The CLAWS Trust friendship visit to Oyugis

The CLAWS (Club of Leopards Active and Wise Supporters) Trust is an organization of fans that looks out for the interests of the club in general. The Trust carries out numerous CSR (Community Social Responsibility) activities from time to time. At the invitation of the community in Oyugis, the trust sponsored fans to travel to Oyugis for community work. I was among the first people to volunteer… I can’t resist the opportunity for a road trip to anywhere!

We left Nairobi on Thursday 23rd at night, traveling through the night and arriving in Kisii town at around four in the morning. The fans football team, known as Claws FC, proved they deserved the Mututho FC nickname at Havannah Club where we waited for sunrise to continue the journey to Oyugis

The fans who traveveld with the teachers of Mititi Primary School. You'd the the secondary school would be now called.. Matiti? I digress

Oyugis town is a few small buildings along the side of the road`; our host waited for us, briefing us on our schedule. We would arrive at the village, smile and wave at the people, head to the secondary school where we would have breakfast, then visit the primary school, then talk to the people on issues such as education and HIV/AIDS, then lunch (to which there were cheers!), then a football match with the local team, then supper (yaaay! A bull had been slaughtered!), then disco, then sleeping! All this happened, but not in the same exact order!

On Friday morning, as the sun shone over the rolling hills of the interior of Oyugis, we drove many kilometers far from Oyugis town to somewhere near Kodero Forest, or the few trees left of it. The school where we were to stay was called Mititi Secondary School (I’ll let make your own Mititi jokes). There was a car ahead of us with a loudspeaker informing all and sundry that the AFC Leopards team was here! They believed it was the actual team and people stood on the side of the road and waved at us like the superstars we are!

A Mututho FC player preparing for the game he he...

We visited the primary school, which is in need of a facelift. We are hoping that we as fans of AFC can help in some way. The kids who live around there were then shown those HIV/AIDS videos… those ones showing very detailed images of the human body going through the various stages of the disease. Those videos should discourage one from even the thought of having sex, let alone unprotected sex!

The Ingwelets posing for a photo with Mititi Primary School Teachers

The highlight of the day was the football match, of course! Mututho FC players came out decked in varying shades and styles of Rio Tinto. They wore shorts in all colours: red, green, white… let’s not even describe the socks and boots! The other team, Kodero FC, was fairly decent in a blue Samsung kit. Of course the shorts were also in varying colours! Our goalkeeper was none other than Apache Ed, in a stunning basketball outfit. He wasn’t looking Matasi-like but he saved a number of shots and without gloves had bruised his hands by the end of the match!

Kodero FC mostly consisted of high school players, who gave our team a run for their money! Our team had been hurriedly put together that morning, with players being told “Denno, we uta-lead the strike team.. Sadik we ndio number 3; goalie ni nani? Apache Ed.. sawa.. watu watafute Rio Tinto” So during the first half, the team was not really playing as a unit and Kodero FC looked to score first!

It did not help matters that the pitch was sloping towards our goalpost so we were at a disadvantage. There was an anthill just in front of the other goalpost, and what looked like a plateau in the middle of the rough field! The first half ended 0-0!

The Field where the match was played

We scored 6 goals in the second half, though two were disqualified for being offside! Most people there believed they were playing against the real AFC team, and when Kodero AFC slotted in their first goal, they could not believe it! Here’s the order of the goals:

First, some minutes into the second half, we scored! It’s hard to know who scored because some jerseys had strange names; others had real players’ names, others had neither numbers nor names! The crowd was standing inside the line and it was hard to see who scored!

The second goal came in through another Mututho FC striker. Yet another goal and we had to do the Poznan for the third time!

While we were 3-0, the effects of Mututho started being felt. The time was almost up, the sun was high up in the sky, players had various real and imagined injuries, and we were just waiting for the ref to blow the final whistle! That was when Kodero FC scored! We thought the match would end then but the ref was deaf to our pleas for the final whistle! Kodero FC scored and it was now 3-2!

Two fans, one of whom is Mantix, walked onto the field and pointing to their wrists, told the ref time was up! The ref waved them off the field! That would have been disqualification for sure.. the ref did not even have any cards to give to undisciplined players… he knew he was deliberately extending time to give the other team a chance to even the score.

One of their players defended with his hands in the box and we were awarded a penalty, and the match ended 4-2 when Dominic of Mututho FC slotted in the ball into the non-existent net!

