IT was a beehive of activities that overwhelmingly rocked Benjamin Mkapa Stadium during the climax of Simba Day festival in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
Thrilling football matches and cultural performance and breathetaking musical performances added a dimension to the beauty of this year’s Simba Day.
It was a unique event as Benjamin Mkapa Stadium was filled to its 60,000 capacity and fans estimated to over 20,000 with tickets missed chance.
This calls for a construction of an arena with capacity to accommodate more than 60,000 fans. The event’s surprise package was the presence of Emanuel Okwi, the Ugandan import who steered reforms in the team’s professionalism.
Okwi said later that he was thrilled to be invited in this year’s Simba Day and thanked the club’s management and fans for their everlasting trust on him.
Okwi named effective sponsorship as key to the development of Simba and football in Tanzania. “I hope to see Simba and Tanzanian football to develop further due the increased sponsorship package,” said Okwi the Simba fans idol.
Also thrilled audience yesterday was the match of people with physical disabilities and teams were Tembo who played against Faru and the match ended in a barren draw.
The notable matches included that of Simba U-20 who defeated Mafunzo 1-0 before Simba Queens and Fountain Gate fought to a barren draw in the women game.
There were cultural and breathetaking musical performances from Weusi, Comedian Mkojani, Donati Mwanza from Congo DRC, Whozu and Mario who entered the pitch with a quadbike accompanied with a group of stuntmen.
Later it was also a platform to officially unveil new signings Pape Ibrahim Sakho, Duncan Nyoni, Henock Enonga, Peter Banda, Sadio Kanoute, Israel Mwenda, Abdulswamad Kassim, Yusuf Mhilu, Kibu Denis, Jimson Mwanuke and Feruz Teru who is promoted from the junior squad.
Those who starred in the last season like Chris Mugalu, Joash Onyango, Bernard Morrison, Larry Bwalya, Medie Kagere, Jonas Mkude were also paraded. Each of the Simba players were introduced to the passionate Simba fans as the club plots for the upcoming 2021-22 season.
The players’ parade this time was done in a unique style with Simba’s mascot entertaining the players when they climbed the stage. The match between Simba and TP Mazembe stamped the climax of the events marathon at Benjamin Mkapa yesterday. It was classy game as the players of the both sides were high-skilled professionals.
At the end of the thrilling game TP Mazembe won 1-0. Fans, players and officials celebrated every moment on the day, reflecting the previous 2021-22 season where Simba won three trophies; Community shield, the Premier League and the Federation Cup titles.
Simba will represent Tanzania in the CAF Champions League while their traditional rivals Young Africans lost to Rivers United in Nigeria yesterday.