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Nairobians paint Machakos red

It was that time of the year again when Nairobians go to Machakos for the Masaku Sevens rugby jamboree.

As it turned out, there was more action outside the stadium than inside.

The streets were packed from Friday morning. However, that was nothing compared to the spectacle on Saturday when the streets exploded into a carnival of colour and pleasure.

Judging from the number of cars parked along all the main roads leading to Machakos, rugby fans had come from far and wide.


In tents, young people washed down tonnes of meat with copious amounts of alcohol.

“We have taken over Machakos!” A clearly inebriated youngster shouted.

They came in all colours and shades. Some flew the national flag on their cars, with the skimpily-dressed girls leaving little to the imagination.

From the least-patronised establishment to the high-end Gelian Hotel, the pubs were packed to capacity.

Rugby fans arrive for the Masaku International Rugby Tournament at Kenyatta Stadium Machakos. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU
Rugby fans arrive for the Masaku International Rugby Tournament at Kenyatta Stadium Machakos. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU

The crowds were everywhere including at the People’s Park and the Machakos Golf Club.

But it was at Hornbill Pub, at the entrance of Machakos Town, where the crowd was most exuberant.

A tot of whiskey was going for a fortune, but patrons cared little about the prices.


As you entered the joint, glamorous sales girls flashed warm smiles, after which you found yourself ordering the alcohol brand they were promoting.

At the golf club, about a thousand tents accommodated the visitors.

All lodgings were fully booked and enterprising locals rented out their houses. Other residents offered their compounds for parking as every available space in town was taken.

“There is more space and accommodation here,” read a signpost hurriedly written on piece of paper.

Machakos traders may have no idea about rugby, but that did not stop them making a killing out of it.

From the tattoo artist at the entrance to the Kenyatta Stadium, to hawkers selling all sorts of merchandise, it was brisk business, but the beer merchant was the king.


Amidst all the excitement, Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua arrived in a blue chopper. The crowd cheered in a frenzy amidst deafening vuvuzelas.

“So who won the game?” I asked some fans. Nobody knew.

SOURCE: Daily Nation