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I’ve never been handcuffed. Not by the police and not by a lover. Or a police lover, for that matter. It takes great domination to convince someone to have them cuffed to a bed when they are in their most vulnerable state; bearded, drunk and naked. Because then you are saying, it doesn’t matter how pressed you are, I will release you when I want to. This is also the only situation one can use the word “behest.” I have never been to jail for breaking or entering. Or kidnapping. Or stood before a judge for making an illegal U-turn and telling the traffic cop, “Can I see your force number?” But I have been to a police cell to take someone Fanta.

I have never been to a rally. Or carried placards over my head as an aggravated statement of my social or even political consciousness. I have never had to read the newspapers write “…the crowd engaged police in running battles” and thought excitedly, “Hey, I was there. I was part of those running battles.” I have never been thrown in the back of a police van together with other degenerates who rubbed the law in the wrong place. I have never had to wear a tee-shirt with a robust message I strongly believe in. But like most of us, I have at some point or the other, had to remove a shirt off someone, a shirt with a message we might have believed in, like “Dirt is Good.”

I’ve never been to a place with a large mass of people who are strongly galvanized in their assembly. A place charged with reason and conviction, that breathes loudly with its own righteousness. I have never been to those places where everybody wants their voice to be heard above the rest, but also to add to the rest. A groundswell. A raging beauty of love, of purpose. That’s maybe because I have not been angry enough, impassioned enough or brave enough.

Well, until last Saturday.

I’m seated in a bar – as one should on a Saturday- and two gentlemen of the Luo persuasion are having a conversation. I know these two gentlemen, one is called Hezy, who happens to be my cousin and the other is called Japs, who happens to be my friend. They are talking about a derby. I’m half listening of course, and wondering that perhaps these two gentlemen have gotten into horse breeding or polo. It turns out that this derby is actually a match. A football match. Yeah, why call it a football match like the rest of the peasant populace, if you can just call it a derby? You know, tie it nicely in a bow. Derby has a ring to it. Some place where people wear red shorts and white shoes and smoke cigars. A derby.

Ben tells me, “You should come for the derby tomorrow.”

I say, “What’s happening?”

“There is a cookout, what do you think? We are playing AFC.”

Hezy cuts in, “No, we are going to train AFC how to play.”

That sounds as exciting to me as eating an ageing boiled octopus. I don’t care about football. It’s never moved my needle. The flu of hullabaloo has never caught me. Also, the very idea of going to a stadium doesn’t inspire me. The first and last time I went to a stadium, any stadium, was to watch another Gor – AFC match at Nyayo Stadium in 2002 on the persuasion of my close friend, Sande, now resting with angels. It was disastrous. During the match, someone had stood up and shouted at the referee, “Ongeee bwana!” This is normally not a good sign. Under any circumstances. If you ever hear that, find the fast exit because soon after, there was complete and utter bedlam and stones rained on the pitch which spilled outside into running battles on the highway. Someone died that day.

So, no. Not my cuppa. Thanks.

Hezy told me that at some point in life, one has to be intensely passionate about something. I said I’m passionate about writing. He said no, something that isn’t work. I said writing isn’t work. He said no, something else. I said I’m now passionate about grass; the Maadi river grass. He said no, you need a cause. A movement. Something close to your heritage. A contribution to something that will outlast us when this bar we sit in is flattened by time, something you can pass over to your daughters and sons that isn’t a blood group. You have to be counted, he said, as a man, as a Kenyan and as a Luo. You have to add your voice to the voice of your people. You either do politics or you do Gor Mahia. And you can’t sit on the fence. This is no time to sit on the fence, he said. This is a time to believe. “Belonging!” He roared. He’s a tall big guy with thick biceps. And he was indoctrinating me, him a Gor supporter since God was a boy.

“Besides,” he added, “Agire is coming.” Agire is our cousin who works and lives in Nakuru. We call him Ndugu because he calls everybody Ndugu. Quite the character. His love for football is on the obsession side of it, sometimes veering off into pseudo-hooliganism depending on who you ask. His loyalty to Gor is on the paranormal. A dyed-in-the-wool supporter, he travels everywhere the team plays. Everywhere. He develops a fever when they lose. At the pearly gates, when he’s stopped and asked by the angel how he filled his time on earth he will probably say, “I supported God’s team.” He just doesn’t see God supporting Sofapaka because it sounds like a brand of matchstick. Even to me, a highly unsophisticated and greatly underdeveloped football fan.

