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The Team - Episode 1: New Beginnings
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The Team - Episode 1: New Beginnings
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The Team - Episode 3: Friendly
In the first episode of this groundbreaking series, Mr. Bukenya brings together some of the best young male and female soccer players in Kenya to play for a unique co-ed team that seeks to break down ethnic and economic barriers. But with the players already arguing, will their differences be too much for the team to overcome?
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Produced by Search for Common Ground.

Find out more about The Team: Kenya.

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Segment 1

COACH
Lulu, finish or we’ll be late. No, first finish your breakfast.
LULU
I am full and the tea is cold.
COACH
Eat your breakfast. You know how important it is?
LULU
I don’t want cereals.
COACH
Stop complaining and eat your breakfast.
LULU
I wish Mum was still here.
COACH
Mum is not here. Lulu, Mum is not here anymore. We must learn to survive on our own.
LULU
Let me get my doll so we can leave.
COACH
All right, hurry up.
JOURNALISTS
So Mr. Bukenya, what is this all about? Why have you called this press conference? Is this about the orphans? Is it about the IDP's resettlement that you talked about? And there are rumors about you having a football team?
BUKENYA
Ladies and gentlemen, please. Patience. As you know me I like conducting my things in a very open manner. It's just about you being patient, and everything will be revealed inside. Let's say, in the next 20 minutes.
WATCHMAN
Where are you going?
CHILDREN (in chorus)
To the camp.
WATCHMAN
Who told you this camp was for street urchins? This camp is for footballers only. Who is the footballer amongst you?
CHILDREN (in chorus)
It is Tina. She is good.
WATCHMAN
Stop making noise. Who is Tina?
CHILDREN (in chorus)
This is Tina.
WATCHMAN
So you mean she is a good football player?
CHILDREN (in chorus)
Yes.
WATCHMAN
Where is your letter?
TINA
Here it is.
WATCHMAN
Give it, quickly! Ok, Tina you can come through. Use that gate over there. Not all of you! Tina only. The rest if you go home and wash your feet, you will dirty the pitch!
CHILDREN (in chorus)
Tina, please don’t go.
TINA
I have to come here to better our lives. Don’t you want to be good players one day?
CHILDREN (in chorus)
Yes!
TINA
Even better than me?
WATCHMAN
Are you coming in or not?
TINA
I must go now. The watchman is waiting. Okay, goodbye and take care of yourselves.
CHILDREN (in chorus)
Tina, don't go.
TINA
I really must go now. Watch out on the road.
COACH
Come on girls, can you join the boys? Get the ball from the pitch and do some warm ups. Hello sir. I’m just overseeing the warm up session. You mean right now? All right, I’m on my way. Lulu, I have to go to a meeting. Will you wait for me in the office?
LULU
I want to watch the players practicing.
COACH
Will you be okay?
LULU
Yes
COACH
And if you get bored, go to the office.
LULU
Okay Dad.
COACH
And please don’t go anywhere else. Promise? Promise? Bye dear, and don’t move from here.
RODEZ
Let me tell you, this is a result of all of the training we used to do. And you were good!
KEZIA
What about our team at home?
RODEZ
Don’t worry about our team. I will talk to the coach.
KEZIA
This place looks like a school.
RODEZ
It's not that bad.
KEZIA
Thanks for escorting me.
RODEZ
Let me tell you sis, you've made me very proud.
KEZIA
You know you boost my morale. The way you trained me. I promise I’ll work hard until I become a professional!
RODEZ
Don’t forget that as soon as you start earning the money.
KEZIA
Look at you! All you think about is money. See you later, now let me go.
RODEZ
Good luck!
BUKENYA
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, thank you very much for joining us. Before I say anything I’d like to introduce the technical director of football in the country, Mr. Jacob "Ghost" Mulee.
