Thursday, September 23, 2010

A weekend with K'Ogalo

I learnt the other day that you can sell almost anything provided you were sufficiently (philanthropic? lol ) no sufficiently passionate about it. One other thing that I was disabused off when i was young was watching football 'live' in a stadium especially if that football involved a team called Gor Mahia. Our abode (lol) in Kisumu was only just about 500 meters from the stadium and from our house I could make out the goings on. The problem with Gor and their fans was that they would stone the opposing fans whether they won or not. especially if those fans were Ingwe fans. But it has been argued that the rivalry was good for football. Even those days when Gor won, us little children we would get sweets from total strangers just in perfect mood.

But I  would only 'watch' from the safety of  the radio. However this recent past my good natured neighbor has been selling to me the idea of watching the once great team under flood lights 'mwomo timbe'. I have been escaping with some strong excuses but the other Saturday when K'Ogalo was playing relegation bound KCB I had ran out of options or maybe I just had to succumb to the steady persuasion of the passionate fan.

The fees for the VIP area was only 200, stands were going for 100 shillings each. Inside a small crowd had started gathering. The Gor match was still one and half hours away. Ulinzi, the current league leaders were in the pitch with Mahakama but the Gor fans were all over singing their hearts of for Gor. when the players finally came there was simply a rapture. songs and ululations and the annoying vuvuzela. whoever invented that horn should be expunged from the face of the earth and even history.

The songs were simply hilarious but the goals refused to come. And I told myself it could be because the fans had mostly corrupted nice God songs into support songs with very dirty lyrics. As the match wore on they started losing their patience and you could hear shouts at the coach, the players the ref etc. I wished they would score  just to see how the fans would react. The god of football did finally smile and they scored through a penalty. The frenzy, the celebration, the shouts, the dance the songs! but ouch the vuvuzelas! From there I too joined the dances coz they became too moving to resist!
The match ended 2-0 in their favor but still Ulinzi was 3 comfortable points ahead. However from the party in the stadium I told myself that such a weekend was worth repeating.

Just an observation, there seemed to be quite a sizeable number of dark Gor fans holding hands of extra light (white) mzungu girls there.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Kenya Against the Norm!

Quite a number of things have been going against the norm or the accepted these recent days in this beloved Kenya. It started with the pre-promulgation era(now those are the kind of words you need to take with water!)

To start with heavy campaigns were carried out in this country for the first time in as many years without Raila's heavy presence and it was  instead the  soft general who shed all colors and shocked, like the our dailies said, both friend and foe. Then Kenyans went ahead and voted peacefully everywhere another first since my high school days. Another change was the church being defeated in Kenya for the first time in known history.

Thats history now anyway. Last week more shocks came and for me what stood out was the statistic showing that indeed women and men are at 1:1 in the country. To be honest I find that hard to believe coz if that were true then how come more and more women are agreeing to help men cheat on their fellow women. For cases of single women hooking up with married men is really on the rise and I fail to understand why if there are enough men to go round!

And indeed Pastor Ojigbani's ministry for marriage effortlessly is unique and creative. I have been watching his late night TV shows on this for sometime but I never imagined our Kenyan women would be so enthusiastic about his crusade.

Back to the Kenyan political scene and the absence of war of words, I guess the war between Zain (or sen and most of my relatives call it) and Safaricom has filled the void. People can still enjoy the show. But Zain's approach is a funny one. For them they dont care if they lose as long as Safaricom doesn't win. Basically what they want to do is disrupt the game so that the industry starts afresh. its like when you see you are losing a football match, your fans then throw in all manner of debri until the ref calls off the match for a reschedule. that way your luck or strategy starts afresh. But the mentality of I win or they lose is not really new wasn't it is the same that motivated our very own Melon Musyoka. Insisting that if he lost then his nemesis must also lose. we all know the consequences of 2007.

And what of the realization that Kibera isn't the largest slum in the world after all? if fact it may not even the largest in Nairobi, leave alone Kenya after next year. Indeed Kibera only has about 270K people while the word out there with the donors is that 2 million people eke it out in this place. But I have always wondered that if the whole of Nairobi before this census results was said to hold just above 2 million, did it mean that the rest of the Nairobi population were less than 1 million. and mind you some of those 270K people in Kibera actually dont live in the 'slum Kibera'

NGOs will have to go back and draw on the proverbial board else I see whole careers ending!