We then went for late lunch/supper; those CLAWS members who came from Mumias left, and we were left to go to the disco. After a night of no sleep and a day of baking in the sun cheering/playing for Mututho FC, you couldn’t really blame us when later, even the DJ himself fell asleep to Gospel tunes! We crawled into our tents, snatched a few hours of sleep and on Saturday morning some left for shagz while the rest of us came to Nairobi for Christmas.

AFC Leopards Wins Peace Cup Against Gor by 6 Goals!

This past Saturday, the biggest football teams in Kenya were at it again. This time, it was for the inaugural Kibunja Peace Cup.

Fans at the stadium watching the game for any signs of entertainment

Fans of both teams turned up in decent numbers. The match began after some slight rainfall… the players seemed sluggish at first. Since our leopards have been training in Mumias you’d think they’d be fierce but no, lukewarm play was the nature of the game. I don’t know what the Gor players had been up to since the KPL ended but they weren’t bringing IT either. (IT here could refer to whatever IT is you are thinking)

Since fans were not getting much entertainment from the watching the game.... they took to the Isikuti. Fans from both teams joined the dancing band around the stadium. It was a really peaceful game.

The game ended 0-0 at fulltime!

This meant penalties. I hate penalties. I also love them. I hate that if a game ends in penalties it could go either way. I hate to love the tension that accompanies each shot a player has to take.

We started off the penalties. The first one got in easy. We celebrated a while then tensed for the Gor side’s shot. It went in. This continued until we were even at 5-5.

So we were to take the next shot.. the 6th. Our player hit the crossbar and the ball bounced off.. Oh no I thought we were done for sure. Gor fans were already celebrating when their player also kicked the ball wide! Ha ha… we could breathe again!

We were still at 5-5.

One of our players went next (you realize I am not naming them because I was too far away to see who was taking the shots). The ball went in smoothly!

A Gor player, Wekesa, was up next. Our goalkeeper Patriq Matasi saved the ball!!!!!!

Matasi is smiling and waving at a past match... Our team is in safe hands

That’s how we won by 6-5 on penalties. Matasi gave us our Christmas Present! We then danced all the way to town, causing a traffic build-up on Uhuru Highway! That win was ecstatic!

In addition to the cup and 2011 bragging rights, we also won 1million Kshs. Not much, but enough to give our team a decent Christmas Present!

I wish all my readers a Merry Christmas!

The Local Tech Scene So Far

It has been an interesting year, full of competitions for developers and opportunities for bloggers and other creatives in the tech industry in Kenya.

The Blogging Scene

BAKE... what's cooking?

The Kenyan bloggers formed an association called BAKE- Bloggers Association of Kenya. In addition to having monthly meetups (and perhaps drinks-ups), the association aims to create an avenue where bloggers can make some money from their blogs.

There was a WordCamp Event which was a WordPress conference. Considering most blogs run on WordPress, it can be considered a blogging event.

Technology blogs like Kachwanya.com and techweez.com among others got special invites to tech events and press conferences, showing a recognition and appreciation for the local tech bloggers.

I look forward to bloggers in other subject being recognized and treated as citizen media.

The Developer Scene

From Nokia’s mobile developer training, to the opening of mLab East Africa on Ngong road; from the Safaricom Academy at Strathmore University, to eMobilis and various app competition, I can say this year has all the markings that the local developer scene is in very exciting times.

Through competitions such IPO 48, Garage 48, Pivot 25, Google Android Challenge, Nokia Develop for Millions Challenge, Orange Social Venture Prize amongst numerous others many start-up companies were formed. Products were launched, and though the uptake might seems slow at first, these might be millionaires 5 years down the line! Rome was not built in a day. Wait, some are already millionaires… well, I’d watch out for the Kenyan developers if I were you. Maybe invest in some.

Twitter and Facebook, plus a Dead Google+

There was an increased rural-to-urban migration (facebook-twitter migration), which meant a lot of immature people joined twitter. This led to increased online exchange of nasty words, otherwise known as tweefs! They kept us entertained, sometimes we joined, sometimes we watched from the sideline.

Oh, Google+ joined the local social scene but…

The Rise of Blogs with ‘Interesting’ Content

Since MM is no longer satisfying its readers, I think some of them became the readers of blogs such as Nairobi Nights (I stopped reading it, couple of posts down the line it became so boring) and Wanjohidaily.blogspot.com

I think there is also a site called kenyalistings.com, a kind of forum like mashada.

Here’s to 2011!

Operation Smile: Did We Hit a StoneWall?