JACOB MULEE
Thank you, thank you sir. Businessmen and entrepreneurs who are also philanthropists have formed this championship. Mr. Bukenya happens to be one of those. My role is basically that of an umpire, or shall we call it, ombudsman, in that I have to stay here and see things are running fairly.
JOURNALIST 1
Why do they need you in this championship?
JACOB MULEE
I will tell you why. In other championships, the overall performance of a team is determined by scoring goals and winning. In this one, overall sportsmanship ability scores you points. That’s basically why I am here.
JOURNALIST 2
But isn't that the case with all competitive sports?
JACOB MULEE
Maybe, but our case is unique because it is going to be a seven per side co-ed football championship. And you members of the Fourth Estate, this is exactly where we need you.
BUKENYA
Thank you, Ghost. That’s exactly what we had in mind. Ladies and gentlemen of the press, any questions?
JOURNALIST 3
Mr. Bukenya, is this just another one of your publicity stunts?
BUKENYA
Next question!
OLI’S MOM
Oli, don’t get to engrossed in your football. Make sure you study.
OLI
Yes mom.
OLI’S MOM
That’s my baby.
JOURNALIST 1
Mr. Bukenya, isn't it potentially risky to draw players from ethnic groups that have been at war with each other?
BUKENYA
This isn't a stunt. All I’m trying to do here is help young people realize their dreams. You know, a showcase of their talent which that otherwise be ignored, talents that need to be tapped by the country and utilized effectively.
JOURNALIST 2
Isn't that a controversial thing to do?
JOURNALIST 3
What are you trying to prove?
BUKENYA
That with determination, all positive things are possible.
JOURNALIST 2
You mentioned co-ed teams before? What exactly do you mean? And who are going to be their opponents?
BUKENYA
Co-ed team must have at least three girls on the pitch at all times. And believe me; these girls can play very good football.
JOURNALIST 3
Mr. Bukenya, I thought --
BUKENYA
I haven't finished yet. Now this co-ed team will be play other co-ed teams that are being assembled around the country, and indeed around the world. And then in the final phase we will have the Seven Aside Co-ed World Cup.
JOURNALIST 2
And what exactly is in it for you?
BUKENYA
This is just one of the many projects that I am rolling out for the youth. I mean, the winner of this tournament is going to take home study scholarships. This is my service to the community, and I have dedicated all of my resources and all of my life.
WATCHMAN
Hey you. Where are you going? Where are you going?
JOHARI. To the camp. >> WATCHMAN
Who are you?
JOHARI
We are the players.
WATCHMAN
Are you a player as well? Where is your letter? Hey you! Where do you think you are going?
BEN
I am also a player.
WATCHMAN
Show me your letter.
JOHARI
Here is his letter.
WATCHMAN
Why didn’t you say that earlier? Don’t be rude. We follow a procedure and you can’t just walk in. Whose letter is this?
JOHARI
It's his.
WATCHMAN
Whose is this again?
JOHARI
It's upside down.
WATCHMAN
Just go.
BUKENYA
Ah coach, the man of the moment, the coach of the team! Please come and sit.
JOURNALIST
What do you expect to accomplish with this team?
COACH
Well, obviously to win.
JOURNALIST 1
Are you up to the task?
JOURNALIST 2
Yes exactly, considering that your team was demoted two seasons ago and never made it back to the super league.
COACH
We shall find out that in month’s time.
JOURNALIST 1
So coach, how did you go about selecting your team?
COACH
Obviously, on talent. The selection process was carried out in all the major cities in the country. I believe we have the best.
BUKENYA
Yes we do. We do have the best.
JOURNALIST 1
Have you ever coached a co-ed team before?
COACH
No. But I believe --
JOURNALIST 2
Now coach, why is it that you want to get involved in something so unusual?
COACH
Well, unlike you well-paid members of the press, I needed the job. I love challenges and this is new and groundbreaking. Thank you.
BUKENYA
Coach, I hope those three weeks will be enough to prepare the team for the first knockout match.