I told Hezy, “I don’t think Agire can come. He’s still recovering.” He was involved in a hit and run three weeks ago. A motorist hit him while out jogging, broke his front teeth and shook his jaw.

“He’s coming,” Hezy said with conviction because no broken teeth can keep away a Gor fan. “We will get tickets for you.”

“How much are they?”

“We will just get the usual VIP tickets,” Japs chipped in.

Hezy turned to him and said, “But you realize VIP for Luos are just regular tickets, Japs?”

Ho-ho-ho. The table rocked with laughter.

The next day we met Agire at Kenya Cinema. His teeth looked fine to me. The last time I stood outside Kenya Cinema was in 2000 when I was waiting for a siren called Mwende. She never showed up. She didn’t have a landline and back in the day if someone gave you a fake date and they didn’t have a landline they’d simply disappear from the face of the earth. As we stood outside there I wondered how freaky it would be if I suddenly saw Mwende passing and said, “My God, Mwende! It’s taken you 20 years but you are here, that’s all that matters now.”

I noticed that these boys were all wearing very trendy colourful shorts, like they were attending a high tea. But then again, I had to keep reminding myself that this was not just a football match. This was a derby. Agire had a number 14 Gor jersey written “Jo’madongo” at the back to mean, “Grown ups.” The writings behind those jerseys is in itself a subculture and copy writing at its very best. I asked him what his meant and he said simply that the number 14 is a gong to Thierry Henry, his all time Arsenal striker. And Jo’madongo means that only grown ups sit in committees. He didn’t expound what committee he sits on. I felt like it was not in my place to ask because, as it were, I was already way over my head.

Outside Kenya Cinema was a small white van, which acted as a ticketing office. A small crowd of boisterous supporters milled around it. Matatus full of supporters zoomed by along Moi Avenue, men hanging from doorways, music blasting, vuvuzelas choking. Outside the cinema men danced to music from double-parked vehicles, engines idling, all facing Kasarani, the battle field. The greens and the blues chided each other playfully, none taking it to heart because after all, they are in-laws and the relationship of in-laws is founded on mutual respect. And tea.

The guys were hungry so we went upstairs to this spoon where we sat at the balcony and ordered Aliya which is what the late singer Aaaliyah was named after. (These things are on the internet, you can Google if you want). Aliya is dried and smoked meat with thick tar-like sauce and ugali. This is food for the derby. After lunch, Japs eased the car onto Moi Avenue, rolled his car window down as we neared the lights and Hezy, seated shotgun lowered his head to look out of Jap’s and together they looked out and Japs said, “Good, Tom Mboya has already flagged us.” I saw what they were looking at; a Gor Mahia flag flattered from the outstretched hand of the statue of Tom Mboya. Men danced all around it. It felt like a sacrifice was about to happen.

The newspaper that day had described the match as “explosive.” To mean bombs and dynamites. Sports writers coloured their pieces with lively imagery. Of big cats mauling Gor. Of claws. And teeth. I didn’t even know what the fuss was all about because Gor had yet to lose to AFC since 2016 according to those newspaper articles. I don’t know squat about football but precedence seemed to be against AFC. But then again this is football where men make their own destiny and so undeterred, AFC were thumping their chests, their confidence boosted by having won seven of their last nine matches and now facing their Achilles heel.

Just near Kasarani we ran into madness, chaps off matatus in various forms of delirium directing traffic, some shirtless, opening way for their buses ferrying supporters, men in motorbikes carrying two or three people waving shirts and flags, blowing on vuvuzelas, some running between cars, chanting what sounded like a war cry. This didn’t seem like football. Or a derby. This seemed like a religion. A cult. Something you are born into and you get socialized in it and you grow up knowing that you are not anything before Gor. And you can’t be anything after it. It brought out the rich and poor and it completely broke down everything else that defined them. At this point they were not fathers or brothers or professionals, they were not citizens, or Catholic or Protestants or Legio Maria, they didn’t have debts or gout or a sick patient in hospitals or a child with special needs or a mother who had arthritis. Now they were simply football lovers.

