Saturday, 12 November 2016


I am minding my own business, inside a matatu heading to Nakuru. In fact I am nodding my head gently in rhythmic unison with a beautiful song playing from the vehicles music system.

Suddenly I am accosted by a stranger sitting next to me. He looks at me with exaggerated levels of interest then asks:

"Did you watch Manu and Man city last evening?"

It takes me a few seconds to understand that Manu is not the shorter version of the name Emmanuel

I don't watch football."I reply, to the utter shock and disbelief from the stranger.

In fact, the stranger gave me that look of horror,as if my head had just turned into the head of a reptile of the poisonous variety. I had to scratch my head,to ensure that I still had hair hence I had not turned into a reptile.

But the guy recovered and prompted me further.

"You look like a Man city fan. Is it because we defeated you yesterday and so you are trying to run away from your team?"

The guy was so talkative. You see, I have always held some ridiculously sick hypothesis, that people with big mouths tend to talk a lot (just like me) , but now my hypothesis was on the verge of collapse, because here was a man with a small mouth, but extremely talkative.

I chose to ignore the man, but his question had sent me into a reflective mood. Why is it that every man I meet seems to think that it is a sin not to watch football? Any anti-football comments are treated as blasphemous words.

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Nowadays, for you to be considered a total man, you have to know a thing or two about football, especially the names and massive details about players. Details about their girlfriends, wives and what they own. At least I know that Messi owns a house that looks like a football stadium. Not so?

It does not help matters that some daughters of Zion (Girls) have also developed an intense interest in football (probably to keep an eye on their men), so now I can neither claim to be a total man, nor a total woman.

What the stranger does not understand is that I have more pressing issues in my mind. They might be useful or useless issues but at least I know that by my standards they are important. For example I cannot understand why our matatu has just overtaken a small vehicle which is cruising at terrific speed when it is supposed to have a speed governor. I also seem to think that there is something funny about the gradient of the slope of mount Longonot, but I don't know what it is and I don't care.

Yes, I am also imagining that if Mount Longonot was moved to lake Naivasha, we can get lots of space for other things. Sounds stupid right?

It is not that I don't love sports. I watch athletics you know? I can tell you who won the last London marathon. I can also tell you the distance Julius Yego, threw the javelin. But there is a devil which blocks my mind whenever I think football. At least with athletics, you can watch it with a certain level of detachment. You don't have to invest your to invest your emotions into it. At least you will not hear of me stabbing someone on the belly, just because David Rudisha did not win. Neither will I jump off a tall building because Ezekiel Kemboi did not win gold.

Another thing, athletics unlike football, does not take up too much of my mental resources. I don't have to memorize anyone's name. I already have too many pin numbers to memorize. You see, I have at some point tried to be a 'Gorrmahia fan' but unfortunately, I am yet to memorize the names of the players. I only know of a 'Jaro Soja,' -the man with a strange bicycle- but I don't know whether he is the coach or one of the players, Ouch! me and my ignorance!

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