COACH
It depends with the caliber of the players but we will definitely need a couple of friendlies.
BUKENYA
That is your territory. And you’ll receive all of the support that you need. The boys and girls are behaving themselves?
COACH
Ah, they're pretty good.
BUKENYA
Coach meet Mr. Juma
MR. JUMA
Hello.
BUKENYA
And Ghost, our good friend. And this is Abbas.
COACH
Abbas.
BUKENYA
So Juma, we’ll be in touch. Thanks a lot, thanks.
COACH
All right, cheers, nice to meet you.
BUKENYA
That boy, he's got talent. I’d like you to nurture him.
COACH
Well, that's what I intend to do with all my players.
BUKENYA
I hope so. Mr. Juma is a major shareholder of the team. Shouldn't you get to camp and start earning your keep?
COACH
Beth, have you seen Lulu?
BETH
No, I haven't.
COACH
I told her to come here if she got bored.
BETH
She hasn't been here.
COACH
Let me go look for her.
BETH
But you have to go and brief the players.
COACH
Can you do that for me? Please?
BETH
Okay, I will. You owe me one.
COACH
Thank you. I'll be back as soon as I can, all right?
JOHARI
What are you doing up there? Come down! Come down! Okay, okay, I’ll come for you, just hang in there.
MAMU
I hope your going to be okay.
PRIEST
Mamu, don’t worry. I’ll be fine, I will.
MAMU
You are here for business. Not for the football crap. I will be in touch regularly.
PRIEST
Of course. People are watching.
MAMU
Call me if there is a problem. Keep in touch.
JOHARI
That was very risky.
LULU
But if you find my dad, don’t tell him.
JOHARI
I promise, if you only promise me not to do that again.
LULU
I promise.
JOHARI
Are you sure this is the right way home?
LULU
Of course. But if you find my dad don’t tell him.
JOHARI
What if you find mommy? Lulu? Lulu did I say anything wrong.
LULU
Mommy.
JOHARI
Oh come on, stop crying, everything will be okay. Don’t cry, I promise I wont tell your dad. Okay good girl. This is very beautiful.
COACH
Where have you been? Do I know you?
JOHARI
I’m a player at the camp. I was bringing her home. She was kind of lost.
COACH
Thank you. Thank you very much. Now you better get back to camp.
LULU
Thank you.
JOHARI
You're welcome.
COACH
I didn't get your name.
JOHARI
Johari.
COACH
Thank you, Johari.
BETH
Can I have your attention please? My name is Beth and I'm the assistant coach. Do you find that funny?
BEN
It's not funny...just strange.
BETH
Well get used to it. In fact, get used to the fact that you'll be playing on a co-ed team. The team will consist of both boys and girls. Now, if for some reason anybody feels that they cannot play with the opposite sex, it is time for them to say it and leave.
PRIEST
You thought I was leaving? I can’t say no to three free meals a day.
BETH
Before we get started, I would like you all to produce either an ID or a birth certificate.
GIRL
But madam, I though you were all selected during the trials.
BETH
We need the documents because we need to verify your ages. You must be between the ages of 20 and 17. What is it?
JOHARI
We don't have our documents.
BETH
I’m sorry we can't help you. I need documents to verify your age.
JOHARI
But we have a letter from the camp.
BETH
What camp?
JOHARI
Malela Camp, the IDP camp.
BETH
This will do. Now, there are a few rules and regulations that you must all adhere to. All practice sessions are compulsory. No drugs allowed in the camp. That includes alcohol, miraa and tobacco. No players allowed out of their rooms after lights out. Lights out is at 9pm sharp! No relationships between players. No electronics or jewelry allowed on the pitch or on the sidelines. Now, a more detailed list will be on the walls of all rooms. Failure to adhere to these rules might lead to an instant expulsion. Is that clear? Any questions? None? Good. Now to room allocation -- each boy pick a blue strip and each girl a pink one.
ABBAS
Excuse me, some of us have already agreed on how we are going to share rooms.
