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Archie

Norwich in Zanzibar

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Some of you may remember a few months ago I came on here asking for some advice on how to get some old shirts from the club to give to a team I am supporting in Zanzibar called Vijana Leo - everyone was very helpful in wishing support and many offered their old shirts (an offer I would love to take you up on in the future!).Anyway, I sent an email to the club and they kindly offered some shirts from the League One season. I bought some shorts, socks, shin pads and shoes, and took them out to Zanzibar in June/July.So here is the result - a brief interview with the man who runs the team, Yussuf Hamad, and some pictures from the time I handed the shirts over, and the team together. When he says that the donation from NCFC means a lot to the team and the surrounding area, he really means it. Hopefully the pictures will work...

Vijana Leo is the local football team of a village called

Wingwi Njuguni, part of the a region in north-east Pemba called Wingwi

(c.25,000 residents). It competes in the first division of the Pemba league,

one rung below the Zanzibar Premier league.  

 

Can you

tell me about Vijana Leo?

Vijana Leo is a local club here

in Wingwi which was established in the 1970s. It is one of the two big teams which

we have here in Wingwi – we have almost 13 teams, but only two big teams in the

region – Vijana Leo and Imara.

What does

Vijana Leo mean to the people of Wingwi?

When you are talking about a

football symbol in Wingwi, then you are talking about Vijana Leo. The people of

Wingwi, when it comes to football, are best represented by Vijana Leo, because

it is playing much better football than other clubs in the region. And it means

the same to the community, bringing the whole community together. Though there

are many other small clubs in Wingwi, when it comes to national tournaments,

the whole of Wingwi joins hands with Vijana Leo.

What do

the shirts which Norwich City have given to Vijana Leo mean to the team?

They mean a lot, and we believe

that the people of Norfolk and Norwich are very kind to help us, and we are

more than glad to receive those kits from Norwich City. It becomes the first

club here in Zanzibar to get original football kits from the English league –

there is no other team in the UK which has helped local clubs in Zanzibar. But

Norwich did this – it is historic, and memorable. The people of Wingwi are all

very thankful for this help. I want to thank Norwich City Football Club for

their help to us, and I wish them all the best in the Premier League this

season. We are joining hands with them, and they have more supporters right now

in Pemba, and especially Wingwi. We are all supporting Norwich; previously

people were supporting clubs like Manchester, Liverpool and Chelsea, but for

the first time we have some supporters of Norwich City, in Wingwi, and in

Pemba.

[IMG]http://i1181.photobucket.com/albums/x424/archiematheson/P1000065.jpg[/IMG][IMG]http://i1181.photobucket.com/albums/x424/archiematheson/P1000080.jpg[/IMG][IMG]http://i1181.photobucket.com/albums/x424/archiematheson/P1000108.jpg[/IMG][IMG]http://i1181.photobucket.com/albums/x424/archiematheson/P1000545.jpg[/IMG][IMG]http://i1181.photobucket.com/albums/x424/archiematheson/P1000548.jpg[/IMG]

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any of them useful on the pitch?

Great work, always good to see the end product when people ask for donations/shirts/etc. Good interview too.

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Its people like you who make a huge difference to other''s lives, well done [:)]

Great pictures.

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Excellent work, nice to see someone trying to make a difference to some of the poor people abroad.Hopefully the EDP will pick up on this story and give it some space in the normally dull paper.

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Thanks for all your kind words everyone!The EDP have already got in touch, so hopefully something will come of thatI''ve sent everything to the club as well, so who knows... I hope so!

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Great stuff Archie - Many years ago we (wife and me) went to Kenya on holiday, and while we were there we befriended some of the locals, and it was a very humbling experience, they were such lovely people, who (although they had nothing themselves) would do anything for you. We had the chance to help out one of the local schools financially a little bit, and also organised a football match between tourists and locals. It was a fantastic experience. After the game we gave football shirts to the young kids, I gave my Norwich shirt and my England shirt to two young kids, and the look on their faces was a joy to behold. They invited us to their place for dinner, and we gladly accepted, and it remains one of my fondest memories: sitting around a camp-fire at night sharing fresh roasted cashew nuts with their families, who treated us like royalty. Afterwards, we were invited to a wedding, which was a real honour for us.We kept in touch for several years via post, and they were always so grateful, but in fact we are the ones who feel we benefitted most from the friendship, and are grateful in turn.Football is universal, and it can be used to bring people together that would otherwise have nothing in common, and might never meet or talk to each other, and reading your story is very moving and brings back some very happy memories, and I can imagine how you must feel to be able to organise something like this, and how appreciative the people would be - well done Archie, and well done Norwich City.

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Let me finish that for you Unhinged Wizard

No matter where you go in the world, there''s always a Man Yoo "fan" that needs shooting.

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Archie, best off the pitch football story I have read all year mate.You should feel very proud of what you have done here !!! Looks fantastic.I remember when you came on here origianlly asking for shirts, I hope the people who accused you of trying to sell on ebay feel throughly ashamed now looking at this tremendous gesture.Again, top notch mate :)

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