By now I am fairly certain that all my readers are blown away by the commitment and pure passion shown by our fellow Gooners in Kenyan. In the 3rd and final piece of Kenyan week on ‘1nildown2oneup’ I am delighted to welcome my 6th Kenyan contributor and second guest blogger Kavit Patel (@kavit_patel) another who has followed my blog since launch and was very keen to be involved. So over to Kavit for a personal journey to shrine AFC….
You may ask “Why would Arsenal have so many fans in Kenya”?
Kenyans, despite being the leaders in long-distance running, are most passionate about football over any other sport. We have a strong passion for the Premiership, more than that shown towards our local Kenyan Premier League. Since the mid 90’s we have had a constantly-increasing access to live matches and can now watch 90% of the matches on TV (including the 3pm kickoffs!), more than what’s available in England! (Okay don’t rub it in Kavit.) Continue reading
When I suggested that Kenya would be next for ‘1nildown2oneup’s’ global Gooner tour I was overwhelmed with offers of assistance from those that follow my blog on twitter. I wanted to know why Arsenal, what it was like to be a Gunner in Kenya and how passionate Kenyan Gooners actually were? There were however two Gunners who put so much time and effort into what they sent me, it would have been pointless to break it up and use elements in my own blog. Quite frankly the writing was so good that I had two pieces that were obviously blogs in their own right. So without further a do let me introduce the first article from Fabien Odhiambo (@ilfabiano on twittter)
Oh, to be a Gooner! If you ask me, it’s the best feeling ever. Maybe you’d say sex probably trumps that. Well, I’m yet to find out. Growing up, I’ve always loved football, adored it even. Of course the team majorly responsible for this is Arsenal Football Club. Many people tend to ask in bewilderment why I’m so much into Arsenal, a team that is not even based in my continent, let alone my country Kenya. To be honest I’ve always found it difficult to explain this, most of the time I just smile and change subject because I know they wouldn’t understand me. Anyway, the issue here is why Arsenal is so big in Kenya. So I sought to dig into this and see what I could come up with. Continue reading
Back in January before I have my own Arsenal blog I wrote a piece for O Posts based around the passion of Nigerian Gooners. I was astounded by my research at the time, but less and less so as I have got to know so many fans from Nigeria through twitter and through their comments on my blogs. At the time I was delighted to invite Nigerian Gunners who followed me to contribute to the article and it was their contributions that brought the piece to life for both this writer and the readers. (The link to the article is at the bottom of this blog.) At the time I was asked by a few fans from across the continent in East African Kenya if I would write about their passion, which was equally as strong? Well sorry it has taken so long @GoonerLex and @PaxArtetaGervis, but your patience has been rewarded.
In the summer period I will of course be blogging on developments as they occur at the Emirates, but instead of writing on our players at the Euros, which many other are doing so well, I will be taking ‘1nildown2oneup’ around the globe. The first piece inspired by Anders Bertsten (@BerntsenAnders) visited the passion for Arsenal in Norway and I decided that Kenya should be next. However the response to my low key announcement of this fact on twitter was so overwhelming and so brilliant that it cannot be a Kenyan blog on ‘1nildown2oneup,’ it will need to be a Kenyan week.
So with the help of some twitter buddies this piece will aim really just to set the Arsenal scene and backdrop in football mad East Africa. This will be followed by some Kenya guest bloggers later in the week, sharing their views and their own thoughts and journeys to the mighty Red and White. Continue reading
It has been a decidedly depressing few days with a flat, no actually a poor performance on Monday night, coupled with the expected news about Jack Wilshere and the devastating news about Mikel Arteta. It was obvious from all your comments on my Arteta piece last week how much you have all taken him to your hearts. Decisions therefore for Wenger, ahead of Saturday’s key match against Chelsea. We play earlier than our other rivals for third place so can still put down a marker, but that of course applies for Chelsea as well. For what it is worth I would play Oxlade-Chamberlain from the start in the sitting role, alongside Song , in which he performed in such an accomplished fashion against Milan. I have a few ideas for new articles in the research stage but I am so busy at work this week I am just reworking an old nostalgic piece on a too often unsung hero of our glory years in the early noughties. I guess you could say the theme for this week is ‘Unsong heroes’ and this will be revisited by @yorkshiregunner returning as a guest writer before the weekend. Continue reading