Zanzibar Soccer Dreams
Zanzibar Soccer Dreams highlights the transformation of women taking place in the playing fields of Zanzibar, where the benefits of soccer as a uniting force and a development tool are evident. Today, young girls have equal opportunities to play soccer in schools. Women’s Soccer has truly gone mainstream, and is becoming part of popular culture and imagination. It is also a dream come true for the sportswoman who founded the first female soccer team, Women Fighters Team.
Nassra J. Mohammed has been the architect and inspiration for developing women’s soccer in Zanzibar since the late 1980s. Her mission to bring the game into mainstream is gaining momentum. The government has listened and responded positively by changing its policy to allow young girls to participate in soccer as part of sports education. Back in 2006, Nassra said, “If women get equal opportunities to use pitches…if football can be taught in schools, it will survive and develop in future…” Today, the introduction of soccer in schools is a major breakthrough for the development of women’s soccer in Zanzibar.
The film shows the realisation of Nassra’s soccer dreams and goals. Many young women who aspire to play soccer at a higher level share her goals. Young girls in schools are now more determined and vocal about their rights to play soccer.
Through different activities, we see the excitement of the changing soccer landscape in Zanzibar. We hear about the memorable experiences of the players who went to Germany. Young girls speak about their dreams, the challenges and hope for the future. Some parents are more receptive to the idea of girls playing soccer, but some parents and religious leaders still hold their position against women playing soccer and ‘exposing’ their bodies.
The film presents Nassra’s soccer story. We see some of her ideas slowly turning into concrete reality through different football activities. We hear from young girls who speak about their dreams, challenges, struggles, achievements and hope for a brighter and better future. However, the most important change is happening and the future is bright as young girls embrace their chance to kick the ball and run around, screaming. They are excited and loving the right to play soccer, thanks to Nassra’s vision and mission to transform women’s participation in, and enjoyment of the game.