For the past one month, I have been running an online campaign that I dubbed #OperationSmile :) . Yes I know, since Kenya went off to war, that name Operation is now being misused.Operation Let Us Strike. I digress.

Anyway, I have been running an online campaign where I am trying to help a friend get a jaw. His jaw was removed when he had surgery to remove a lymphatic tumor. I don’t want to show you the pictures, it’s heartbreaking. You can see them on this post here.

The money he needs for surgery is Kshs. 150,000. So far I have managed to raise Kshs. 61,980. So in the past two weeks, he went to hospital (KNH), did X-rays, and was referred to a certain clinic where they sell plastic surgery stuff. The father went there with the X-ray measurements and was given a price quote of Kshs. 140,000. He tried to persuade them to take what they have but they said he will not get the artificial jaw until all the money has been deposited.

I felt defeated; at first. But now I am going to renew and redouble my efforts. With the doctors on strike over low pay, this is not the time to negotiate with them to accept a lower amount! In any case, KNH can do the surgery for a very little amount, it’s the artificial jaw that is costly and to these private suppliers, Maoga is just another patient. They see cases like that every day.

Maoga and I when I visited him about two weeks ago.

But Maoga is not just another patient, he’s my friend. I’d like to see him get his smile back. If you would like to help, please M-PESA to the number 0727832685. My strategy is simple.. if 500 people each MPESA Kshs. 200… do the math. Be among the 500 :-)

5 Words That Make Me Go Grrrr!

I have been online for a long time, watching the English language evolve into something near-incomprehensible for those new to the online world. There are words that people use that annoy me, especially if the person using them has no idea how annoying they sound! Here’s a list of the top 5, in no particular order:

1. Loose- instead of Lose

Every time I see someone using loose on my twitter/facebook timeline, it’s almost always in the wrong context! Man-U are loosers! Maybe you are the loser, learn how to spell first!

Lose-opposite of win (Man U fans are such losers)
Loose-not tight! (Man U fans are loose)

There is no such word as looser.

2. Hae- instead of hi

I understand the main point of the change in language had a lot to do with text messages. With only 160 characters, words were shortened so the message could fit. But why would someone use hae instead of hi? Beats me every time.

3. Okey

No, it’s not okey. It’s okay.

4. Chart- instead of Chat

So we are chatting online and you have to go… you tell me, “okey, chart later”

Most likely not!

5. Xaxa, Ayt, Op, Da- instead of Sasa, Alright, Hope, The

Oh this is by far the worst category of online users, mostly found on facebook! Every time I log in, chats (lest I say charts) will pop up with xaxa, hae etc. So when I say I can’t chat, they’ll say aiit, or ayt!

For example, look at the text I got this morning:

No its ayt.sowi bwt da texts.ope u gud 2.

I wanted to pull my hair out.

Which words can’t you stand?

Saving Mount Kenya!

Remember when we were running this campaign to Save the Mount Kenya Forest? Every tweet, every like, every share, became a tree donated! Every badge displayed translated to 20 trees!

Well, saving the forest finally became a reality! Africa Point together with other partners such as Nature Kenya, have donated 100,000 seedlings to be planted by farmers on the slopes of Mount Kenya at Hombe Forest.

Unlike the traditional way of planting trees and letting nature decide whether they will survive or not (you know, kinda like some parents do), the approach is different. They work with the local farmers, give them the seedlings to plant in their own farms, so that they will take care of the trees and ensure they grow up to maturity. This way everyone benefits. The farmers get free seedlings and the slopes of Mount Kenya remain ever green!

This past Saturday, some representatives from Africa Point, Nature Kenya, Rotaract Club (not sure which branch), bloggers and other partners turned up for a ceremonial tree planting session at Hombe, Mount Kenya. Sadly we never got to see the mountain as it was cloudy.

Trooping to the corner where we will plant trees. The place was beautiful

We were instructed on how to plant a tree (it’s not just a matter of digging a hole and burying the tree!), watering and caring for it. We then got a chance to each plant a tree. Luckily, it rains a lot there so there was no need to keep watering the trees.

This particular tree is nicknamed BAKE (for bloggers association of Kenya)!

Over 100,000 trees will be planted in the future if these seedlings are anything to go by! Looks like Saving Mount Kenya will be a reality!

The tree nursery

Calling on All Kenyan Gamers

Hark! All ye geeks who play those enchanted games are invited by Kalongo.com to attend The Safari Cup. All StarCraft fans are invited to the third edition of the Safari Cup which will take place on the 10th and 11th of December 2011.

