We’re at a grocery watching a Yanga-Mbeya City FC football match. You’re here to enjoy this VPL encounter since, like these other revellers at this neighbourhood joint, you chose to ignore the widely announced, open invitations, to attend election campaign rallies of this or that party.
In any case, you already know to whom your precious vote is going, so why go and listen to the usual promises (read lies) bragging, hypocrisy, insults and all kinds of political balderdash.
Who wants to listen to power seekers address us in a manner that suggests they consider us, the voters, numskulls? That, when they should know we are not, explaining why their acts are generally sheer comedy. Attending a political comedy can’t be worthy of one’s valuable time than watching a good game of football, can it?
So, here we are, watching the underdogs from Mbeya, teaching a few soccer lessons to favourites Yanga, notwithstanding their overhyped, recently launched jerseys.
For an obvious reason, there’re more Yanga than Simba soccer lovers watching the match at this grocery that is fitted with four TV sets. Here, you can watch the match from wherever you’re seated while enjoying your drink as you cheer your side and boo the rivals. There isn’t the usual loud music. The only noise one hears is that of fans packed in the grocery. Revellers who are clearly Simba fans and hence, Mbeya City supporters for today, can be heard accusing the TV commentator of being pro-Yanga.
The commentator, they allege, only mentions with praise tackles executed by Yanga players and ignore the dribbling wizardry by the boys from the land of the Mwakingwes, Mwakipesiles and Atuganiles. You ask yourself: “Why should this infuriate Mbeya supporters since the TV guy’s comments can’t affect the fortunes of any player in the pitch?”
But then, that’s sport for you. A drinker in a red T-shirt seated next to you is doing his best to ensure everyone who can hear him above the din of the TV speakers and fellow revellers, that Mbeya City FC will certainly beat Yanga. “Yanga hamna kitu…Timu ovyo!”
The drinker, (call him Maneno), bemoans every wrong move by Mbeya players while dismissing every good attempt from Yanga. You’re certain that if it were in his powers, a quarter of the Yanga players would be issued with red cards! Trouble is, even as he shouts his recommendations to that effect, the ref can’t hear him.
Well, it comes to pass that, minutes past half time, Yanga scores a goal! This is thanks to vicious corner kick from Carlos Carlinhos, which Lamine Moro connects with a header to the net, leaving the otherwise superb Mbeya goalies Harun Mandanda puzzled.
To celebrate their eventual win heralded by the final whistle, at least five Yanga fans rush to the Simba SC/Mbeya City FC cheerleader, Maneno, to mock him.
Good thing is, the mockery is accompanied by several “pole” beer offers. “We’re Yanga; don’t mess with us…have this beer to erase your shame!” he’s told by one of his Jangwani tormentors.