June 23, 2024

The life changing journey of football commentator Abdinoor Aden

The life changing journey of football commentator Abdinoor Aden
AbdiNoor Aden in a conversation with Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa in Nairobi during the official launch of the 4th edition of the tournament

After Chapa Dimba, he joined Pay TV Channel SuperSport as a Swahili football commentator, sharing his expertise and match analysis to an international audience and afterwards joined BBC

His smooth voice and narration of football proceedings in Swahili has made him a household name. Twelve years ago, Abdinoor Aden was just a simple Kenyan not sure about the future, until Safaricom Sakata Ball happened.

The current Safaricom Chapa Dimba   youth soccer tournament, then named Sakata ball, was launched twelve years ago. As is the norm, the tournament is staged across Kenya’s eight regions and then it was Garissa’s turn to unleash their talent to the world.

Just 19 years old then, Abdi Noor who is today a celebrated football analyst, commentator and journalist got his off-pitch break through the then famous Sakata ball. 

Here is his incredible story.

Growing up in Garissa town in the Northern part of Kenya, Noor was passionate about sports and particularly soccer and he found a different way to make it to the top, football commentary. 

As we sat down with him to listen to his journey, the well-spoken and vastly travelled chap told michezoafrika.com: "I don’t even have a script how best to start, this is simply a dream opportunity that came unexpectedly. When you look at it from far it sounds kawaida (normal) but when you travel deeper in my life’s transformation you appreciate the impact." he said.

“I used to just sit by the pitch to entertain friends whenever there was a tournament. When Safaricom arrived with Sakata ball in 2011, the community suggested I try their big microphones and loud speakers because they believed in my potential. “

“When I got the opportunity to do one match, everybody liked me and I ended up commentating the entire weekend. It was like a dream for me, who would have imagined.!"  ......As he poses to let us soak in the weight of the moment. 

Luckily for Noor, his well-hidden talents and great command of Swahili landed him a rare opportunity as Safaricom team nominated him to commentate the national finals at the city stadium.

“I remember at that time; I was a very nervous. A big stage with huge expectation. I only used to read of City stadium and watch it on TV where big matches were played, Now here I am, a son of a commoner in Garissa being celebrated.” 

His exemplary performance at this national stage would open more doors. 

After his successful fete at the nationals with Safaricom, he received a few offers to join radio stations starting with Radio Salaam in Mombasa but more importantly came the famous national football commentating competition then dubbed ‘Bonga Boli’ whose winner was to get direct employment. 


Noor adds that the experience he had gathered at the Safaricom tournament made it a walk in the park for him as he emerged second during the campaign  sponsored by SuperSport.

He later joined Pay TV Channel SuperSport as a Swahili football commentator, sharing his expertise and match analysis to an international audience and afterwards joined British Broadcasting Corporation. 

As they say, the rest has been history for Noor who has been able to use his skills to support his family for the last twelve years and rise steadily in the media.

"I sincerely appreciate Safaricom for believing in me, holding my hand and giving me the platform to prosper.  My life and that of those around me is never the same,” adds Noor. 

To the young generation, Noor advices that “Chapa Dimba doesn't need to find you on the pitch, just get yourself close to the action."

Safaricom has invested over 400 million shillings in the junior tournaments that will be played across Kenya's eight regions.

Beside a trip to Spain for an all-star team, Safaricom Chapa Dimba will also provide 150 scholarships at TVET level and 360 life coaching sessions to the players and coaches clinics.


Safaricom has partnered with Football Kenya Federation (FKF) to ensure the tournament meets all the required football standards and also help in grooming future stars for the National team, Harambee Stars.

Safaricom Chapa Dimba Registration schedule

  • Western – 24th May 2023
  • Nyanza – 10th June 2023
  • Rift Valley – 1st July 2023
  • Eastern – 20th July 2023
  • Coast – 1st September 2023
  • Central – 10th September 2023
  • North Eastern – 15th September 2023
  • Nairobi – 5th October 2023

Safaricom Chapa Dimba Group Stage Schedule

  • Western – June 3 - July 9 2023
  • Nyanza – 24 June - 30 July 2023
  • Rift Valley – 15 July - 3 September 2023
  • Eastern – 5 August - 17 September 2023
  • Coast – 16 September - 15 October 2023
  • Central – 24 September - 22 October 2023
  • North Eastern – 30 September To 29 October 2023
  • Nairobi – 21 October -10 December 2023