when football was it for me

November 14, 2008 at 12:26 pm | Posted in he-motions, life | 8 Comments
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I am a reluctant Man United fan, unhappily dragged along by the legion of fans. I must admit that it has to do with the craze that caught on and what is more, it has stuck and has remained like a banana sap stain on a white cloth.
Honestly, if you ask me which team I freely  support, I consider Sunderland because it is near home – the nearest team to Kenya in the whole English premiership, miles wise.
A secret about me? I am  quite patriotic.
Maybe this is the reason I loved this particular football team to bits. It wasn’t listed on the English, Kenyan or any other premier league, La Liga included. In fact, FIFA (Federal International Football Association is blissfully unaware of its existence.
If anything, it was just a village team!
Wait, hear me out. This is a passionate tale of a young boy stuck in Methina age – banana stain age where my clothes  constantly spotted such from farm work – whose love for his team blossomed to great heights that though unrecognised, he faithfully attended every match, distance not withstanding.
But let me you take you through the setting before you get lost, like my love for football made in Europe.
I was brought up in the slopes, where cool breezes, rain – and now snow- a fair dose of sunshine intermeshed to make life one green pasture. Okay, I was young, knew no worries, except when I was in the wrong books with mama – and a guaranteed whacking awaited me at the end of the day, like wages – judgment hour, I loathed it! More so, it occurred every so often…
As for this game, man, it was like this.
I was not more than 11 but was in awe like the current crop of grown men clutching frothing mugs drooling over Drogba.
In the patriotic sense, the joy of watching young footballers I knew make a great play out of cow hide on an irregular field – that the local member of parliament was forever promising to level once ‘elected again’- this joy and enthusiasm has never been rivalled, small and naïve as I was.
I mean, it did not matter much that the village team, Mbari ya Igi (the clan that says) never had much of a say in the local fixtures, leave alone beyond. But every Sunday, my shrill little voice cheered them on relentlessly from the bottom of my young heart (now punctured, severally fractured actually, do not ask).
All matches were comfortably played on Sundays. After a whole week of long school hours, and back breaking work, the matches served as a perfect break for most.
On more Sundays than one, I went home a sad but still enthusiastic fan. As I said before, other teams seemed to have ‘more say’ than us. The thrashing we got reminded me of maize stalks on my grandpa’s new animal feed cutter- to bit and pieces our efforts went, but never crushed.
I never understood why we were always on the verge of winning but succumbed nevertheless. The best were draws, and once in while we triumphed over other weaker teams.
At such time, I was a very happy young fellow.
If it were now, somebody would ram it down my throat that I was supporting a losing team.
But looking back, such a remark would never have dampened my spirit. In fact, it is for the love of home grown ‘stars’ that I was almost made a ‘murder statistic.’
It is a part of my life I like to forget but let me confide in you.
One Sunday, our ‘stars’ were playing a match several villages away and being the number one fan, I tagged along.
It turned out that the place was not as near as it was suggested and we literally crossed rivers and valleys! I’ve waded  the riskiest slums around Nairobi at night but the journey back home from the match is yet to find a match – going through thick wet bushes that were home to green mambas, crossing an enormous roaring river with rickety logs for bridges at night. And well, there was no nyukwa (or big brother) to watch over you…oh! There was mum patiently waiting for her son to arrive home past 9 pm.
You reckon she had a trophy to congratulate me on such a brave venture?
Ha! Let me just say that punctuated the last of my match attendances – I moved to the big city with dad soon after.
I do not know if the stars ever noticed my absence, but I do not mind. Come on, don’t local football enthusiasts cancel dates and the like to cheer people they will likely never meet in their lifetime?
At least, I knew my stars and yes, I do not think l will ever love another team as I did this!

re-published from the campus paper…to break the silence.

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8 Comments »

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  1. I am an ardent Manchester fan. How I became a fan? I was the Library prefect in Primo when in class 7 & 8 so I read all the papers daily. Sports were pages I never missed. School holidays, STV used to screen premier league matches so I assimilated easily. No matter how bad this team does, I will forever support it. I have come to like the Black Cats I guess its coz they have several former Man Utd players. Like look at the premier and see how many players and managers have been at Man Utd! They are the Nas of football.

  2. I hate soccer!

    I tagged you. . .visit my latest post. .

  3. soccer blah blah…actually unless you are talking high octane chicanery i am mostly lukewarm.

  4. During my high school days i played no. 10 or 8. Arsenal does it for me. I happened to seriously start watching football (i.e UEFA, Carling Cup, Champions league, Barclays…e.tc) when Thiery was the captain and scored so many goals. Then there was kanu who was very good back then.I liked both guys and thats how my support started plus i like their proffessional display on the field.

  5. Football for me, is an-if-am-free-and-don’t-havfe-anything-else-to-do kind of thing.

    for me unless i be quite idle…and man u is playinggggg

  6. i never knew you changed! ive going onto you at blogger and it anit on! how are you… me no football fan
    but am ish…getting better thanks for asking. have a fab weekend

  7. id rather stick to teh Basketballt aht I love.. but I supprot ManU wen I’m reqiured to declare support for a team..

  8. id rather stick to the Basketball that I love.. but I support Man U wen I’m required to declare support for a team..


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