Nairobi News

ChillaxWhat's Hot

‘Acakoro’ film on defying all odds as told by Idah Waringa – VIDEO

NTV sports journalist Idah Waringa is the winner of the Chairman’s Award for Best Inspirational Kenyan Story for her short film Acakoro: From Grass to Grace.

Idah exclusively spoke to Nairobi News about the film. Excerpts:

What is ‘Acakoro’ and why did you do it?

Acakoro (Academy of Korogocho) is a social aid youth football academy from Korogocho slum taking care of over 150 underprivileged children through sports.

They have a wonderful story to tell, one about defying all odds. Sports stories are often about resilience and going against the odds to accomplish something great. That’s exactly what they did by traveling to Europe and beating football giants.

Why the kids and what does it mean to you?

Children are the future. Seeing what the Acakoro kids are capable of despite their circumstances is amazing. They use their Korogocho surroundings to spur on and have an incredibly positive perspective of the world. I think that they can teach adults a thing or two about how to view life. The co-founders, members and volunteers at Acakoro all deserve their praise as well for conceiving and implementing such a worthy cause.

Having documented them, do you think they have a bright future?

Their future is so bright we’ll have to wear sunglasses because it will be blinding. Most of them come from humble households that often live hand to mouth, yet with assistance they were able to travel to Norway for the Donauauen Cup and defeated the likes of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid youth teams that are aided by world class resources. That tells you loads about Acakoro.

How long did it take you to document them?

Three days between shooting, scripting and editing. I was fortunate enough to have had my producer organize everything (kids’ training, co-founder and other interviews on the same day). We spent an entire day shooting while scripting and editing took another two days.

NTV sports journalist Idah Waringa with her trophy. PHOTO | COURTESY
NTV sports journalist Idah Waringa with her trophy. PHOTO | COURTESY

As a sports journalist, what do you think entails doing what you are doing?

This will sound cliché, but, passion. I have a genuine love for what I do. I love all sports, but football consumes me and I’m a Pan-African. I’m in love with our continent. So getting to tell African football stories is fulfilling, not only for my career, but my soul.

Discipline and proactivity is just as important. Go above and beyond to do what is needed, you’ll have early mornings and late nights and you’ll be uncomfortable… a lot. You won’t get to do everything you’d like to do socially, but major growth can only happen in discomfort.

And passion is important because that’s what gets you through the bad days.

You won an award, what does it mean to you?

It’s all about breaking barriers. The Acakoro kids and those who guide them have already shattered so many barricades. They showed that as long as you believe in yourself, you can win without the best circumstances or resources.

We’re here to help others, so if I can use my story to inspire someone out there, then my work is already halfway done. Kenya International Film Festival is also doing a fantastic job organizing such events showing the synergy that exists between sport and film.

If you can visualize something for your life, then you can achieve it. I genuinely believe that. And your dreams don’t have to make sense to anyone else except you, there will be many nay sayers and obstacles along the way but stick to what you’re doing and put God first.

Also, your dreams should actually scare you, because only then will you have to rise up to a different level to achieve them and that’s the essence of growth.