African Solidarity Caravan Soccer Match, South Africa

Somali FootballAs part of the African Solidarity Caravan events leading to the Peace and Human Security Festival, soccer matches were played organized by the Somali embassy in partnership with the ACTION Support Centre. The matches took place on the 27th of September 2014. The matches were between Uganda vs the Metro Police; Diplomats vs Johannesburg Stars; South African Police Service (SAPS) vs Al-Hilaal and Somali Youth of Pretoria and MYS FC. There were a total of 8 teams competing, with SAPS and Uganda making it to the final, and Uganda taking the win with a score of 2-1. The winning team received a trophy and medals. A lunch was held at Nura Hotel on the following day for all the participants.

The main objective of the matches was to facilitate the integration of Somali nationals in South Africa, where social cohesion between law enforcers and people affected by crime could come together to a share platform and understand each other. The event also sought to promote the respect of cultural diversity and a culture of Pan-African people to people solidarity. Pretty Mncube, who was responsible for the handing over of medals, represented the ACTION Support Centre. She was there throughout the matches and witnessed the mutual joy that all teams shared by meeting on the same platform. 

At the end of the matches there were no longer any teams or countries, but rather people that shared a love for a universal sport, who met on equal footing and were able to acknowledge that through sport social cohesion and integration can take place.