MBOYA: Why Gor should adopt new Kisumu stadium as home

Sunday July 12 2020

Sports CS Amina Mohamed cuts a ribbon after presiding over the ground breaking ceremony of Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium at the ASK Kisumu Showground in Mamboleo, Kisumu County on June 24, 2020. PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI | NATION MEDIA GROUP


My article last week on the proposed Jomo Kenyatta International Sports Centre in Kisumu was received with mixed feelings, more so among the Gor Mahia fraternity.

The views ranged from those who fully supported the envisioned edifice to others who questioned the proposed location.

Still a section of the readers downright though that I was a closet gun for hire for Kisumu County Governor, Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o. 

In a nutshell, my column was of the view that Kisumu has lacked a good stadium for many years and that the proposed stadium, to be built as a joint partnership between the national and county governments, was more than welcome.

As expected, the naysayers brought into question the national government’s not so good record in building national stadiums as outlined in the Jubilee Manifesto. Accordingly, they saw the proposed structure as dead on arrival.

I was left holding the short end of the stick when it came to the proposed name. 
In my article, I said I had no problem with the name Jomo Kenyatta.


 For a good measure, I went ahead to say that the said stadium might as well be named after Governor Nyong’o.

And that is what brought me the self-inflicted grief with some believing that I was on a mission to garner support for the county boss.

For starters, let me state that although I have my roots in Kisumu County - Nyakach to be specific - I have never voted there so my support for Nyong’o might not achieve much.

As I mentioned in my piece, the good professor cannot tell the difference between Joseph Mboya and a naked Adam in the Garden of Eden.

To stretch the argument further, I want to appeal to the Gor Mahia leadership that it needs to support this new stadium and in fact they should talk to the county government to house the club there, as we look into building our own long overdue club house.

Yesterday’s edition of this newspaper quoted chairman Ambrose Rachier as saying one of the legacies he wants to leave behind is a fully functional club house.

My advice to the good man is that he drops that idea, have the new stadium get us a club house and we will be good to go. 

We can make the new stadium our new homeground. It has been done before and the folks of Kisumu have always turned out in large numbers to support the club.

Another grouse was that Mamboleo Showground was far out of town and that the distance would dampen the spirits of fans who want to watch matches there. I remember very well when the Moi International Sports Centre was being built, similar reservations were expressed.

But more than three decades later, Kasarani continues to host matches and nobody complains about the distance anymore.

Studies have shown that people fear uncharted paths and this can explain away the fears so expressed.

Finally, and in an unrelated matter, I was impressed that our own Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed has been nominated to vie for the top seat at the World Trade Organisation.

I had many chances to watch the gracious lady perform under Achime Steiner as the Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and I have no doubts whatsoever of her capabilities.

All the bet, my dear lady!