Tag Archives: Gor Mahia

GOR ARE THROUGH TO CAFCC GROUP STAGES, NO THANKS TO THEIR MANAGEMENT

Hearty congratulations to Gor Mahia for making it into the group stages of the CAF Confederation Cup. Awesome work guys and I am super proud of you!.

I wish this post would just end there, and I would bid you, dear reader, a wonderful evening. But, there is a poignant downside in this story, and it is a problem that needs to be addressed soon because now it is getting embarassing.

Right now, we should be focusing solely on how amazing this victory is for not only the club, but for our country. Better yet, we should be praising the K’ogalo boys for that rapid comeback  within a minute of their own goal, which demonstrates the character of the team. We should also be applauding them for going through this stage and managing to hold on to their advantage despite not having their best two players on the field. There are so many other beautiful aspects of their game last night that I would like this post to focus on.

Unfortunately, my attention is drawn to the fact that these boys almost did not make it for the second leg of the CAFCC draw in South Africa. In fact, if Mike Sonko had not stepped in and purchased those 30 air tickets for the team in just the nick of time, Gor Mahia would have had to forfeit the game, and we would have been the laughing stock of the entire region.

The Sports Ministry did not release the tickets in advance (because Gor presented a delegation of 40 individuals, I’m assuming), which meant Gor Mahia had to fend for themselves. This begs the question: doesn’t Gor Mahia have its own finances that could at least cater to their traveling expenses if the government is unable to do so? Like a small kitty for a rainy day that is enough to transport the core team (not 30-40 individuals) to a nearby country for a regional tournament? What does the management do with the club’s revenues after deducting salaries and remuneration? K’ogalo claims to be the most popular football club in East Africa so I expect it is attracting a lot of money from fans and the government. Where is this money going if Gor Mahia is being reduced to beggars hoping that a good samaritan will come along and pay their way?

The management knew that they would have to go to SA for a return leg back in March so why didn’t they start sourcing for funds then?

And what about the mixup over the visas for the players and officials? There was a serious delay in processing their visas owing to the club officials blatant disregard for the visa application rules of the SA embassy. They knew it took five days to process visas to South Africa, but the K’ogalo officials applied for them with only four days to go. The officials are blaming each other for the mixups and delays, which is just embarassing. Jeeeeeez!!

As if that wasn’t enough clusterfuckery from the club management, Tuyisenge and Guikan could not get the visas to SA because they did not have the appropriate Kenyan work permits. Problem after problem with no end in sight.

Or so it seems. You see, despite all of these problems, Gor Mahia won the draw, and with that comes a Ksh 27 million payout for reaching the group stages. That, for me, qualifies as an end in sight even if they do not progress in the competition. Let us hope that its management learns from this entire debacle, and saves some of that money to cater for their traveling expenses for the coming international games in the competition.

Let us also hope that they process the visas in time so that we do not go through this mess again.

Finally, this insistence on including unnecessary individuals in the travel delegation should end here! Even Sonko was conned when he had to pay for THIRTY individuals to go abroad for a football match. Keep the delegation small and people (including the govenment) will be more than willing to foot the expense, NKT!

Anyway, good job Kahata, good job. Your country thanks you (for coming through for us).

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WE NEED A KADENGE MOVIE LIKE YESTERDAY!!

Maragoli United. Abaluya United. Two legendary football clubs that were part and parcel of the exciting, politically tumultuous, football scene in a recently-independent Kenya. Honestly, I had never heard of Maragoli United until a few days ago, but back then, it and Abaluya United, among others were the ish! They were among the first official Kenyan football clubs and from these two clubs, a hero, no, a legend, emerged!

It was the 60s’ and football was the most popular sport in the country (definitely still is). Nairobi was the epicenter of the football scene with many of the football teams that were part of the first Kenyan championship based in the city. The football clubs in Nairobi back then were extremely tribal, and in most instances, all the players in a club would be from the same ethnic community (go here if you want more information on how ethnicity played a part in early Kenyan football)

 

Back then, Kenya was just an infant nation trying to find its place in this new big world and trying even desperately harder (and failing miserably) to unshackle itself from the reins of colonialism. Back then, our economy was thriving, with an average GDP of 6.6% p.a., and we had the opportunity to become one of the wealthiest nations in the continent.

One name stood out during this era, a name that has become engraved in our history books. A name that is still heard today when we talk about true Kenyan legends. A name that had Kenyans speaking in one tongue every time he kicked the ball, scored a goal or dribbled past a defender.

This is a man who almost single-handedly catapulted our nation to football dominance in the region from the very first international game he played.We associate this name with the beauty that can be Kenyan football, or Kenyan anything if we could just put our mind to it and love our nation.

Who am I rambling on about you ask? Joe Kadenge, baby!! Yes, he of the ‘kadengenampiraaaaaaaa….kadengenampiraaaaaaa’ fame. The man who was instrumental in the early successes and exploits of AFC Leopards (formerly Abaluya United) back then making it into one of the most successful Kenyan football clubs of all time. In addition, he was our powerhouse when it came to our participation in regional competitions such as the Gossage Cup and the East and Central African Senior Challenge Cup, which were the precursors to the CECAFA Cup.

He burst into the limelight when he scored the fastest goal in Kenya Premier League history while at Maragoli United. He has gone on to win numerous other accolades throughout his career and even after retiring from the beautiful game.

