Watching this Cote d’Ivoire Vs Siella Leone match in Cameroon does not invoke much zest like it did back in the days. Maybe it’s the adulting in me or maybe I’ve already gotten too tired of watching 20 grown men chasing an inflated leather ball while two others wait for it only to catch it. 😂 Don’t get me wrong, I respect the game so put that bullet back in the magazine. I’m however wondering why the Ivorian players have all decided to rock a goatee. I hope they don’t conjure the spirit of my dead goat. 😂😂
I vividly recall 1998, the year when the first greatwall found it’s way in our great walls. I marvelled at its reddish beauty and watching that first static signal otherwise known as ‘mūceere’ illuminate the black and white screen was unbelievable. I mean I had seen a television set and also watched some wrestling matches here and there, but seeing it proudly sitting on our large, blue study table somehow looked like a miracle in the village. Never in my childhood or early teenage dreams had I envisioned this. Have I told you that this was the year that I also became a senior citizen of this beautiful ‘Kenya my motherland?’ Talk of everything na double double…
So first things first, there was no electricity back in the days and the lady in red had to be powered by a solar powered battery which meant she was only to be watched at night. Sometimes the power stored in the battery was not enough to run her up to the time the only available station, KBC closed shop at midnight. Closing was ceremonial and the national Anthem had to be played as the National flag was proudly displayed on the screen.
The third blessing was that this was also the year that I learnt a few basic things about football. This was the year of France 98’ and the African cup of Nation and a friend took it upon himself to teach me a few things about football such as half time, substitution, offside, free kick, goal kick, corner kick, extra time and penalty among others. Thanks to the South African commentators I also learnt about a throwing which they pronounced as a ‘trowing.’ I also learnt some household names such as Hossam Hassan, Beni McCarthy, and my Oga brothers such as Sandy Oliseh, Kanu, and Omokachi. Teams were known by their nicknames instead of their country’s names. Names such as bafana bafana, the super eagles and the indomitable lions suddenly became part of my vocabularies.
Now the football season meant that we became obsessed with these teams, had crushes on players and analysers like that Nigerian broda Uche Onye sth. We also developed bad habits such as betting and arguing over who would take the cup home. This meant that the stakes were raised and we couldn’t risk the battery misbehaving in the middle of the match, which in turn meant the ‘gaikia’ bicycle would come in handy to take the battery to Kīricu for the extra charging. Sometimes when the bicycle disappointed the wheel barrow became the, ‘ndari ya mūtama.’ Heri tulale njaa lakini tuwatch mechi. Guess the wheelbarrow never disappoints 😂.
Now something about a black and white TV is that you could only identify the team as the black one or the white one. Now when an Arab team (Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria etc) was playing against a black team, the Arabs would appear white and the other team black. Dad being dad had only mastered the name of one Nigerian player Omokachi. I guess the older you get, the better you get in knowing when to give and when to just not give a damn. 😂 So any time the ball was in the hands or should I say legs (using hands is treason in football, unless it’s the Diego Maradona’s hand of God) of the black team he’d mimick the commentator and shout, ‘Mokachi!!’ the ball would be passed to the next teammate and he’d still shout Mokachi. We’d get a sudden adrenal rush and close our fingers in solidarity with our Oga brothers.
Maybe I should buy Zesta Jam and eat as I watch hoping the zest comes back. Since I’m not betting I’ll say may the best team win and kudos to Salima Mukansanga the first woman to referee a match at the men’s continental showpiece. Continue raising the femme flag higher.


Published by Nyar Kaheti

Born and raised on the picturesque slopes of Mt Kenya, Nyar Kaheti is your girl next door vibe kind of girl. She enjoys reading, writing, hiking, and listening to country music among other things.

5 thoughts on “Ballsy

  1. Raduuuuuumaaa Soo sweet aki wenye hawapendi football wasome hii kesho yake without guessing they will be supporting the lions of teranga means Senegal coz our country only knows rugby and atletics anyway hio imenijaz

  2. Raduuuuuumaaa Soo sweet aki wenye hawapendi football wasome hii kesho yake without guessing they will be supporting the lions of teranga means Senegal coz our country only knows rugby and atletics anyway hio imenijaz💯💯💥

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