The contest pitting traditional rivals Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards was attended by what is being described as the largest crowd seen in a local league match in decades. Attendance at local league matches has been plumetting over the past decade or so as more and more fans identify themselves with the English premier league.
This past Wedensday however was a welcome departure from that trend. The Main stand was full to the brim as was the Russia and Soweto sections. It is still not at par with games of two decades ago when Nyayo stadium was already full to the brim 1hr before the match. But its amazing in a country where the EPL craze seems to have taken hold.
Passions were high as Kogalo fans blew the “Oporo” accompanied with songs and dances. Ingwe fans responded with their traditional Isukuti drums. When Kogalo fans launched into the “Oliech-Obama-Odinga” chant, Ingwe fans responded with their own version: “Mariga-Mudavadi-Marende”.
Both sets of fans are now sharply dressed in their favorite clubs jerseys.
It is clear as day that these two teams still command a large passionate following even after
decades of decline. It is now up to club officials to step up their efforts in attracting more fans especially the younger generation. Fans should bring their children to games. When kids become fans at that young age, they are hooked for life.
The two teams should also consider putting their differences aside and sourcing for sponsorship together. As the two most popular teams, they present a strong joint case for a sponsorship deal. But as seperate entities, thir case for sponsorship is much weaker because a company would fear alienating one set of supporters by sponsoring another.
Commentary by Muroro Pacho