11-12-2020 by Freddie del Curatolo
Today's Kenya Song is like a stadium choir, but without the stadium and perhaps without the choir.
They are shouts of jubilation, expletives, giggles, whistles, howls, sighs of astonishment of a group at the edge of a rectangle of dirt road in the middle of the still uncontaminated nature of the equator.
Incomprehensible and variable phonemes are lost in the African wind and sky, counterpointing migratory birds, bleating goats and insects chirping in the sun.
You will never see Pablito Rossi on these fields, but you will probably recognise his humble smile, his bright, accommodating eyes and the hunger for goals and joy that those who experienced the 1982 World Cup will never forget.
Here, between the wheat field bordering the lateral foul line of the right flank and the baobab trees behind the south curve, the World Cup of indifference is played out every day, the Champions League of dignified misery, where anything other than the Ballon d'Or is fine if there is a swollen ball rolling around properly.
The song I often hear comes from one of the camps of Real Malindi, the sports academy founded by my friend David Badili, who always needs everything he needs to set up a team and participate in a tournament.
But what he will never miss are the wonderful shouts of jubilation, the expletives, the jeers, the whistles, the howls and the sighs of group amazement that elsewhere have become an almost useless side dish to a big business, here in Kenya we still call 'game'.
by Freddie del Curatolo
Judging by the jumping smiles, the energy lavished, the fun transmitted from the heart to the feet and...
He is called Richard Odada and, like many of his Kenyan peers, he dreams of becoming a professional footballer.
Surely compared to many guys in and around Nairobi, Richard burned the stages.