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
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!
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 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!
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.