All roads lead to Nyayo for Mashemeji Derby
What you need to know:
- The oldest rivalry in Kenyan football history has remained among the bitterly contested derbies since the two clubs rivals first locked horns on May 5, 1968
- Among the fans at Nyayo will be political class who are expected to take time off their busy schedule to attend the much-hyped derby
As usual the Mashemeji Derby will begin in the Nairobi Central Business District (CBD), where fans from Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards will gather before proceeding to Nyayo National Stadium to witness the big encounter between the big-two.
The oldest rivalry in Kenyan football history has remained among the bitterly contested derbies since the two clubs rivals first locked horns on May 5, 1968.
Just as Ingwe supporters will be camping at Kencom Bus stop from 10am before heading to the stadium, K’Ogalo diehards prevail upon Tom Mboya statue for blessings, a statue idolised especially by people from Luo community and Gor Mahia fans.
According to AFC Leopards Secretary-General Gilbert Andugu, there will be plenty of activities at Nyayo Stadium to keep everyone entertained. Food and drinks will also be available for supporters to enjoy ahead of the 3pm kick-off.
The stadium doors will be open from 9am to allow access to the stadium where tickets will be scanned before fans gain entry.
Once inside the stadium, there will be plenty of activities, match day competitions and entertainment on the pitch led by top Luhya top musician Naftali Shitoka with his Western Commandoes of the popular song Ours 4 Ever Ingwe, Brayo ni Player and Xmas.
Replica kits of both teams will be available at the same rate of Sh1,500.
Among the fans at Nyayo will be political class who are expected to take time off their busy schedule to attend the much-hyped derby where the cheapest ticket will go for Sh300 for those accessing the terraces and Sh1,000 for VIP.
Hosts, Leopards who have appealed to fans from both sides to desist from violence, hooliganism and bad behaviors have identified Kenya Cinema, Riadha House, Nyayo Stadium Police post and Nyayo National Stadium parking area as the ticketing points.
Meanwhile, Gor Mahia fans are expected to take the city by storm on Sunday morning ahead of their Mashemeji Derby clash with AFC Leopards at Nyayo National Stadium from 3pm.
A fleet of buses full of club supporters from Kisumu, Nakuru Mombasa, Homa Bay and Migori where the club has a huge fans base and active branches had started arriving in Nairobi by Saturday evening.
“We have coordinated our branches and have 24 buses full of supporters from Nyanza and Mombasa. Some have arrived in natatus from Nakuru while others will be in Nairobi by Sunday morning. It is a big game and we are fully behind our team,” said the club's self-proclaimed number one supporter Jared Obonyo, fondly known as Jaro Soja.
“This will be a good game for us and we expect nothing less than a win. I also urge the supporters of both teams to ensure they are peaceful whatever the outcome of the game,” he added.
In Nairobi, K’Ogalo branches were fine tuning their preparation with a meeting held in Kariobangi. On Sunday morning, hundreds of K’Ogalo fans will congregate at Tom Mboya Statue in the City centre seeking for blessings from the independence icon.
The fans will also offer prayer and blessing for the club patron Raila Odinga who is expected to address a mammoth crowd at Jacaranda Grounds in Eastlands before attending the derby.
“Raila is our leader and we respect him. The derby will not in any way affect his rally which we also support because of the current economic situation the country is undergoing,” said Juma Oyala, a fan from Umoja Inner core.
There will then be a procession to Nyayo via Haile Selassie avenue and Uhuru Highway. Since Gor will be the away team, fans have been advised to put on the white jersey.