BETH
That's very good. But rooms are issued on a random basis.
ABBAS
But you can't do this! My father --
BETH
Who elected you the spokesman! Take this around.
ABBAS
Excuse me; Ben and I had already taken a room.
BETH
Then you have to move to your respective rooms. Right! Right!
Ben
Yes.
BETH
Be on the football pitch at 3pm sharp and I will issue you the training gear.
COACH
What would I do without you? Johari is so cool. By the way, how did you two meet?
LULU
We met after the training and started talking.
COACH
Just like that?
LULU
Just like that.
OLI
Since we are sharing this room, I would like to let you know that I am very particular about my personal stuff.
BEN
Whatever.
OLI
This tape will demarcate communal and personal space.
BEN
Whatever.
JOHARI
Oh my god! This room is beautiful. It's beautiful.
JANE
Wow. I like it.
JOHARI
It's so nice. I’m Johari.
JANE
Sorry, I got carried away. I’m Jane.
JOHARI
Which bed will you take?
JANE
Any will do. Which one do you prefer?
JOHARI
Whichever you chose I’m okay.
JANE
Okay I’ll pick this one.
JOHARI
Okay I guess I have to take that one.
JANE
But the room is bare. I guess we’ll have to do something with the walls.
JOHARI
Come on, we can pep it up.
JANE
I can do it, trust me. Here.
JOHARI
Your daughter?
JANE
Yes. I’m already missing her so much.
JOHARI
How old?
JANE
Nine months. I’m a good mother. I really need this scholarship.
JOHARI
Come on, you're lucky!
JANE
I’ll make sure I do everything so that she can get the best. I’m glad you can appreciate that.
JOHARI
Here.
JANE
So any family?
JOHARI
Yes, I have a brother named Ben, and guess what? He’s here in camp with me.
JANE
For real?
JOHARI
Yes, you’ll get to meet him. He’s so interesting.
JANE
Oh. I can't wait.
TINA
Hi, I’m Tina.
KEZIA
Kezia.
TINA
Which bed do I take?
KEZIA
Take that one. I'm sorry to bring this up, but I've a very sensitive sense of smell. Please take a shower.
ABBAS
Hi. I'm Abbas.
PRIEST
The name’s Priest.
ABBAS
So you’re my roomie? Do you always play as a midfielder?
PRIEST
I play all positions but I prefer defense. What about you?
ABBAS
I am a striker. So where do you come from?
PRIEST
Planet earth. Through the womb.
ABBAS
That’s a good one.
PRIEST
Let me finish unpacking.
PRIEST
What do you think of playing with girls?
OLIVER
Sounds interesting if you ask me.
PRIEST
Lets wait and see.
PLAYER 2
This game is not happening…this game can't go on like this.
PLAYER 3
People are speaking in their mother tongues.
PLAYER 4
What's your problem? Don’t you have a mother tongue?
PLAYER 5
Do you think we can't also speak in vernacular? Grow up man.
JANE
Is that why you people chased us from our homes?
PLAYER 6
Was I there? Even you people did the same.
COACH
Hey! Stop it. Stop it. Do you know why you're here? Do you? You think you’re a fighter? Show me. You think you’ve got so much energy. Show me. What is the ruckus all about?
PLAYER 1
He is the one who started it!
PLAYER 2
You're the one.
COACH
Quiet! Now look here. I want you to put this into your damn heads. I am not going to tolerate any kind of indiscipline around here. Now, will you play together or would you rather stick to your own kind and play separately? Look, remember this is a football team, and not a battleground! And as long as you are going to be here, and as long as I am the coach of this team, you are going to play by my rules! Rules of the team! Do you understand?
TEAM
Yes, coach.
COACH
We’ve got a great task ahead of us -- to win the tournament. Therefore we must forget all of our tribal differences if we have to play as a team. Do you understand? Do you understand?
TEAM
Yes, coach.