Hooliganism in football is a profitable enterprise. Those who have tasted it’s sweetness are wise enough to keep the anarchy flag flying high. The Kenyan version is the easiest to pull off. All it takes is just two puffs of weed, and the Lord’s prayer. Your eyes go bloodshot, the match-steward manning City Stadium looks at smoke oozing out of your ears and he remembers he left two kids in Mathare with no food to come see whether he can nick the gate collections and run to the posho mill. He wants no trouble. He lets you, and your foul-mouth gang, in.
Once inside the City Stadium the world is at your feet. That bottle of Kenya Cane you adulterated with rabbit urine will help set you off. #Wasemoke, your gang will declare. Any beautiful girl looking for a space to sit on the terraces will have their physical appearance inspected by your gang. “This one was created on a Saturday, when God was about to rest”, explaining why few amounts of clay went into moulding her mammary glands. The match starts, and woe betide KPL if the assistant referee manning the touchline close to Tok Komwanda is Damaris Kimani, or a female official. If you have sat among hooligans in the terraces, you will be convinced that Fuhrer Adolf Hitler is a Saint. Words can kill, the hooligan’s tongue is his strongest part of of the body.
Three intermittent sips of that stiff adulterated drink makes a hooligan develop wings. The bottle is empty, he throws it in the field of play protesting a referee’s decision. This is a trap. He is inviting the referee to come closer to the shouting arena. Missiles are launched to his direction. He stops the match and runs for cover. The hooligan jumps down in hot pursuit, the police overzealously joins in with their teargas canisters. It’s a stampede, a hooligan’s dream scene.
Teardrop banners are gone. Advertising boards are gone. Cars in the stadium parking lot have lost rear-view mirrors, laser lights and windscreens. Part of the gate collection has disappeared. You run to Industrial Area to get your rear view mirror repaired. You are sold the same one that was nicked off your car moments ago. You blame the system. You swear not to go to the stadium again. But you remember Musa Otieno screaming in the EABL advert. You remember your team needs you. Twende Game. Twende Tuibiwe. Because Game Inakuneed.
Football fanatism is a cult. Pick your favorite football club and replace it with Rev. Jim Jones. We all belong to the Peoples Temple. You are either in or out, no in-betweens. Football matches are like war, you test the depth of the water with both feet. This is no arena for cowards, cowards stay home, we call them the sofa set branch. They have no moral authority to open their mouths giving biased opinion based on edited content they watched on television. Lions do not always bother with the opinion of sheep.
Hooliganism cannot be eradicated in the boardrooms. Not on social media. You are either in the stadium, or not. You are either in here sorting out the thugs real-time or in your house sending screaming tweets or Facebook posts. Nothing like supporting your team on social media. The KPL is not played on social media, hooligans don’t smash photo shopped windscreens shared online. The day you will stand up in the stadium and chase away those hooligans, is the day we will take you seriously. You, also, cannot sort out hooliganism by protecting your fellow gang members. If you chickened out of punching a hooligan and ran to Facebook to denounce the act, you are also a hooligan in sheep’s clothing. So spare us the lectures.
Let hooligans sort out this mess. The best way they know how. Dawa ya hooligan ni hooligan mwenzake. The police can’t, the football clubs won’t.
You are either with us, or with the cowards. How are we supposed to be safe in the stadium when Uhuru Kenyatta cannot even make reference to the 5 ultramodern football stadiums he promised us before 2017? How are we expected to keep business as usual when the CCTV cameras the Chinese built for us can’t even tell us which police officers are accepting bribes along our highways? And you expect hooligans to hand themselves over to the police? The scum of the earth, the filthiest of sewer rats? You, Kenyans, are an ambitious lot.
Hooliganism should be the least of everyone’s worries right now. Hooliganism doesn’t even rank among the top 5 killer diseases in Kenya today. You are ten times more likely to die of Malaria than a stray stone from a hooligan’s sling. Hundred times more likely to meet a wife-batterer than a hooligan today. And if hooliganism bothers you this much, stop tweeting about it. Go out there, sign the Okoa Kenya booklets and make sure hooliganism is among the referendum questions. Can we agree to do something about this one last time?
Great article. I enjoyed reading every bit of it.
Wonderful read. Thanks for sharing.