And I didn’t have to understand it because I could feel this centrifugal force all around me. I felt it when we walked into the stadium onto the terraces at exactly 2:58 pm, two minutes before kick off time, this roaring energy pushing you back, a wall of screaming and chanting and ululation that came from the stadium. It’s an indescribable energy. We sat above terrace 13, below us was bedlam. The support squad sat there beating drums and dancing, men in masks, men carrying rubber snakes and green plastic guns and green berets, faces strained in screams, veins on necks popping and they would go at it during the whole game. Pure brouhaha.

At 3:03 pm, the team sauntered into the pitch to such rousing fracas. They walked side by side, foes next to friends, brothers from other mothers forever pitched against history, fighting a duel that not even their grandchildren will solve. I was seated so far out I couldn’t see their features. But these boys, Hezy, Japs, Agire, could tell these players by their shadows. They knew their strengths and weaknesses. They knew who was good with his left foot and who was weak with penalties. They knew who scored when and how. They were self-made tacticians. The best footballers don’t kick a ball; they are seated on the terrace.

Then something I’ve never experienced before started happening. Something akin to madness, like a sweeping plague of hysteria sweeping through the terraces, getting into the hearts of these men and women, and making some of them stand up and those who didn’t stand up, sit transfixed, as if a current is passing through them. A wild massive roar rose from the stadium and it shook it in its hinges. I could feel the stadium throb under me, like it had become septic with frenzy. The deafening noise rose above us, like an animal trying to find a place it belonged. I looked around, wondering what the hell was going on. Hezy, seated next to me, eyes not moving from a spot in the pitch simply said, “Baba.” And I saw him; Raila. It’s indescribable how wild the stadium became. You could feel it echo in all the smallest bones buried deep in your body, this unbridled, ungovernable, inexplicable adoration. Drums wept louder. Vuvuzelas seemed to finally become the trumpets they have always aspired to be. Men waved. And danced. Raila – escorted in this brouhaha – sauntered into the pitch to meet the team.

“Amazing!” I told Hezzy.

“I know,” he laughed, “It surprises even me each single time and I’ve seen this many times.”

He, the patron of Gor, was in a Stetson hat. I couldn’t see his features from our perch, but you could identify him from his walking style; like a massive lumbering ship swaying through a channel too narrow for its force. Hezzy elbowed me, “Look, he’s going to rub his eyes…anytime now…anytime now…watch….watch…ero!” And Raila rubbed his eye and Hezy laughed loudly, slapped his knee with his big hand and said, “Baba yawa!”

After shook hands with the players, as he headed back to the VVIP dias, he uncrowned his hat and waved it at the AFC side, at the shemejis, and the uproar that met him was enough to power the whole of Bungoma town and leave enough power to charge 312 Infinix mobile phones for a month. Then he – slowing down – turned and waved his hat at the Gor side, holding the hat midair for a moment longer and pandemonium ensued! And I don’t use that word carelessly. It was like Moses parting the Red Sea with his staff. It caused a physical and sustained commotion in the crowd, just that act of him waving his hat at the people. There was a froth of green on the terrace, like the algae-like crowd had reached a boiling point. It was uber showmanship at play. It was power. It was football. It was life.

The referee blew the whistle and the brawl was underway. Feet sought the ball, hearts yearned for greatness, men struggled with hope and stood on their tiptoes to try and grab immortality. Because that’s what football does, it immortalises men. In the medieval times, kings led armies that pilfered the enemy, grabbed their animals and their women and drove spears in the hearts of their men. Then they strode back home in glory, heroes immortalized past boundaries and hills. Today, men who constantly find the back of the net are forever immortalized.

And at some point a helicopter landed and Uhuru appeared to more uproar because now he’s Raila’s BFF and if you are Raila’s BFF you are Gor’s BFF and these people, this congregation of Gor, showers you with the same adulation, they seem to say ‘he who is a friend of our father is our friend.” Football and politics share the same pillow.

Seated two steps before us was a burly man with a wide back. Handcuffs peaked from under his shirt. A plainclothes cop. Behind him, a row of four men, unfazed by the presence of the law, shared a blunt. I asked Hezy if they were not worried and he said nonchalantly, “Why should they be bothered? What has a person who is peacefully taking his medicine done to deserve the harassment of the police?”