Did you know that the 1958 Gossage Cup was unofficially referred to as the ‘Kadenge Tournament’ owing to the massive popularity, skills, drive, and passion of the Kenyan right winger? Well, I thought you should know!! In the final match of the cup, his goal, and later his assist helped us win the 1958 Gossage Cup. Wow!!

This was just the beginning of a lustrous football career for Kadenge, as a player, and as the coach of our national team.

I am even getting goosebumps just writing about this man!! Now, can you imagine watching him play? Watching him move? Seeing his story, his battle, his wins, his tenacity, and the moments that made him, him? If eyewitness accounts and oral narratives are anything to go by, this man was pure magic on and off the field, and I wanna see it, I wanna live it!

He epitomizes everything we should strive to be, on and off the field. Kadenge is passionate, Kadenge is a patriot, he cared for something, and he helped it grow. Where would our football be, if the likes of Kadenge and other football greats did not exist? Where? We probably would not be a footballing nation at all.

We owe it to him, to all football legends of our nation, and to ourselves and to our children, to immortalize the contributions they made to our football. Sure, there is an autobiography here and there, but that is not enough! At least, I feel that that is not enough!

We need a movie, people! A movie based on his perspective of Kenya then, of football, of how tribalism affected the game then and now, the challenges he went through as a person, a player and as a coach, and how he feels the game has grown. Let’s be honest, many of us have never seen him play. But, what an honor, what a privilege it would be to travel back in time and see him score his first goal, or be in the stands as he takes away our breath with his out of this world dribbling skills, or watch him take Abaluya United from glory to glory. As fans, we need to feel connected to this icon and this part of our history, and I am convinced that a movie would do the trick.

He is a walking, breathing encyclopedia of not only our football history, but our national history as a whole, and we need to get his story now, first hand,  for our sake and for the sake of future generations.

Imagine inspiring a new, refreshed, enterprising, footballing generation where more Kadenges’ emerge. What a country that would be! I feel that is what we can get if we make a movie about the life of this footballing legend.

The idea is already out there, as depicted by the concept note developed by Black Arrow FC. I did not even know these guys existed until I stumbled on their page this week, but they are doing a really good job of wanting to tell Kadenge’s story. All these fellows need is partners to support the completion of the film. If you are out there and you feel compelled to help then please visit this page.

That being said, we are now at a conundrum! If a movie does happen, who is going to play Kadenge? Who do you have in mind?

Leave your comments below on who you feel should play Joe Kadenge if a movie was to be made about him. You can also tweet me with your ideal actor for the role on @gina_maha.

Let’s get cracking people, we have a movie to make!!

OF BAD BOYS AND EYEBROW RAISING TRANSFERS

Did you catch the Supercup derby last Sunday? Well, I did (on TV of course) and it was a hoot! It was right after church (where, btw, I am a Sunday School teacher), I had eaten, taken a nap, and I was more than ready for it. Down here, we call it the Mashemeji Derby, and every time these two teams meet, there’s bound to be fireworks for fans and players alike!

Can you believe these two teams have met 97 times, including last week’s match? Amazing!!

I was kind of jealous of the people who had made it to Afraha Stadium to watch the game. It felt like the teams and their fans were part of something familial and I was just an outsider looking in. This is perhaps one of the greatest and longest football feuds in our nation, and it sucks not feeling connected to the history of these two amazing teams!! 😦

Anyway, enough of the melodrama! Let me get right into it. It was a spectacular game with Gor looking stronger from the onset, in my point of view, and it was kind of disappointing that there weren’t as many goals as you would want in such an exciting clash! What did catch my attention, though, was the roughness of the game. This game was so intense and the referee had to make some tough calls throughout the game, including giving one ‘Gattuso’, a yellow card in like the first 15 minutes of the encounter.

I was struck by how aggressive he could be, but hey, he’s a midfielder, it’s bound to happen. What caught me off-guard is what the commentators said once he was shown the yellow. Their comments went along the lines of, ‘oh, this is normal, he’ll probably end up with a red, most probably won’t last the entire game’…(they were speaking in Swahili by the way just in case you were wondering). Shots fired!!

Gattuso is a skilled midfielder, with a stellar football career that has spanned more than five years. Having played for Gor Mahia, Sofapaka, and Tusker FC in the past, he has gained a reputation for being combative (in and out of the field) and an individual who is not squeamish about putting his body on the line in order to get the much-needed results for his team. He gets the job done……when, and if, he decides to show up.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a bad boy as much as the next girl, and his antiques over the years, especially while he was in Gor, were definitely newsworthy. From arriving late for training, missing training sessions, going missing completely from training camps, to numerous fines, and fights, and social media rants, this midfielder has earned a place on the list of  Kenyan football bad-asses!!

Which is why I was sort of surprised to hear about his recent transfer to ‘The Den’, Gor Mahia’s main rival. I mean, doesn’t AFC Leopards have enough problems to deal with at the moment without having to add a temperamental, headstrong bad boy with a penchant for flouting team rules on to its worry list? And, doesn’t the coach know that bad boys equal heartbreaks? Take it from me, I am a girl, I know these things!

The Leopards could possibly be on the brink of financial collapse and the last thing the team needs is indiscipline or even a hint of it amongst its ranks. Otherwise, their entire 2018 campaign is in jeopardy.

But, who knows, Gattuso could be exactly what they need right now in these dark financial times. Drama, passion, action, and heat follow this man wherever he goes and he could be a critical ingredient to one of their most fierce cup challenges yet. This could be the home he has been looking for, and with proper management, Ingwe could be looking at their next midfield talisman. Only time will tell!!

Good luck to both team and player!