I know there are very few Kenyan gamers out there (serious gamers, not you who is playing solitaire in a hot aireless government office instead of working). I recently met a WordPress developer who is among the team that runs Kalongo.com, the only site in Kenya dedicated to bringing online gamers together.

A screenshot of kalongo.com

To all the gamers interested in attending the Safari Cup, learn about the details here

StarCraft is a military science fiction real-time strategy video game developed by Blizzard Entertainment. The first game of the StarCraft series was released for Microsoft Windows on 31 March 1998. With more than 11 million copies sold worldwide as of February 2009, it is one of the best-selling games for the personal computer. – Wikipedia

Kind of reminds you of The Big Bang Theory?

So if you’re tired of playing FIFA 11, why not try something new?

AFC Leopards Awards Night!

AFC Leopards held the first ever Ingwe Awards Night on Friday 2nd December at Egloos Lounge along Mombasa Road. The event was to award the players, technical bench and fans who had supported the team and brought it this far. We finished in the 5th position in the Kenya Premier League and had a second leg of unbeaten matches.

The banner announcing Ingwe Night just outside the entrance to Egloos (that name!) Lounge.

The event was glitzy. The ladies turned out in all manner of wear, from glamorous gowns to Rio Tinto(official jersey) and jeans. The men were in suits (probably straight from the work place) and some in Rio Tinto as well. The players were not to be outdone, led by one Jonas Paco who was the defender of the year!

Jonas Nahimana Paco.. I would say he was the best dressed gentleman of the evening but then I'm biased

Papa Shirandula (whose real name is Charles Bukeko) and an Ingwelet (female AFC fan) Monica were the MCs of the evening. The stage was set, the lights were ready and the live band blasted out tunes that set the festive mood of the evening. Among the invited guests were legends Joe Kadenge (who remembers the commentators of yester-years going like Kadenge na mpira..Kadenge na mpira..gooaaallll!), Harambee Stars and AFC legendary goalkeeper Mahmoud Abbas and Dr. Dan Shikanda (who also played for the national team and Gor at one time! He assured me his heart is now fully Ingwe’s!). The KFK/KFF? chairman Nyamweya was also in the house. Representing Mumias Sugar the official sponsor of AFC was one Pamela Lutta. And many more invited guests, legends, sponsors…et cetera, et cetera!

Monica the emcee (in red) announcing coach of the season, Jan Koops (in green)

Here’s the list of awards, in no particular order (courtsey of the AFC Leopards Official Site)

Nairobi Mayor His Worship George Aladwa presented Life Time achievement award to Kenya’s finest legend Joe Kadenge as he edged fellow nominees Josphat Murila and JJ Masiga. Pamela Lutta, Director of Marketing and Corporate Affairs at Mumias Sugar was on point to present the player of the year award to Bernard Mangoli who walked home with a cool Kshs 30,000 just like Kadenge. To present the tactician of the year award was FKF chairman Sam Nyamweya who rewarded Jan Koops with the Kshs 20,000 prize money plus trophy and medal. Other winners of the night were Nicholas Muyoti for most disciplined player, Mike Barasa for top striker, Charles Okwemba for best midfielder,Nahimana Jonas for best defender, Patrick Matasi for best goalkeeper, Josphat Odanga for chairman’s exemplary award, Vincent Were for male fan of the year and Halima Hanii for female fan of the year.

The attendees of the event.. the ladies posing with let's see who I know. Halima Hanii is the one with the crutch, she won female fan of the year! And Laurent Tumab is the gentleman in a suit.

I had to leave the event early (11pm is early when others left at 4.30am!) but I know the awards were a big success! I remember when Joe Kadenge, whose son (Oscar Kadenge) also plays for AFC, was given a moment to speak. He told us of a time when the Harambee Stars squad consisted of 9 players from AFC. Only the goalkeeper and striker were from other teams. Sadly, the current Harambee Stars squad doesn’t have a single player from AFC. I am not saying that is the reason Harambee Stars got kicked out of the CECAFA cup being played in Tanzania right now, but Kimanzi should surely consider a new squad!

My camera ran out of juice early in the night so I don’t have many pictures. However, if you can find more photos of the event on the AFC Leopards Facebook Branch group. You need to be a member to comment but you can view them even when not a member.

I look forward to the next Ingwe event! The music from Friday night is still playing in my head. (♫ Muliro wanje.. muliro wanje ♫ iiiiii iiiiiii iii iii i.. ♫ uuuuuuuu uuuuuu uuuuuu uuu u ♫)