I won’t comment about the match because there are more adept men to do that. To comment on a match like this is to know the history of those men and the expectations they had carried with them to the pitch. I didn’t know what was at stake for them as individuals. But even a volleyball lover can see skill and artistry. Some men just stand out as they do their thing. Like the number 11 on the Gor side, a gentleman called Clifton Miheso. There was something that inspired confidence in him. Something very perilous about him. Something dangerous. It’s the reaction of the opponents whenever he possessed the ball. Their actions suddenly became urgent. He turned that ball into a meteor, a weapon, something that could sail off anytime. Something that could pass through walls and souls and time. It was my first time watching these men play but when he got the ball I just blindly trusted him, I just knew he’d do the right thing. If a baby was a football he’s the kind of guy you would ask to hold your baby for a second as you go into the loo. Because you knew he was dependable. The other guy was Boniface Omondi. He could pass through small cracks. He was olive oil. He was smoke in the hands of the opponent. He had great determination and amazing dexterity with his feet. He was a secret missile, unleashed on the enemy. A hit-man. On the AFC side there was a gentleman in jersey 23, Austin Odhiambo, I think. Ten minutes into the game and I could tell he was special – and toxic for our collective blood pressures on the Gor side. He was a virtuoso. He wasn’t just playing football, he was playing music. He composed songs with his feet. His breed of football was jazz, something you consume with a fine drink in hand.

Gor was the better side. Even I could tell. They told the leopard to sit and the leopard sat. And that’s saying a lot because the leopard is not an animal that takes instructions.

At the end of it all, the beauty of it all was that nobody big, tall, bald and black stood up and shouted, “Ongee bwana!”

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119 Comments
  1. It’s a Tuesday and I’m in the office as usual. I know people dump on employment (in favour of having one’s own business) but employment is nice. Someone else pays for this Wi-Fi and employment helps me not to starve to death or live under a bridge.
    So in this office that I have been employed in, I refresh my email and find a notification. Biko has posted something so naturally, because I am employed and don’t have to worry about profits or losses coz the salary comes in either way, I click on it and proceed to read. There’s a YouTube tab open and playing D’Banj’s Oliver Twist.
    Then I find out that I’m reading about football and I don’t have an ounce of football in me so this story is a struggle. And in the words of D’Banj, “I have a confession”: I skipped to the end and I’m glad no one threw stones.

    Anyway, good day. This office WiFi won’t use itself.

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    1. One, I read through Biko’s pieces and I get so carried away that I only remember to blink later, then I hurriedly scroll through the comments, just to read yours more like a postscript of the main piece with equal enjoyment. Kudos!

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  2. Damn, Biko. Every time I think I’m a millimeter closer to becoming a write like you, you do this. You write so beautifully about something so ordinary that I have to start doing my kindergarten homework afresh.

    Oh, when I grow up…

    Bloomerscafe.wordpress.com

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  3. Haha what were the chances that baba would rub his eye? I’d say 98%. He always rubs his eyes. I wonder what it is like for Baba to have an entire “cult” behind him in football and in politics. He should feel like the real ja’madongo.

    For someone who cares nit about football, I have to admit Gor has a certain pull that’s more than the game. If I were to live as a football fanatic, I would choose Gor. I would religiously go to those derbys even with broken teeth and live out loud just like Gor fans do. If I were poor, I would simply get a bicycle and paint it green, hang vuvuzelas on it, a Gor flag, a Kenyan flag and a whisker. I would get a green suit too. And if I were rich I would do something as dramatic but in a languge of the rich. Like buying VVIP tickets for friends to come along to the derby. I would be so into it becuase Gor is a life worth pursuing. It is a creed of life. I would be my own Ja’madongo.

    A good read as usual.

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    1. @wesh bicycles are not for the poor,nor the vvip tickets for the rich.its like saying the middle long finger is better than the small finger.they are all important each in its own rights coz they need each other.

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  4. “He, the patron of Gor, was in a Stetson hat. I couldn’t see his features from our perch, but you could identify him from his walking style; like a massive lumbering ship swaying through a channel too narrow for its force. Hezzy elbowed me, “Look, he’s going to rub his eyes…anytime now…anytime now…watch….watch…ero!” And Raila rubbed his eye and Hezy laughed loudly, slapped his knee with his big hand and said, “Baba yawa!”

