Yours truly was in Eldoret on Monday. Eldoret is justifiably and fondly referred to as the home of champions. That requires no elucidation but you will want to take their opinion on matters athletics in particular and sports generally, very seriously.
Before monday, I was last in Eldoret in March, just before the general election.Then, I spoke to the shoe shine, the taxi driver, the boda boda cyclist, the waiter and had some idle tete a tete with some folks at the airport as I waited for my return flight. That time, they assured me they would vote for Tinga. Of course they didn’t. From that experience, I learnt to take what these folks in the home of champions tell me, with a pinch of salt.
And so this time round, I decided not to discuss politics. As I sat on a stool at Poa place sipping away my cold tusker at eleven in the morning, I engaged other patrons on matters sports as I watched the weekend EPL soccer highlights on telly. You must be wondering how I could sip beer so early in the day when Mututho is the new drugs czar. Well, the short answer is, we live in a country where impunity reigns and I also make my small contribution to ensure that impunity is alive and well!
I decided I was not going to engage these folks on the trending topic of the day: the ICC. I decided to discuss what brings us all together: sports. They all brightened up.
From my non scientific analysis, Manchester United and Arsenal have more followers but Chelsea is catching up. The Chelsea fans in Eldoret proudly adorn the blue jersey and walk with their heads held high in Eldoret. Even though they were not happy with the lucklustre game against Norwich, they were happy with the result. It is not that they felt the result was unfair against battling Norwich. They were happy with the sheer will, strength of character and individual quality shown by the Blues. They likened it to the traits shown by their own legendary queens and Kings of the track.
As for Arsenal, they felt that the North Londoners were lucky to escape with a solitary point at Westbrom. Surprisingly, even Westbrom has began to win new converts in Eldoret and the folks there cannot wait for the return encounter at Highbury. They reckon that if Westbrom beat Man U 1-2 at OT, they will surely clobber Arsenal 0-3. I am just reporting yawa!
The Eldoret folks empathised with Sunderland and felt that they could at least have taken a point in the game with Man U. These folks are extremely analytical and they opine that van Persie has lost form and Man U cannot rely on Januzaj to win matches for them. We all had difficulty pronouncing that name.
I left Poa Place at around 5.00PM feeling a bit tipsy. However before I got into the taxi, these folks who had now become very good friends with me decided that we should exchange numbers. They told me to take to them copies of Raila’s book and whispered to me that Paul Tergat, Tegla Lorupe, Mutai, Komen, Kiprop and others whose names I cannot remember, were fans of Chelsea! We’ve got the last word!