Sunday, December 9, 2012

Photos of The Year

You have seen the 2011 edition. Now sit up and look though the photos that made 2012 a crazy-beautiful year for Leopards.

As usual, there were many photos that we came across on the internet and in blogosphere but as usual many are taken but few are chosen as the Top 20 of the year. Some are even photos of fans taking photos...

There was an outright winner of the female Fan of the Year (just kidding)

There was Musa posing next to some bus in typical local-mode

The Sony fan who thought a Leopards match is a black-tie event

The City Stars celebrating their win

The Leopards celebrating their shooting down of army side Ulinzi

The bus finally being handed over to the club

There were the Ingwelets Breast Awareness cheerleaders

One moment saw Ssemi Aina pretend-driving the bus

There was a parody of the Logarusic celebration after a goal executed perfectly by Eyinda

Fans also placed speed bumps on the road as they cheered on the team as Lutta happily led the songs

And of course what would Photos of the Year be without brand placement, eh?

And what Victor Ochieng could do

The fans could do too

There were times to recharge

And times to goof around

The Leopards had elections in June and a new EC inaugurated capturing all but one of the members was this snapshot.

But the players also tried to get us other fans

20. But starting off the Top Twenty list is this photo of Bernadette wearing a jersey that listed the entire first team. We can bet that the printer of the names must have been shocked to hear the request that she made to have all those names.

19. The goalkeepers area is a sacred area where he is supposed to rule it like a colossus. There were some moments when Leopards fans felt that Patrick Matasi had been a bit shaky. But he played his heart out and made interesting watching. This photo showed his in his element in his area basically saying 'My area!'

18. In 2012, we saw the female fans come out in strong numbers as they sought to stamp their authority on the field to show they may one day overtake the men as the supporters of Leopards. Ingwe Ladies turned up in different outfits including this head turning outfit during the clash against Gor Mahia in the FKF Cup.

17. Jan Koops brought joy to the fans of Leopards but that wasnt enough to make him keep his job. This photo taken by Onyino showed the warm reception Kopps received from the fans though at the end, perhaps he may not have had such a great time at the club.

16. As a club, Leopards needs the next generation of fans and it was also encouraging to see the young ones turn up in large numbers to follow the club.

15. There are some fans with an amazing faith and belief. Even after the club said it was boycotting the Top 8 match, there were still Leopards fans in Kasarani. Here is to those of huge faith.

14. One of those crazy moments in the season was when the Secretary General extended his hand to shake Jan Koops hand and the latter demurred. If ever there weas evidence of the thawing relations between the coach and his employers, this was it.

13. Come rain come shine some fans braved the weather to cheer on their favourite team. Here, the heavens had opened and the brave souls who chose not to shelter were not quite looking like their feathers were wet.

12.  We saw Charles Okwemba celebrate his goal in a season that was topsy turvy. The beauty about this was that it was one of those unscripted and spontaneous celebrations and thus came off so naturally.

11.  It is not everyday that you get a photo in a live match that also shows you the confidence and poiise of a player. The Daily Nation managed to capture Salim Kinje before he left the Leopards and his absence was later to cost the club dearly.

10. Going to watch any match, more so one against Gor requires one to brave to walk into a pack of the Kogalost Ones.

9. It is at Leopards that legends are made. Players who come in and then set the league alight or give the fans something to think about. If it was possible, one would say all the players at Leopards would be featurted in the Keep Walking advert of Johnnie Walker. Those who did strike a pose along those lines were our top strikers!

8. One sad moment happened during the derby in March when Gor fans decided to throw stones at the Leopards fans. Amidst the hurt and blood, this fan still managed a smile.

7. This is an intriguing photo. Clearly people are celebrating but don't ask me how they are doing it!

6. There was a photo Carol Radul posted during the derby in March that showed the great divide between the Leopards fans on the left and the Gor fans on the right. You can almost see the imaginary line where the green ends and the blue begins. 

5.  Once a goal is scored, the Leopard always has many ways to celebrate. For the recently elected organizing Secretary of the Leopards Facebook Branch, Omusawa, when we score five goals like we did against Thika it means one thing. Or two hands actually.

4. Footballers and fashion get along like a house on fire. During the year, our players tried out wearing their kit by goofing around on the training ground. Epic.

3. AFC Leopards SC is a community club and its fans are always showing that they care. This August, the Ingwelets Branch of the club had a visit to Pumwani Maternity Hospital where they paid the bills for some of the mothers and comforted those who were in pain and congratulated all for having brought forth the future generation of Leopards fans. This photo of Coco with one of the mothers and child was a moving testimony that Leopards in the Community is strong!  

2. If you were in Thika, then you may have cursed the ground as it looked treacherous to both teams. But there was a moment when Leopards scored and all the eleven players on the pitch then joined in for a celebration dance of the goal. What a moment!

