Mwisho wa Lami’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) is the most anticipated football tournament in the village.
It is bigger than the World Cup. I would never have known that there was Afcon this year until Pius, who is around, talked about it at Hitler’s last Saturday.
I was at Hitler’s with some of my school BOM members discussing our transformative agenda for the Mwisho wa Lami Primary School.
“The first thing we need to do is to transfer the stubborn teachers,” Hitler said. “A daughter of my sister is a very good teacher who can come and do a good job …”
“Who knows when Afcon will begin?” He was interrupted by Pius, who had just arrived..
“What is Afcon?” Asked Nyayo, perplexed.
“You have never heard of African Cup of Nations?” Asked Pius.
“You mean Africa Cup of Nations is going down this year, when will it start? I can’t wait,” said Nyayo.
“It starts tomorrow at 6pm in Cameroon and the first match will be Cameron Vs Burkina Faso,” said Tito, an untrained teacher and owner of Busy Bee Academy. “It should have been held last year but was delayed because of corona.”
“Kwani corona iliisha?” Asked Alphayo.
“I love Cameroon,” Said Saphire. “If Eto’o, Roberto Song, and Geremi will be playing, Burkina Faso should expect to be beaten 5-0.”
“Usisahau Patrick M’boma. I feel for Burkina Faso,” said Nyayo, who then described some of Eto’o’s amazing goals.
“Those are very old players who already retired,” said Tito
“Who is saying that Eto is old?” Asked Rasto. “Huyo ni mtoto wa jana. What is Cameroon without Eto’o? Africa Cup of Nations is nothing without Eto’o, Grodba, and Jay Jay Okocha.”
“Where will we watch the match?” Asked Alphayo. “Dre si we will watch the match at your home now that you pulled power and bought a TV?”
By 4pm my house was full of people ready to watch the match, which was starting at 6pm. There was Rasto, Alphayo, Nyayo, Tito, Saphire, Lutta, Kizito and many young school boys. Only Hitler and Pius were missing.
After some entertainment, which people really enjoyed, the game began, but we got disappointed when Cameroon conceded a goal.
“Mbona Coach haweki Eto’o. Cameroon wangekuwa washafunga tatu,” said Nyayo. But soon, we celebrated when Cameroon scored two quick penalties.
“Hakuna Nigerian movies?” Someone asked during halftime. “Ama atuwekee Patanisho” another said.
Pius joined us during half time and said he was bored watching the match in his house alone. “Kumbe hapa ndio kuna maisha!”
The second half started in earnest. Rasto fell asleep within minutes, snoring loudly for the rest of the match.
The next day my house was full an hour before the Senegal-Zimbabwe match began. “Leo Diouf ataonyesha watu mpira, said Saphire.
Rasto woke up during the Morocco-Ghana match. “Hapa kwa Dre hakuna hata kakitu, hakuna ugali, hakuna chai, hata maji jamani,” he complained.
“Rasto kwani unataka nini na unajua Dre ni bachelor?” asked Tito.
“Wacha kuita Dre bachelor na ako na bibi. Fiolina ako Kakamega kwani hamjui?” Answered Nyayo, fighting in my corner.
“When did you last see Fiolina here? Just look at how dusty the house is. There are no cockroaches or rats moving around,” said Rasto.
Eventually, Nyayo seemed to agree with him, asking me whether Fiolina had gone back to her parents’ home.
I said nothing, upset that people had come to watch a match in my house and they were now discussing and criticising me. Did they know that were it not for Fiolina we wouldn’t be watching the match? It is her boss who used his Kenya Power connections to get us power; it is Fiolina who bought the TV.
I decided there and then that I would not allow people in my house again. The next day, I stayed in school till late, leaving well past 8pm. On Wednesday, I left school early and locked myself in the house. People started knocking on my door at 3pm but I did not open.
Fifteen minutes before the start of the Mali-Tunisia game, Pius arrived and started calling me incessantly as he banged my door. I did not respond.
“Twendeni kwangu,” I heard him announce and everyone followed him.
Soon, I could hear noise coming from his house, which grew louder with time. At half time, I decided to also go watch the match at Pius’ place. His house was full to the brim, with the speakers he had connected to the TV providing booming sounds.
“I wonder why we wasted time at Dre’s house,” said Rasto. “His ka-TV is small and not clear. Look at this big and clear TV, it is like we are in the stadium.”
Someone notified Rasto that I was around, but he did not stop talking.
“I don’t care! When he fired me from the school board and replaced me with his friends, did he hide it? He did not.”
A few minutes later, Rasto and Alphayo started snoring.
Someone tapped my shoulder and gave me a glass. That’s when I realised that Pius had bought a few litres of Hitler’s stuff. No wonder Hitler was in attendance. It was late when we left Pius’ place, and we were back on Thursday and Friday, enjoying the matches, and the drinks. I am aware that Pius will travel back to Nairobi any time when he gets fare. When he does so, Rasto and his cronies should find somewhere else to watch Afcon matches! They will not be welcome in my home.