    This right here is EVERYTHING!

    Worthy read!

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  5. Biko,

    I need to recollect my thoughts because at this rate, I might have sat next to you and I don’t know.

    Thank you for pointing out Omondi, a great fan of that guy. I hope he reads this. He has magic, speed and accuracy.. with height deficiency haha.. on a light note.

    Well, I attend this matches as my humble contribution to supporting local teams,,, rather than being glued in the screen watching a white man.. the way Kenyans do not support their own – people they can see and talk to – you would be right if you call it back-racism.

    Things have changed.. In the last eleven matches no one has shouted “Ongeee bana”.

    We have won the last four title mawang’io go.

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  6. Hahaha. Very funny ! I have never been to a Kogalo game . I must experience this someday. The green army is a lifestyle. Biko talking of Gor, you should sit down with Jaro soja the undisputed Kogalo number one fan. He breathes and lives Gor Mahia.

    “My God, Mwende! It’s taken you 20 years but you are here, that’s all that matters now.” and then she replies, “Wawawa si nimekutafuta??? ”

    Hahahaha! Savageeee!.

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    1. Eeey Man, Eey Man,…Bwana Cliff The Tall, You are now officially ‘Cliff the Short’ until you go to a Kogalo game,
      it is a right of passage , Yawa!
      As many as agree with me say ‘Ay’…..

      11
  7. Wooow, Just wooow!!! I was with you at the same stands, sat one terrace before you and Agire. Constantly, I would come talk to Agire about one or two tactics in the match. How I wish I knew you were seated there confused, lol. Nwei, am a football fanatic and writer. Agire is my team mate at Hippos and a best friend… Grace more matches, especially continental ones and you wont regret an inch. Its an experience that comes with pride, patriotism and joy. It was nice meeting (incognito) though would have wished to see your forehead. At least we shook hands. I’ve now made it in Life, thanks to Mashemeji Derby!

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  8. …and the uproar that met him was enough to power the whole of Bungoma town and leave enough power to charge 312 Infinix mobile phones for a month. LOL. Be nice Chocolate man

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  9. Herein lie all the reasons my son has to learn his mothertongue!!There are sentiments here you don’t/can’t understand unless you speak the Mother tongue. Like the tone of “Baba yawa”‘ Your writing is fabulous Biko!

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  10. Once upon a time, I used to say that Gor fans are usually mad. Or what Atwoli would aptly describe as “washenzi”. But I’m an Arsenal fan. I have no moral authority to pass such judgement. At least Gor is winning matches and titles.

    Anyway, mtu hujiandikisha wapi kukuwa fan wa Gor? Biko has convinced me with this piece.

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  11. Handcuffs. What if Baba was to be handcuffed behind his back and eye-rubbing moment hit home? We would all shoud “Ongee bwana!”

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  12. “At the pearly gates, when he’s stopped and asked by the angel how he filled his time on earth he will probably say, “I supported God’s team.” He just doesn’t see God supporting Sofapaka because it sounds like a brand of matchstick” is best part…

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  13. BAM!! Nailed it as usual. I love sport
    but football and the ‘derby’ (for that matter) will never be my cuppa tea. Nice read though!

  14. I wondered where being cuffed, attending a rally, etc was leading until it turned out it was all about football. How surprising! I too have, once, been enticed into attending a derby at Kasarani by a friend (an Ingwe supporter, no less) but I didn’t feel like I had been cuffed or anything of the sort described here, thankfully! It was the first time and although they say ”never say never”, I think it could very well have been the last. I do care about football though, not a whole lot, but some – enough to watch it on telly. If I were to be honest, I didn’t enjoy the derby I was enticed to attend.. Didn’t know the players and the pitch was too far from the terraces for me so I can’t remember any artistry from any of the players – on whichever side. Besides, I couldn’t stand the noise. I’d rather watch a derby on television, and this one, I did. Moreover, I don’t suppose I missed much!
    All in all, yes, football is nothing but religion, especially of the Gor and AFC Leopards’ kind in Kenya! Or of the Yanga and Simba kind in Tanzania.