1. At number one is this photo that was taken in Mumias when Leopards played Rangers. After the downpour, the four elements that make up this great team can be seen in just one photo. The sponsor is represented by the stadium in which the photo was taken. The players are represented with Patrick Matasi joining those who are moving the water out of the pitch for the game to resume. The fans are represented as they help in making the pitch playable. And the EC is represented with the official (Fred Lutta) supervising the works and urging them on behind. Ladies and gentlemen, your 2012 Photo of the Year!

That, is what AFC Leopards SC is all about! Coming together to get it done.

The Kets 2012

You read about the Kets 2011. Now, Ingwe Fan magazine editor Victor Bwibo delivers his end-of-the-year awards in respect of the AFC Leopards season that has just ended. It is a fresher look at ‘The Den’ as we call it and brings up all the good and bad memories of 2012 starting with …

Best Banner

Once or twice, a players stands out with his performances and then the next obvious thing happens. People want to snatch him. Now, we are not talking about the other player agents but you know... sometimes the agents are making calls with enquiries about the specific player. This was funny as it captured this whole scenario.

But there were times when Leopards soared as they did after finishing the first leg with a whimper only to rediscover themselves and go back to the top of the league in the second leg. At that time, the fans believed – Leopards was RELOADED!

Best Quote

There are reasons we have mouths – mostly, it’s just to use them to shout in excitement when a Leopards goal is scored. But some people use their mouths (or expressing through their pens) some pearls.

There are the judgmental journos who won’t waste a moment to pass their judgment as Frank Midega did after the Leopards and Gor match aborted in the first leg and there was chaos when some unruly fans from the green divide of the derby threw projectiles at all and sundry.  ‘The hardest thing to find after a K’ogalo and Ingwe clash is Elastoplast’, he wrote in his column Frankfoot.

But the best quote was definitely by the 2012 Best Male Fan Maurice El Capitan who said in an interview at Radio Jambo before the return clash with the same K’ogalo, ‘We are breathing sugar!’!

Best Celebration

Something was born this season at Leopards – the isokonde dance. Choreographed by Allan Wanga, it involved the jog, the wave, the shake and adoring fans joining in.

Biggest Villain

There are people who make Leopards fans wake up sweating profusely at night in utter shock and amazement at the nightmare.

That person is obviously Dan Sserenkuma – the diminutive Ugandan who scored four goals against the Leopards in the League this season – fort two different teams dealing the Leopards two different losses. What a player!

Best Comedy

Definitely the Top 8 clash against Gor Mahia. Determined to make a mockery of the fact that Leopards didn’t turn up for the match, KPL and Supersport played along including releasing the lineups that didn’t have the Leopards players names.

The match commissar Kaunda was also in his element making a fool of himself on national TV as the match was awarded on a walkover to Gor.

Best Unofficial Merchandise

There was a host to choose from as in each other year. There was the baseball cap from Nakuru Branch that looked a bit slanty.

But there was worse. This seemingly came from Kaloleni Branch, a proclamation that we were the People's Champions.

Someone also had his mind on the time that we take to support our team.

To the earrings

But the water bottle was definitely the best unofficial merchandise for this season.

Best Fergie Time

Now, managers are known to always whine about time. Jan Koops was invited to the Leopards fund raiser in March and was there before any body else!

Best Nickname

There were a variety of names dished to everyone; the fans, the players, the teams. Gor Mahia’s Ali Abondo was nicknamed Teargas after his tackle led to teargas tossed to Gor fans. But Gor Mahia was also called all sort of names, the best though was Towel FC.

Best Summary of Events

Leopards had refused to play in the Top 8 in March and kept everyone waiting. Cue a top 8 summary.

Best Parody

After we had viewed the crying Yanga fan, there was an outburst of hujuma  comments. Cue parody.

Best Match Report

Laughter is the best medicine. When Leopards lost to Sofapaka, it was easy to summarize the story of the loss in three photos.

Best Madness

OK, we get it. You love your team. But there are some things which are a definite no no!

Best Campaign

Getting the fans to be involved and have a say in the affairs of the club, the Be Involved campaign by Claws Trust was a sure winner!

Best Innovation

Its taking time but the Kenyan media is finally waking up to some technology – no less the TV stations. K24 had this touch screen to look at the league table.

Best Print Media Coverage

The Daily Nation really stepped up its plate as can be seen here.

Best Demonstration of Hate

With Leopards trailing 1-0 to Sony Sugar, Allan Wanga scored and our friends at Goir Mahia who had been pretending they really liked us, couldn’t bear it. Its OK, we hate you too!

Best Female Fan

As a brand, Leopards needs all the publicity it can and Savvy Kenya this year dedicated her blog to her travels with the Leopards. She intended to attend all the 30 matches; she didn’t but her voice about her Leopards journeys and support were heard all over including in the leading Daily Newspaper in the country.

Best Male Fan

Having given us the quote of the year, Maurice El Capitan played his part as a fan. He attended an interview at Radio Jambo when tasked and also participated in the other community events to demonstrate that supporting the club is not just being on the pitch side but also what you say and demonstrate to the others.

Additions to follow