Kenya was today represented at the FIFA conference on equality and inclusion by Fatuma Abdikadir Adan. The conference which was held in Zurich Switzerland was however not highlighted by any media house in the country due to their focus on what is happening in the courts. The event was only streamed live on Facebook and YouTube by FIFA.
Fatuma Abdikadir Adan is the founder of the Horn of Africa Development initiative, HODI, a non governmental organization in Northern Kenya.Through HODI, Adan launched “Shoot to score, not to kill” a campaign that uses football to engage Kenyan youth in advocacy for peace.
Having traveled over 600 kilometers to view the World Cup recently and missed the occasion in Nairobi, she received an official invite from FIFA to attend a global conference dubbed #FIFA4Equality at their headquarters.
At the conference which was held today in Zurich Switzerland, Adan met FIFA president, Secretary General and other FIFA officials as well as global football stars. She addressed the importance of sports in tackling challenges such as the integration of refugees and immigrants, women empowerment, prevention of violence, providing life opportunities and inclusion to minority groups.
Talking about her journey with the “shoot to score and not to kill” campaign and other community initiatives, Adan passionately said “It has taken me 15 years now doing what I do but I engage, we talk and have a conversation. And that is the only way cultures will change.”
She also mentioned that she doesn’t need help and discouraged those who look and think that she needs help. She insisted that she should be allowed to do what she does, for she understands it best. “People look at me and think I need help, I don’t need help. Just give me the balls, I’ll score goals myself.
“I know what I want and I know how to do it. And the only way you can empower me is to give me a chance to be able to do it myself, nobody else can do it for me. Personally, I am tired of standing on the sidelines and watching other people talk about me, make decisions for me both as a Muslim and an African woman. I want to be in the game, to be at the table making decisions and that is the only way we can cross the bridge and end all the inequality issues. But until then, for as long as someone else is seated on the seat I’m seated on today, talking about my issues, they will not solve issues that affect me, I know my issues.”
Kenyan media should be keen to give space for such stories to be heard and should not only focus on politics.