Tuesday, June 12, 2007


So the Safari Sevens Rugby Tournament was here again.It’s infectious nature caught many Nairobians and it comes as no surprise that fan attendance topped 15,000 on both days.There was frenzied activity especially at the Safari Village and in the stands where “fans” belted feel good tunes meant to spur on the Kenyan teams in action.

For the true lovers of the game,numbering about 10% of the crowd,this was an opportunity to see the likes of Victor Sudi and Innocent Simiyu in action for Kenya.It was also a chance to view teams from South Africa,England,Zimbabwe and Japan display their immense skills.That is what was on display for the true lovers of the game.You could find them almost huddled together in one corner.True Kenyan rugby legends like “Mad” Max Muniafu,Michael “Tank” Otieno ,veterans Dave Orenda,Mark “Daddy” Andere as well as soon to be veterans Mitch ” Mojo jojo” Ocholla,Maik “Shooz” ,and Bob “Headman” Asiyo calmly sipped their beverages as they discussed the technical aspects of the game.Charlie Nyende,a hard tackling international fullback in his day was the man covering the event for the Nation Media Group.This was just a small fraction of the 10%.

For the rest,about 90% of the crowd,it was yet another Kenyan excuse to drink,make merry and bond over something much stronger than a cup of tea.They talked about business,life,relationships,the latest technological gadgets as they furiously consumed their lethal beverages.I spotted my good “jirani” who has previously confessed to knowing “zero” about the game.The fellow seemed to be on cloud nine,literally,so I just poked fun at him.The guy who sells “njugus” was at it.”Haiya! Mchezo wa meno!” That was his catch phrase and truthfully speaking,many people paid for and played “mchezo wa meno.”This is the best game to play because there is no winner.The Harambee Stars fan was also here.That guy must be high on something,maybe adrenalin,who knows? The way he was dancing energetically yet there was no music booming from any speaker leads me to this conclusion.

It was also a sight for the eyes.Having taken a vantage position behind the goal posts,the view from here was simply breathtaking.I cannot claim to be a fashion consultant but there were quite a number of no! no’s! from our sisters.The only comment I shall make is that it is good to dress up…but dress up appropriately.Dress the part…for the occasion.I rest my case.The sisters who got a standing ovation from yours truly actually deserved it.They looked so fine…so divine and lifted up my spirits especially after Kenya’s tame loss to Zimbabwe in the semi final of the main cup.(Sudi…you should have scored that try).The rest of the comments on this section were left for the great rugby fan Tom Arigi who occasionally led the crowd in singing “Compare your hair with my hair” whenever someone with a more than average hairdo was spotted walking past the “celebrity corner”.He also belted out a rendition of a famous rock song,singing “Every body needs a bossom for a pillow…every body needs a bossom!”

Kihara,another great rugby fan spotted Derrick,the Kenyan representative on Survivor and “chongoad” him with one cheezy “mchongoano”. “Msee wa Surivivor! Nacheki bado tu unasurvive!” Don’t know about you,but it made me laugh.

Talking about about the celebrity corner,which happened to be the stand behind the goal posts,Arigi justified it’s christening with a very solid reason.”This is the stand where every body who has paid must pass through.” He was right,it was immediately after the ticketing booths and you had to walk through it en route to other stands or the Safari Village.
Life at the Safari Village was equally great.The food and beverages were outstanding but it wasn’t the best place to retreat to,the place was super muddy.Maybe the organizers should consider devising ways of beating the mud in future events or incorporate it in future Safari Sevens by hosting the Kenya Mudwrestling Championships,which will work out because there is a venue,willing participants and a more than enthusiastic audience.Anyway,it was so muddy that the Rhino Charge and a leg of the Kenya National Rally Championships could easily have been hosted here.That aside,there was music from Wyre,Nameless and a really great rock band.Taking on Emilio and Jua Cali’s words,”nilijienjoy kiasi” as it was a Sunday and Monday was not too far away.

All in all,the Sevens was here.Many of us had fun and watched our stars play.For the 90%,see you next year when you come on Safari at theSevens.For the 10%,the Kenyan rugby league resumes this weekend,attendances will be back to the usual 300 or so people.I just wish all rugby weekends would be like the Safari at the Sevens.

P/S Kenya play Morocco on Saturday 23rd June 2007 from 4.30pm in an African Rugby Confederation match at the RFUEA Grounds on Ngong’ Road.Please come for another Safari…please….

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