In the '80s when Gor KÓgalo and the AFC leopard met in a football match be it local league or cup, our own daily estate tournaments would stop and we would surround one small radio belonging to a friendly dad of my friend to listen to Mambo Mbotela, Musa Juma or Opondo grossly exaggerate the clash (you see the media started incitement long before PNU and ODM came along). At the end of the 90 minutes of Soccer, radios would either be smashed (Gor lost) or it would be a feast day as everybody you met would suddenly become recklessly generous (Gor won). It would be song and dance. Every little boy in our estate team had a name similar to one Gor Mahia player. I fondly referred to myself as Sammy Onyango Jogoo! The man could have sued me if he ever saw me playing.
Then, Gor won a triple including Mandela cup, Moi Golden Cup and Premier League to send us into a feeling of invincibility. But after that the standards started going down like a great mudslide. Both Gor and AFC leopards, fondly called Ingwe among fans but locally referred to as 'ogwang' (a derogative term for wild cat), started going down the league as if they were being paid to do so.
Like the script of a great curse story, the two giants pulled each other down until the former powerhouse AFC dropped out of premier league. No one was talking about them anymore and even Gor fans could not get the same excitement when they had matches. I have not been hearing about the great team of JJ Masiga, Muhamud Abbas (We hated the invincible goalie with a passion except when he was playing for harammbee stars), Murila, Ambrose Ayoyi and many other heroes of yore.
Lakini there are Kenyans who never say die. A few Kenyans refused to give up on the great outfit and stuck with them when the going was thickest. This year that great team has been readmitted into the Kenyan Premier league and I would like to toast their great achievement but more I would like to raise my glass to those men who refused to bow their heads and agreed to die and rise with the leopard like the great phoneix. A relaunch party has been organized for the 7th Jan 09 at charter hall Nairobi. Its a party which is a must attend since its a great sign of human triumph!