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  15. Wow ! Though I’m not a football fan, for sure I missed the Derby, and from this fantastic narrative, it is indeed a gross criminal act to miss this ritual!
    PS:Yoir post-trip compositions must have been awesome

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  16. In Sunday’s match, I can tell you BIKO, without Blinking that Gor was not the better side.

    They won by sheer luck. AFC played well,better than Gor did in that match.

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  17. Now I understand my cousin’s obsession with Gor and he’s not Luo. He has the t-shirt, the vuvuzela, they hire a vehicle to watch them when they play out of town. It has always seemed ridiculous to me, but he loves the camaraderie of the game.

  18. And I say ongee nana,man I love your artistry it is above the normal realm of human work of earth and for that i need your book asap

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  19. This is amazing… You sing with words and you make my mind dance to the tunes of your pen. The game was so clear from your marathon than watching it on supersport!

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  20. This is amazing… You sing with words and you make my mind dance to the tunes of your pen. The game was so clear from your narration than watching it on supersport!

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  21. “Look, he’s going to rub his eyes…anytime now…anytime now…watch….watch…ero!” And Raila rubbed his eye and Hezy laughed loudly, slapped his knee with his big hand and said, “Baba yawa!”

    Hezy sounds like a very exciting person and friend. I would laugh with him very very loudly after Baba rubbed his eyes…

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  22. Biko your dexterity with words in describing this match makes one feel to have been part of it. The movement is surreal. I have always wondered about the conversation that goes on between the drummers and their wives in the morning prior to the match: “Baby ibi imurna bundno abro wuok chon.” And of course the mother of his children complies and later says: ‘My dear bul osemurore”.

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  23. Your list of never have I ever got me inspired cos it looks like those uninspiring things to do, but kinda missed out just a little bit. Not even a rally at Uhuru park..
    Won’t make it to the bucket list still.

    1
  24. When you say it like that, it’s all comming back to me now ( and not the song by Celine Dion ) but the fellings, the emotions, the wrath I get watching football in those mabati cinema halls back in the village

  25. “We will just get the usual VIP tickets,” Japs chipped in.

    Hezy turned to him and said, “But you realize VIP for Luos are just regular tickets, Japs?”
    ..
    pwahahaha…but do we say?
    Not being a sociopath but I thought we were on the crazy story series. Aren’t people volunteering more of those? Or was the girl spiking people’s drinks a wrap up. The year has barely begun Bwana Biko, we need crazy stories.

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  26. Hello Biko,
    I love it! You made football sound so fancy. At least I know what derby means. Also, this word-brouhaha, If I’d read it thrice I would’ve haha’d myself to death. Always a good read. Thanks.

  27. Having grown up in Kisumu I grew up believing that football was the only entertainment created on earth until I turned 20 and only then did I discover movies…. Gor gor mahia…. gor timbe…..

    Thanks for the rush I felt. You made me re-live my youth with my dad. God bless you

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  28. really are u warming us up for more crazy stories like last year, or what….am not feeling these ur stories this year…

  29. A game of words for chocolate man, evidenced by this scripts.You enjoyed at another level!

    Derby for for funs or fanatics if you want.
    And just like that I subscribe as a “theorytical non pitch” soccer fun

  30. What a story Biko, enjoyed every bit of it… the last time i went for a derby was in 2016 and i left with my eardrums almost blocked, proudly team-member of sofa set branch.. kudos big guy.

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  31. Hezy turned to him and said, “But you realize VIP for Luos are just regular tickets, Japs?”

    Biko i personally know these two gentlemen… And your description of them is nothing but the truth… Good piece Baba.

  32. Damn! You compose songs with your words and your breed of words is jazz, something you consume with a fine drink in hand. Biko Ongee bwana!!

