Mutuma, Kendi shine in Base Yetu pool tourney

Mutuma, Kendi shine in Base Yetu pool tourney

Simon Mutuma and Faith Kendi are the champions of the ‘Shujaa wa Pool’ tournament, emerging the best out of over 500 competitors across Meru and Tharaka Nithi counties.

The duo bagged the ultimate prize money of Sh 500,000 from a local youth empowerment organisation Base Yetu, whose aim is helping establish small and medium businesses.

In the final, Nairobi based Mutuma came from 2-0 down to beat Leonard Murithi 8-3, taking home the much coveted gong.

“I came all the way to win this tournament, at first I thought it would be difficult because of the opponents I got in the preliminaries, but at the knockout stages it has not been as challenging as I thought,” said Mutuma.

Kendi, a part time student at the Meru Polytechnic and hairdresser at Makutano – Meru, outclassed Judith Gacheri in the final, to become the first ever county 12 and 13 ladies’ pool champion.

“Having played pool for two months without a lady competitor in Makutano area I knew I was going for the top prize when I came here for the finals. It’s not easy to believe I only became serious with the sport when I heard of the Base Yetu Tournament coming to Meru.” the elated champion said.

“This has now opened up my mind. I never thought of something like this before, and if there is a chance to fight even for national title, I’ll be going for it,” she added.

With the initiative seeking to help the youth establish their own businesses, using pool also came with a challenge to demystify pool as a proper sport rather than a gambling game.

The initiative is now set for Nyeri County in two months’ time, and Base Yetu founder and CEO, Nick Mararo, promises better and bigger events around the country in readiness for the national championship set for Nairobi later in the year.

“Our aim is to bring the youth together, and get a way of making money without pretenses, we have started with pool and we are not stopping there,  there will be volleyball for both genders as well as netball to uplift our young girls,” said Mararo.

As a bonus the two winners were airlifted in a helicopter, having secured tickets to represent the two counties at the national championship.

They were also presented with medical covers, further underscoring the momentousness of the organisers of the event in assuring players welfare.