Visa na mikasa……………….ata n’kwambiye 1!
In The beginning:
This story goes back to the days of Mombasa Polytechnic. As I was
watching the NFL -American football- I saw some of those mascots running
from one direction to the other, either entertaining the audience or
basically putting some spells to the effect that the supporters of the
other team will end up supporting theirs. You may be wondering how come
it never worked. Well, maybe they go to the same mganga or the
prescription to make the uganga effective was the same; hence we never
saw the effect of the uganga. Most of the time- so I was told- the
prescription runs to the effect of possessing a red chicken that needs
to be sacrificed and then its blood is to be massaged on every players'
shoes. In case the team needs the win so badly, then they may need to go
to the next level, and that is rub down the chicken’s blood on some '
clean player'. The ‘clean player’ may then be advised to sleep in the
same kibanda with the goat of the man with the yellow beard, (here in
North America, it could be with the cows rather than the goats). Mind
you a "clean player' would mean someone who is well behaved, cultured
and does not go around throwing his seeds on every land he comes across.
I am sure you get my grip. Now back to Mombasa.
The Mombasa Polytechnic had, traditionally, had an annual soccer
competition among the different departments. Our department was known as
The Department of Mathematics and Applied Sciences. It had the youngest
students, (We came to loose this privilege to the Business Department
when many students from the island who finished O or A level started to
take courses in Accounting and DBA [Diploma in Business Administration],
among other things. Anyway that is beside the point. In the year that
we were in form six, we were told that the tournament had started and we
had to form a team to play the second best team in the Polytechnic, and
that would be; The Department of Mechanics. The only hope that our
department had, was totally put on the shoulders of the A-level players,
as the students from other Diploma courses were either old or did not
know how to kick the ball. They did promise one thing though; that they
would give us their full support. They promised that they would scream,
shout, shriek, screech, howl, bowl and yell as loud as their lungs and
throats could allow. As, to whose benefit, that was never mentioned. I
was worried about this as some of them were chain smokers and I was
wondering how would they do it. Nevertheless, we formed a team. The team
was formed while we were having our afternoon tea in the cafeteria, few
minutes before the game was to start. Among the players, from the coast
were me, Fayadh, Ali Albaity, Suleiman Lenzo and Abdulbasit Hadi. Don't
be fooled into thinking that “Wow!, this must have been the best team
ever in the history of the department”, because that was exactly what
many thought as we were entering the field. The truth of the matter was,
apart from Fayadh, and I who had been practicing with Ngome and Dudu
Baya Football Clubs respectfully, the others hardly had time to kick the
ball around. We never despaired, we believed that, the so-called
players physical presence, and the fact that people feared to confront
Albaity verbally, not to mention the fearful look of some of the players
in our team, was enough to be to our advantage. Ooh Lord! How wrong
were we proved? We did not know what was coming.
When the game started we realized that we did not have a goalkeeper. We
therefore pulled one student from the audience (from our department of
course) and told him to keep the goal. He must have misunderstood the
meaning of keeping the goal, for he did not stop even one kick. He must
have thought, and this I was convinced, keeping the goal was to make
sure that the ball hits the net. This made Lenzo very angry. He
therefore decided without warning anybody that he will be the goalkeeper.
He chased the designated buffoon and therefore decided to stay as the
" Toka nyangau wewe" he said,
" Si afadhali basi uletewe chai na keki ukae vizuri hapa.' he continued.
When the opposing team decided to kick the ball towards the goal, they
were surprised, for once, to face some resistance from the likes of
Lenzo. Unfortunately for us but fortunately for the opposing team, Lenzo
forgot to remove his jersey, hence his holding the ball with his hand
led to penalty, which we lost. Mind you at this time Fayadh and I were
totally exhausted, for we had been running up and down. I turned to the
right to see Albaity, and asked, ' Vipi?!'
' Mimi nnae huyu ng'ombe, hanibanduki hata kwa nini. Mimi na yeye mpaka
mwisho.' replied Albaity, whose name had been baptized in class to read
" I'LL BUY TEA" while mine became " NEW WAY SIR"
Nevertheless we were able to hold on until half time whereby we were
seven zero down.
At this time I seriously thought that our team was possessed. For
everyone who had a second language excluding English, started either
discussing or bashing on the ones who could not understand what they
were saying. Or it seems so.
' Yakhe Ali nvipi wewe?' asked Fayadh,
" Jamaa akuvuka kama mtoto. Huweki hata kizingiti kidogo." continued
Fayadh with concern.
I decided to add in Arabic, " Ali galeel zur nifsak yakhe, baadak nte
khalaas, jamaa isijulun."
'Aaa tafadhalini bwana. Nyinyi wenyewe liangalieni lile jabali, halafu
nambieni lazuilika? Jamaa yuwaja kama faru, shekhe silipwi hata niweke
mwili wangu mbele yake uvunjwe."
Prrr, the whistle was heard. We had to make some alterations. Some of
our players had voluntarily decided to hang their boots, before the end
of the game. Albaity was one of them. I don't blame him anyway. He was
totally roasted. We decided to play with less than eleven players
despite the fact that we were seven down. To make a long story short, by
the end of the game we lost thirteen to one.
The referee, who happened to be the organizer of the tournament, had the
nerve to shake hands with us and announce so that everyone could hear,
that next week we were playing the defending champions, The Building
After we showered and were having our dinner at the school cafeteria, we
decided to analyze the whole game as to what really went wrong. We came
to the conclusion, rather Albaity came to this conclusion, and we
unanimously agreed, that we were not given enough time to organize
ourselves, and know each other as to who could play which position.
" Ijumaa ijayo, watatutambuwa. Uchungu wote tulopewa leo tutautowa siku
hiyo." declared Albaity,
" Nitawaonesha,' he continued, 'Namna kandanda inavyo sakatwa stayli ya
kina Kibadeni na Haidari Muchacho"
…….TO BE CONTINUED.