. CLUBHOUSE is not just about organizing football leagues so kids can have an extra-curricular activity and not just about providing school bags and pencil cases for kids so as to put a smile on their face. It is through CLUBHOUSE that our youth, the very youth that the African soil has given birth to, will have an even bigger desire to dream more and to dream bigger. It is through CLUBHOUSE that our youth can wake up every morning with the spirit that will carry their ambitions to the next level. It is through CLUBHOUSE that feeling of unity, pride and strength can continue to live and be spread globally, but starting with the place in which it is most needed.
At CLUBHOUSE we will be building the next generation. And we will be doing so in way that restores pride and honour in the lives of many and provides inspiration and hope to those that witness and live through it.
At CLUBHOUSE, it is us our duty to see to it that the spirit that made the AFCON what it was and the AFCON fever what it is, is one the creates more and better memories for the youth and families we serve; and is one that takes dreams and visions all the way to the top where they can be transformed into reality and celebrated not only by a proud continent but by an inspired globe as well.