Over the years, I have never belonged to any of the Gor Mahia’s branches.
But I have, by association, played a role in most of the club’s branches.
I do remember joining the Facebook branch at the Nyayo National Stadium for a fundraiser to purchase a bus for the club.
I also engaged in the “Adopt a Player” project in which we raised money to have the playing unit fly to Mombasa to play against Bandari.
Being a community club, branches have formed a solid backbone for the club especially during the trying times when the team needs support. It is a practice worldwide, a perfect example is Barcelona that has thousands of members and also groupings akin to what we have here as branches.
Apart from offering support during matches, branches have been able to raise money to meet the needs of the team and also to host the players when they travel to different parts of the country.
I am told the Gor Mahia has more than 500 registered branches countrywide, some are actively involved in supporting the club while others are more or less groupings of fans who come together as self-help groups in the name of the club.
Before the coming of the Facebook Branch, Away, Magufuli or the Lupita branches, there were the branches which were associated with estates. For instance, South B or South C would have their own branches. There were also Kaloleni and Makongeni branches in Nairobi, Baxton branch in Mombasa and many others.
But today, I want to focus on a new branch that has come up with a totally new way of how branches should operate- The Kulundeng Original.
Last week I met a Gor Mahia fan by the name of Simple Bob, his real name is Collins Otieno. Simple Bob is the coordinator of the Kulundeng’ Original.
How they came up with the name Kulundeng’ is a story for another day. Kulundeng’ is a colourful beetle that as kids we used to tie a string on its hind leg and let it fly.
Now, Kulundeng’ Original has already managed to attract more than 50 registered and 1000 non registered members countrywide.
There is also Gor Mahia Augmentin who came up with a fund to raise money and pay players winning bonuses.
These two groups are made up of young Gor Mahia fans who are focused in not only funding the club but also building capacity amongst themselves and networks through football.
Kulundeng’ and Augmentin have within itself a business model for the members development and a social model where they bring together Gor Mahia fans and share ideas on how to source for sponsorship for the club.
As I said over the years we have had branches at the club, some have been identified with hooliganism and indiscipline, but Kulundeng’ and Augmentin is showing a different way how we should work with the club.
I implore the K’Ogalo nation branches to borrow a leaf from Kulundeng’ and Augmentin and come together to help build the club at these trying times.
Finally, I join Gor Mahia officials, players and fans to send my condolences to the family of Patrick Osewe who passed on last week. Osewe was the driver of the Gor Mahia team bus. May his soul rest in eternal peace.