Friday, January 4, 2013

Hapi Nolia Edition

Guest post by Anthony 'Lanx' Lungaho

We've seen it all, the highs, the lows and the mid is weak. 2012 was an amazing year, with lots of lessons, here's to an even greater 2013; the looong, greatest 12 of 2012.

12. It takes a village to raise a team, it takes a village idiot to almost destroy it. Ingwe's march to glory was scuttled not by Oguda, or Tusker, or Gor, or a towel - it was disrupted by our own who took the club to court, mishandled the playing unit and TB, wrangled unnecessarily and even stole the club's cash. 'Shetani gani huyo hata hajui kazi ile imefanywa...'

11. It was the year of new learnings, and new confusions. It started with team line-timeline-replicas cc. Pamela Lutta, and reached the peak with the FKF statement that 'the results of Gor vs AFC will be held in abeyance'; I will never forget Osinde proclaiming, 'Asanda! EffuKeYeff wamesema tukuwe na vuyanzi! Nyamweya juu!'.

10. AFC Leopards SC is a recognised mental affliction. This year we witnessed many symptoms of Ingwemulalulytis, such as Translatiosis, where fans think in KiPokot but speak in Fat-Ingilish-Etuketet-London; for instance Aseka's 'You have gardening - uko na ushamba', Gaxdon's 'Hippopotamus of theirs - Ingwe ni Kiboko yao' and El Cap's 'I am up of things - Niko juu ya vitu'.

9. Ingwemulalulytis which was most prevalent on match days, (all the way till late at poolside cc Apacha, Mukokha, Oj), but it always started here on the wall. Credit to Dj Skush aka Mbulakatyooo, TJ Choram aka 'Pause!' and Sam MpEdna Wahu for introducing the hot alapam; Ingwe Riidims. Riidim of the year was undoubtedly MpEdna's 'Gdi Ndi Gdi Ndi Gdi Ndi - Gada Riitsim'. Mbulakatyooo!

8. The matches were often the climax of Ingwemulalulytis, from Bern Ndeda Wanga/Mayuka/Renard/Gyan/Ingwe First XI screaming MATAAASII loud enough to awaken ancestors at Langata cemetery (even during throw ins when Matasi was nowhere near), to Cax and Victor drinking Jik only to black out and wake up the next Tuesday asking 'ngapi ngapi' Mabango style, to Weru speaking in more languages than the disciples on the day of pentecost when Barasa closed KCB, and to all of us, the republik that watched the Leopard prey, danced to the gada 'hoover' and sang ourselves hoarse; may Ingwemulalulytis live forever and double in 2013.

Mulalu Moment of the year was the Isukutieer on panji against Chemelil, suddenly shouted, 'Hii Tunisia leo wamelemea Oliech namnakani!!'

7. There were moments when AFC came dangerously close to becoming a cult, and no ocassion more so than during the 6 - 2 drubbing of Rangers. Kollo and Sober drunkenly tried to walk on water, fans invaded the pitch kupiga nyasi duster, and Shem aka Masiolo, completely drenched, hang his jersey in the rain to dry!

6. Out of town started for some of us with Afraha in 2010, then Mombasa, Thika and Naivasha in 2011, but in 2012 even having followed the Leopard everywhere, the most memorable fixtures were without a doubt the ones in Mumias. It's enroute to 'Pukasi' that we discovered Amalemba Fwaya, Trokupa of Kabula, saw Diamond celebrate a 'world record' of running 100m in 28 seconds, where 'Mwana wa Laban' alikatika kukatika with no music (usicheze na amalemba fwaya), where DT, Chair, Mabango na wengine ambao hawako mbele ya korti hii 'acquired' a new chang'aa by the name DOCK (walilewa 2 weeks); and in Mumias also where the most vibrant branch was born; 'Kuna Nduru Gizani Branch'.

Bora ikuwe Saturday, 2013 Mumias oyee!

5. 2012 saw us celebrate some of the most incredible goals, and some of the most epic victories ever. There was Barry vs KCB, Bagaye vs Rangers, Wanga rounding the keeper in the FKF cup, Okwemba running Thika rugged...but was there a greater strike than Victor Ochieng vs Karuturi? 87 minutes of frustration. Determined tackle from Paco. Purposeful charge upfield by Masika. Pin point cross from Wanga. What a bullet by Ochieng. Chair, Apache, Samwana, Otero, Mabango Inc and thousands of Leopards all lose their heads. Such are the moments that make me proud to be a Leopard - and the moments that make me salivate for the new season.

4. This was the season when a '13th man' was discovered thanks to the FKF performance of the Mapunda Towel. But let us also celebrate our own practitioners - the supporters who tried everything to 'help' Ingwe -from wale wa 'kushikilia pandy' cc Edna, Aidah, Kamle; to wale wa 'ni nyinyi mnafunga team toeni kofia na belt hata lichaketi' cc Pweza, Angulu, Namai; to those who walitudanganya watapitisha mvua na wakashindwa furutei tukanyeshewa kama magomia - Onyino, Mabango, Denis Chesa, Omusawa, Wanyore Choir. I salute y'all.

3. Though Ingwe gave us breathtaking highs, we also did not escape heartbreaking lows; the loss in a foreign country, the inexplicable loss to Gor, the tipping point at Afraha that saw our brothers locked up, the self sabotage at milimani as well as within the club, the dark days when we only seemed to have wrangling over the anthem or the replicas or false mourning or the mid is weak or 'businessmen' or subtribal feuds or foreal...those are the events that we must bury in 2012. Some low tides are inevitable for such is life, but the ones that we inflict on ourselves must never return; so help us God.

2. 2012 was incredible because of 20 or so Leopards who valiantly clawed and kicked for us, but mainly because of the thousands more who gave their souls for AFC. The songs in the stands from thanking 'matako ya nyuki' to abusing 'ya referee'; to the Ingwe Ladies and Ingwelets who made our matches that much more beautiful; to those who taught us so much more about our club, Nandi, EM, Luyuku, Bwibo, Tasso, Ambani, Selebwa et al; the unsung heroes like Cassim Zuberi, the Nakuru bodaboda chap who attends all games and many more we may have no idea of; to the suporters who got involved in electing a new office and averting silent crises; and to the many Leopards who got involved in the biggest campaign of a generation - to bring our bus home...YOU are the Leopard. In whichever way you contributed to our unforgettable 2012, salute, the journey to glory is unfinished, may we celebrate together even more in 2013.

1. The greatest lesson of 2012, however, was the reason why AFC is the greatest club in the land: We're not the greatest just because of our trophies and our heritage and our fanbase and whichever other things: We're great because many Leopards in countless ways decide to do great things for AFC; choose to give of themselves wholeheartedly to the club; and refuse to let the crest burn. May we always remember.

To a great season, to victory, to an incredible 2013.

Lomba injira, INGWE yetsanga!


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