By Nyakwar Dani
On March 8 2020, we gathered at Moi International Sports Center- Kasarani for the Mashemeji Derby between Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards. The match was not only important because it helped us to cement our position at the helm of the league table, thanks to Boniface Omondi`s first-half strike that gave us 1-0 win over the old enemy, but it was also historical.
This was the first time President Uhuru Kenyatta was attending this highly-anticipated fixture in our football calendar – and indeed any local football match. Images of the Head of State smiling in the VVIP section alongside other leaders like ODM leader and Gor Mahia Patron, Raila Odinga, as well as ANC Leader Musalia Mudavadi, reminded the country of the late President- Daniel Arap Moi – who frequented our stadia to support local clubs as well as the national team.
What most of us K`Ogalo followers didn`t know was that, that Sunday would be the last time we would be watching our beloved team in action for a long time. Following the ban on all social gatherings as part of the containment measures against the spread of Covid-19, the league body and the federation put on hold all football-related activities in the country. It is now over three months and we still do not know when we will get back to seeing ‘Chuor Timbe’- I mean the husband of teams doing what it does best.
This of course affected most of us in unprecedented ways. Having been used to following the club we all love every week, either live in the stadia or on TV, adjusting to life without football has not been easy. We have had to make do with reading memories, watching old videos and chatting on social media platforms to give us a semblance of what we have been accustomed to- life in Green.
Gor Mahia social media platforms- both officially run by the club and those run by fans, have kept us going with fresh memories of past matches, discussions on great Gor Mahia players of the past, trivia on current and former players among other interactive sessions about the team we all love.
Whether it is reading about the weekly “Know your player in five questions” on @officialGMFC, “did you know” on K`Ogalo Pundit, the short videos on what players are doing to keep fit, the weekly focus on former players by Tony Anelka on Facebook or going to YouTube to watch highlights and games of the past such as that dramatic Top 8 final against Sony Sugar in 2015; I have found something to keep my mind on #Sirkal even as I try my level best to stay at home.
As we wait for the pandemic to be managed so that we get back to enjoying the game, let`s continue to take advantage of technology and ‘cope green.’
Remember to stay safe because “Game inakuneed” after this pandemic period.