|The ‘XX’ influx|
|Friday, 10 June 2011 14:22|
Stadium quickly changing face as more and more ladies flock in
Photo: The K'ogirlo divas receive their certificate of recognition
A few years back, you would not have expected to see a female face in the stadium. Most of them had the notion that soccer was a man’s thing and that ladies were not part of it. Perhaps the long standing history of violence that used to erupt in stadia especially during the highly heated Gor Mahia Vs AFC Leopards matches played a big part in breaking their hearts. Maybe one or two would be visible but in most instances they would be secluded by themselves, watching the action from afar.
But towards the start of last season, this face began to change gradually. Ladies started flocking into the stadia one by one, some not sure whether their new found love would stand the test of time. Perhaps buoyed by the new enthusiasm amongst the Gor Mahia fans, the Kogirlo divas were the first to register their presence.
Starting off as just ladies being tagged along by their male friends to go and watch the game, they started increasing in numbers and hence the birth of the “divas”. With a structured group with objectives not only to cheer their team, the group set the ball rolling for more ladies to join in the fray.
The Sofapaka beauties too were not to be left behind. Bearing in mind that their team had just won the league the previous year, it was imminent that their support had not been wrongly placed.
Photo: The Sofapaka beauties
With all the members of the 5-girl group coming from the MAOS Church, Sofapaka’s spiritual mother, they began by just being in the stadium and watch as things unravel. But soon they thought it would be a good idea if they started giving actual moral support to the team. This they did by being present at every Sofapaka match and giving their mellow voiced motivation to the team, accompanied by the group of never tiring drummers.
Into the 2011 season, more female fan groups are coming up, perhaps to give the Divas and the beauties a run for their money in the “business”. When Ulinzi stars played Zamalek in their unsuccessful Champions league encounter, a bevy of beauties graced the Nyayo national stadium. Eloquently dressed and capped with the ulinzi stars jerseys. But from hence, their presence has slowly faded away. We do hope that we will see a comeback of the same.
Not wanting to be left behind, AFC Leopards also decided to show the other side of its claws. The beautifully strong ladies crept in and a name, “ingwelets” was birthed. Striving so hard to match up to the pomp and colour of the K’ogirlo divas, arguably the undisputed leaders, the Ingwelets, took on a structured body with officials. Ever since, they have been moving on, striving to make themselves better by the day and perhaps curve a niche for themselves.
But the most recent entrant into the fray is a big surprise. Do not think of Tusker, Mathare United or any other big name in soccer. Rangers FC, the team causing butterflies and unrest in the league is also throwing itself into the array of beauties.
Photo: One of the Rangers beauties
When they played Thika United at the Nyayo National Stadium, a group of 10 ladies, dressed in white shorts and white Rangers branded T shirts graced the stadium. Their presence was quickly noted with their frequent sharp pitched shouts of “Go Rangers” and the sort. Trying so hard to pick a line or two from the Sofapaka beauties who had just left the stage after screaming their team to a 5-0 demollition of Congo United, the pretty ladies took every available opportunity to cheer on. However, some degree of naivety could be seen, noting that it was only their first time in the stadium.
Picking words from KPL CEO Jack Oguda at the beginning of the season, he said that the aim of KPL was to make matches a family affair where families can come together as way of relaxing off a weekend.
“We not only want to make the league more professional and more competitive, but we want to make it a family affair. We want a scenario where a man can come with his wife and kids, and even ladies can come without fear of violence breaking out”, said Oguda.
With the face in the sadia gradually but surely changing, the league is set to be more and more interesting. A peep into the European league and you will notice that the crowd is never complete without a few ladies doing the dances in correct choreography, just as a way of showing support to their team.
And as the culture of stadium violence slowly fades away, things are set to be more and more interesting. Even marriage proposals are finding their way into the stadia with the most recent one being of K’ogirlo divas’ Anima Odhiambo and Wuod Oketch. Who knows, maybe you might be next.