Imagine getting into a relationship with the guy of your dreams. He makes you smile, you heart pounds a lot faster and you are getting along great! He is humble, caring, considerate, and the chemistry is out of this world. The league season kicks off and you see it for the first time… he is donning a Manchester United or an Arsenal jersey before bedtime. “Oh my, I didn’t know he was into that sort of thing,” you think to yourself.
Things start to change. During the weekends, all he does is talk about players, coaches, goals and some mumbo jumbo called “Giniwasekao”. During matches, you see him kicking chairsand an astonishing tirade of expletives follows closely afterwards. It suddenly sinks in. The relationship has assumed nightmare qualities. I am officially dating a lunatic. But, are you really?
On Sunday 3rd November 2013, GorMahia were presented with their championship trophy after an 18-year wait. Speaking to some of the fans ahead of the match, I met an interesting fellow, NathanOtieno. Together with his five colleagues, they camped outside the stadium in the previous coldnight to usher in a new successful dawn for their beloved club. I asked him whether his ‘significant other’ had any idea where he was. “She’s at home with the kids and she wished me good luck”, he replies bluntly. “I’m a lucky guy because my partner in crime understands my eternal love for football,” adds Otieno. As he strolls down the stadium tunnel to binge on his favorite pastime, I cannot help but see a man who would buy a virus just because it has a badge of his favorite team.
At the end of the game, I bump into Caroline and Paul holding hands as they celebrate their team’s triumph just like the doctor ordered. A fierce clarity that doesn’t need any amplification. They are happy together, well, so it seemed. “At first I found it weird (fanaticism) but as I learnt to deal with it, I found myself as a fan” says Caroline, who produces an infectious smile with the same skill as she produces her reasons. “I didn’t want to cook up a storm by telling him to stop all this drama, I just adjusted and as time went on, I completely grew into it,” confesses Caroline as Paul shows a rare glimpse of sentiment by clutching tightly onto Caroline’s hand.As they slowly mingle and disappear into the cheering crowd, it is suddenly evident that the first brick of their love structure was laid by embracing understanding
It looks like men have been travelling on the same circuit as women all along, what football is to men is what soap operas is to (some) women. A form of escapism and a common denominator that makes everything seem a lot bearable, when the troubles of the world hurts like hell, it is such things that makes us feel like…well, HEAVEN.