With the fight for the title already gathering pace, Sunday’s Great Nairobi Derby will attract a few more footballing eyes to its side.
If Gor Mahia wins they maintain their lead at the top of the table no matter, the results posted by Tusker FC. An AFC Leopards win, however shall catapult them into the league of the elite 8, a loss or draw- keeps them closer to the bottom than to the top where their nemesis understandably sets camp.
On this day, only two men will boast the unique award of having played for the two lodges and those are Masika and Wanyonyi. However with opportunities and appearances getting slimmer for the former, the latter has a chance to grace our debate today.
Doesn’t seem so long ago, 25 minutes into the previous Nairobi Derby meeting was all it took to convince AFC Leopards their man was playing in the wrong colours- those that if had been blue and white, then, might have had the score line beaming 0-4 instead of 1-3.
Then one month, nineteen days later, in dissimilar colors, Wanyonyi or his suitors wouldn’t have to worry any longer about where his allegiance lies- assume the media, that jersey means everything. While it means everything, like a spurned lover, it’s a testament of betrayal to the Gor Mahia family. They never take it lying down do they? Never afraid to take a dig at a past darling, social media has not been a haven for the Aspire Academy graduate, AFC Leopards fans too in their element, with exciting counter attacks have built a near-perfect pre-Derby banter session.
Enough of Timonah, the young human race needs some slack from us; the weight must be too profound, the 30 pieces of silver (read bounced checks) perhaps too great a sum to preserve a level head.
The following case wouldn’t be any explosive especially if you believed quotes attributed to Collins ‘Okoth’ Gatusso earlier on in the year 2012.
“I have had a hard time here since January but I have tried my best to give Gor Mahia my all. I’ve had enough, now I want to see off my time peacefully then get a new club in June.”
Paired with a few more ideas on how the office then, felt about him and his attitude- it’s exciting that 24 months later, a journey into the unknown for Gatusso has gone ‘full circle’ and landed back at Gor Mahia.
He might not have heaps of accolades to show for all his journeys, in fact, the total amount of honours Gor Mahia attained while he was away rivals and supersedes the number of times he has changed clubs over the 48 months. Under these circumstances surely it won’t matter- under the ‘champions’ umbrella everyone in the green & white jersey enjoys immunity.
His return might not have been inevitable, particularly after a penalty miss that handed Muhoroni Youth its first ever 3 points over Gor Mahia, a change in heart, perhaps reveals to us what he is deep down- more City Stadium like than an affiliate of Tusker or Sofapaka.
You don’t have to roll back the years to see if his judgement to return been spot on, similarly, Wanyonyi doesn’t have to reply to anyone on social media- he only has to validate it.
These two careers have a possibility of clashing on Kenya’s greatest club football match amidst all the emotions they draw.
However, it would be ridiculous to suggest these two careers might be heading the same direction or perhaps will copy from each other- every footballer is unique in his (no feminism) own way. The most notorious trait, all the same, in this generation of footballers is that, without seeking to develop or sustain a proper fitting first- the allure of quick money steers their decision making.
In the previous leg, a platform for worth approval was set- perhaps now careers shall be ignited, re-ignited or shattered completely. The poster boys of this career point might be for now Gatusso and Wanyonyi, but the Nairobi Derby is way much more than just two footballers, it’s about 22 plus players seeking to defend colours- colours that define Nairobi Greatest Match.
Roll On The Great Nairobi Derby!