  33. This feels like a slowmotion episode in a catchy movie, you know exactly what will happen, but even so…you still get chills

  34. Biko ongee bwana!
    I will have to say this is your best piece yet. Unbeaten and crowning. I had to google your new-found vocabulary because today you were throwing them out there like a real Luo. Maybe the derby made you feel like you belong fully in the Luo community, they who drop BIG vocabulary and cheer on Gor like it was the last thing they would do on earth. Today I feel like I have been to my first Gor game through you. The way you describe the game, the fans, ‘baba’, his excellency and the stadium took me back to the days I was in Rongai. Whenever Gor played at Nyayo I never stepped foot out of my house. The aftermath of the game brought langata road all the way to Haille Selasie to a standstill. Every Tuesday I receive a notification of your post and I take it as a pill. The doctor prescribed it to be taken on the bus home. It made my 40-minute ride seem like 2 seconds. I read a sentence and let it sink in for a minute, smile, re-read it and move on to the next sentence. Your writing soothes my soul. It makes a bad day end well. You make me want to be a writer. Goes back up to hit the like button…

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    1. I feel you sister. Some writings need to be devoured slowly. Still go back and reread so as to make sure I have not left any word unread.

  35. This is mastery of the highest order, words make the whole event run through my mind once again…i was there i witnessed the crowd and the wave that came with the energy…being a football fan is phenomenal but but beeing a gor or afc fan is a calling…you have to be there heart body and soul…. Thanks biko

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  36. i love the Gor anthem..Kogalo…Gor… Luos are so passionate in nature.if its not Gor its Baba.. you dont now how NOT to be extra and i love it

  37. I have no thing for football. The fun for me is watching the cheering crowd. Biko brought it out soo well he could be my football funs watching buddy. I might as well sit with my back to the field in a stadium.

  38. Well written. Always good to see the energy that goes into this derby….I was caught in the jam the stadium and green colour was dominating.

  39. Chocolate man…i thought you were going to tell us of the time you (or someone you know) hot handcuffed.
    Oh well…let’s here about football or rather the fans and the vuvuzelas.
    That was some intro. Btw did that fanta make it out?

  40. I am not a football fan but you, chocolate man, sold it and i bought it. The descriptions in this were so surreal. I loved it! Thank you!

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  41. Great stuff, as usual.
    I’d like to one day read something, written by you, about being in a human rights demonstration. It cn only be so nicely weaved. I can hook you up with some organisers of these maandamanos

  42. Absolutely zero interest in soccer but loved this incredibly accurate description of how passionate football fans are. goosebumps!

  43. Am reading this on a Saturday, 4 days later and I still enjoyed it more or less like those who kept refreshing their emails to get that notification. Anyway this guy Biko, he creates some unmatched allure in whatever he writes, so perfectly that you will just be thrilled and filled with goosebumps reading about another random and ordinarily banal subject like, “Drinking Water”. Wow!

  44. She didn’t have a landline and back in the day if someone gave you a fake date and they didn’t have a landline they’d simply disappear from the face of the earth.

    Hilarious.

  45. Other than predicting what Baba would do, mimi na football hatuelewani. But since I must read Biko, I faithfully did my duty 🙂

  46. ”He was a virtuoso. He wasn’t just playing football, he was playing music. He composed songs with his feet. His breed of football was jazz, something you consume with a fine drink in hand.”

    Omuga , itieka (translated ; you;ve finished me) with your ultra-vivid descriptions !
    This is excellence personified !
    Let me know when we can catch up over that fine drink & Cohiba at our ”local.”
    Well in Baba !

  47. Good piece for those who dont like football go to a Gor vs Afc derby the adrenaline mixed with fear is something else…Its not even about the soccer its the atmosphere..electric

  48. combining Magnificent writing with football. very fulfilling and engaging. you can feel the tension between the sentences.

  49. I need to definitely go and watch a Derby or a football match, I want this experience, it on my bucket list for 2020.

    Well done Biko, your writing is music to my bones.

  50. he uncrowned his hat and waved it at the AFC side, at the shemejis, and the uproar that met him was enough to power the whole of Bungoma town and leave enough power to charge 312 Infinix mobile phones for a month. Then he – slowing down – turned and waved his hat at the Gor side, holding the hat midair for a moment longer and pandemonium ensued! And I don’t use that word carelessly. It was like Moses parting the Red Sea with his staff. It caused a physical and sustained commotion in the crowd, just that act of him waving his hat at the people.

    That’s quite the description….. I could visualise it..
    And I felt like I was there.

    Very good descriptive writing.

  51. Why have I wasted so many bundles on irrelevant content while the top layer has always been here
    I am Kikuyu and Green. Great piece

  52. “That sounds as exciting to me as eating an ageing boiled octopus”
    You have a way with words
    Sounds like an exciting experience though