Harambee Stars Appreciation Post

Photo by Game Yetu

There are two types of Kenyans. The first type appreciates government initiatives like free entry to the stadium for the national team’s crucial game. He can afford a ticket, but that doesn’t mean he won’t find the offer by the government exciting. He will turn up, just like he had planned before the government announcement, and cheer his national team to glory.

The second type of Kenyan thinks other Kenyans are the source of his misery. If he had his way, all the other Kenyans would be deported to Canada and he would have the country to himself. When the government announces free entry to the stadium, it irks him to the grave. He hides under ‘security concerns.’ “At the end of the game, we won’t be having our phones.” Bla bla bla! Who wants to steal a phone that is always connected to a power bank, anyway? Wasn’t the World U-18 Athletic Championship free? How many phones were stolen there? He wants things priced out of other Kenyans reach. Not that he himself would afford it without taking a loan from Tala. So he will sit at home and tweet dumb things like “look at how full the stadium is, Kenyans love free things” then go ahead to complain how no free-to-air channel is airing the game. What an irony!

Anyway, kila mtu apambane na hali yake. The only security concern I had was the referee making a grave mistake in front of 60,000 angry Kenyans while we are on the losing end. Our security team can’t handle all the four Afc Leopards fans when they are pissed off, imagine 60,000 angry Olunga (Gor Mahia) and Wanyama fans.

The last time Kenyans turned up in large numbers that early to queue for something, they had their victory stolen. And then they were teargassed to force them back to their homes. This time round, they were only teargassed to make them go back home. But their victory was left intact. That is a good thing. We are making huge democratic gains.

Prophetess Bishop Hillary Clinton

Except for one unanswered question, do our police force know any other crowd control technique apart from lobbying teargas? People are rioting? Teargas. Gor Mahia fans are dancing naked in the streets? Teargas them. The party is over and guests don’t want to leave at their own pleasure? Call the police and have them teargassed out of your premises. Is the syllabus taught at Kiganjo open to public scrutiny? Because it seems all they do there is learn how to launch teargas canisters- by hand or from a rifle. The police is your (fake) friend though.

This post was originally supposed to be an appreciation post. 10 days ago, I celebrated my 26th birthday. By enduring my colleagues badly singing karaoke the half of the night. The karaoke wasn’t in honor of my birthday, in fact my colleagues learnt it was birthday the following day. It hasn’t been an easy 26 years. There were moments when I thought I was losing it. People sometimes say they are in a very dark place. I think such people are in better places. There are moments when I didn’t even know which place I was in. During such moments, the easiest would have been to give up. But there have always been people by my side to pull me up, to give me a shoulder to lean on. They did so, knowingly or unknowingly. My siblings, Ian Duncan, Phenny, Charity, Eva, Blackberry, Mathew, Ann etc. This was supposed to be about them.

However, it is not every day that Harambee Stars pulls such stunts. We don’t know how long this chest thumping will last. We don’t how long before we go from “the only African team that can beat us is France” to “we should just give Gor Mahia the national team jersey and have them represent us on the international platform.” Let us appreciate the national team while we still have the face. Even Esther Passaris, who a few years ago wanted funding for football slashed and redirected to kabaddi, printed a banner and had her two supporters display it inside the stadium.

You see that goal by His Sirkalness Goal Machine Engineer Olunga? That is what pure class is made of. That goal by Eric Johanna- absolutely pure class. The Ethiopian keeper who was a few days ago bragging of a cleansheet was helpless in a one-on-one situation with an injured Victor Wanyama. Haters will say it was just a penalty. Don’t listen to naysayers.

We are about to qualify for the next edition of Africa Cup of Nations. If we do, this time Africa will really know who we are! The last time we were there, we were in the same group as Senegal who were from an impressive World Cup showing. The Senegal team was star-studded. Our team was star-struck. Kina Musa Otieno looked like they were about to break into tears of joy from sharing the same pitch as the Diops and Dioufs. This time, we have our own Wanyama who last season won the Premier League Top Four trophy- dethroning perennial winners, Arsenal.

Africa will know who we are. Let them not say they were not told! Tunasija.

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