She is probably the most enthusiastic human being about women football in the whole of East and Central Africa. Her appetite for the game both on and off the pitch is probably compared to none in the country. I’m talking about the ever smiling and adorable Uganda Creststed Cranes player Jean Namayega Sseninde.
Sseninde’s, who is currently plying her trade in the English Regional League with Wakefield Trinity Ladies, has just been appointed by the South Sudan Football Association (SSFA) as a Consultant in women football.
Her role, SSFA said will be to implement the SSFA’s four years Women’s Football Strategy Sensitisation plan starting in the month of October, 2020.
“South Sudan Football Association (SSFA) has appointed Jean Sseninde as a Consultant for South Sudan Women’s Football.
Mrs. Sseninde, a Consultant from FIFA will be working to implement SSFA’s four years Women’s Football Strategy Sensitisation plan starting in the month of October,” the Association wrote on its official website.
The 27 year old defender is ready and eagerly waiting to work with the East African youngest soccer nation.
“Am extremely humbled for this exciting new opportunity as the South Sudan Football Association Women’s Football Consultant. Can’t wait to help take women’s football in South Sudan to another level together with the whole team.”
It is not a new adventure for Sseninde;
In addition to taking part in various CAF development programs, Jean Seninde has always used her example as a high profile football player to help others . She’s neither selfish nor shy about using her gift to help young talent.
The former Queens Park Rangers and Crystal Palace star has continuously used her summer holidays to organise soccer clinics in Uganda. The Jean Seninde women Development project (Cup) whose first edition was held four years ago, has helped a number of girls including those in the countryside showcase their talent.
Sseninde’s work won’t be a walk in the park either;
For decades, women’s football has always been held back due to cultural barriers that often discourage females from taking part in sports activities especially on the African continent.
South Sudan like many other African countries, still have cultures that think negatively towards women’s participation in football, a game mostly dominated by men.
But to break such cultural barriers, a new generation of girls helped by the country’s football association embarked on an ambitious journey in October 2019 and formed the first ever women football tournament.
In the same year, the South Sudan female soccer team took part in their first international tournament- Cecafa Women Challenge Cup. The Bright Stars were placed in Group A alongside hostsTanzania, Burundi and Zanzibar in the second edition of the tournament.
At the tail end of the same year, CAF President Ahmad Ahmad along with FIFA Secretary General and General Delegate for Africa Fatma Samoura, FIFA and CAF Executive Committee Member Hani Abo Rida and CAF Executive Committee Member Souleiman Waberi, met with South Sudan’s Minister of Culture Youth & Sports Dr. Nadia Arop Dudi.
In their discussion, reports said the delegation from CAF promised to help the country and the continent at large in the nurturing and developing of women’s football throughout Africa.
They also acknowledged how important football can be in empowering girls and women.
Speaking during the meeting CAF President Ahmad said: “I am happy to see women’s football being nurtured and developed with such commitment here in South Sudan. Minister Dudi I am particularly thankful for the strong support you are giving to the SSFA and it’s President to champion women’s football in South Sudan.”
FIFA Secretary General and General Delegate for Africa added: “ I believe in the power of sport to empower people but also as a vehicle for peace. We are here today to work hand in hand with the SSFA and South Sudan to use football as a tool to support peace in your country.”
Given the fact that the CAF delegation managed to get audience with President of the land Salva Kiir as they visited him at his
Juba Presidential Palace, all female soccer faithfuls can only hope for the best.