1st July 2016

So you think you’re a leader, eh? Could you Work to Emancipate Women in Africa’s largest slum?

How do you stack up against the inspirational founders of the Kibera Girls Soccer Academy (KGSA), Byrones Khainga and Abdula Kassim?

Kibera is Africa’s largest urban slum.  To give you an idea of the conditions, it has a population of around 1.3 million (no-one is quite sure) but there is not one government-funded health centre .  Women struggle desperately under pressure from traditional misogynist patriarchy, the fear and frustration of poverty and its lack of opportunity, and the brutality of too many men’s sexual and familial irresponsibility. The dangers of slum life for young women include the worst kinds of human atrocities - rape, forced prostitution, disease, and drugs.



Kibera 1

Kibera 1

Like many men in slums around the world, Abdul and Byrones were brought up by the women of their families.  This experience coupled with the education that their capabilities enabled them to benefit from (Byrones was lucky enough to gain soccer scholarships, for example) meant that they understood that community development in Kibera, as elsewhere in the world, depends upon the emancipation and empowerment of women. As they put it on their website, “Thriving girls change the world”.  The girls' soccer team was founded in 2002, knowing that this would be the fastest way to emancipate the young women, foster gender equality and thereby transform the community. After just a few games they beat the local boys' team and soon won a tournament that took them to an international tournament on Phoenix, USA.

In 2006 the girl's school was opened and now includes over 140 young women. This year an associated school for boys was also opened.

All this Abdul and Byrones have achieved in the harsh, resource-poor environment of Kibera with no initial investment, support or backing.

KGSA is a leading example of positive action by local people for the support and emancipation of women in the slums of Nairobi. Find out more at . 

Abdul and Byrones also run “Weza4Life”, a social support programme for HIV positive women and their children, where the women make jewelry and the proceeds fund them and schools for their children.  (

So, the next time you talk or read about leadership, or sit in a workshop or course, remember Abdul and Byrones and their example of truly high-performance leadership against the odds - leadership that changes lives and communities through positivity, engagement, empowerment and a deep, unshakeable belief in human potential.

Please share this to get the message out and support KGSA in any way you can.

Kiberia 2

Kiberia 2

Kiberia 3

Kiberia 3

Posted by Jefferson Cann

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