• Stephen Osieyo

FROM UGENYA WITH LOVE IV



There was a reputation that used to precede ladies from Ugenya in the not so distant past. That Ugenya women are wife material because they are such good home makers. And that same legend asserts that the who is who roster of high achievers of former North Nyanza and Central Nyanza (Western province and Siaya District), was either a son of or a grandson of an Ugenya woman. In today’s political boundaries, that is the counties of Siaya, Busia, Kakamega, Bungoma, Vihiga. This reputation made securing a wife from Ugenya a real catch. Up to 1970 brides from Ugenya were so coveted that men with turbulent homes would be directed by their clans to seek the next companion from Ugenya. And young men in the prime of their lives from even outer districts made Ugenya a first post of the search.

In this pursuit legend has it that an ace football striker of AFC Leopards Football club by then known as Abaluhya Football Club had sought himself an Ugenya lady from Masat area of North Ugenya near Ukwala and things were going well, they even had a baby girl had arrived.

In a regional football tournament in Malawi, Gor Mahia Football club and AFC leopards Football travelled as Kenyan champion and cup title defenders respectively. Luo Union FC the pioneer winners was now deregistered and was not involved in the tournament. As the group stages of the tournament progressed it became clear that Gor Mahia Football club was staring at elimination unless AFC leopards not only win their last game but win it soundly to overturn Gor Mahia FC negative goal average and haul them in to the semifinals together with AFC leopards.


Thee evening before this last game the mercurial and most merciless striker received a telex from his nya Ugenya “babe” that you “either win that game with 5.0 margin to haul Gor Mahia to the semis finals or you will not be back in love by Monday when you return. And if you are not back in love by Monday, then you have yourself to blame".


True the tournament was a disaster for Gor Mahia FC who lost to Abaluhya FC. Luo Union FC was a tournament team but not a league team. In other words, they did well in tournaments but not the league. Gor Mahia on the other hand was a league team but Gor Mahia had a phobia in tournaments. On the two occasions they had been to the regional tournaments they were kicked out (1974 and 1977). In fact, in 1977 tournament its Luo Union who spanked Gor Mahia in Tanga, Tanzania.


So come the last game and the striker hauled a reluctant AFC leopard to win the last game by 5-0 and haul Gor Mahia with them into the semifinals. The mean striker then made it to the airport to return to Nairobi to attend to examinations and left AFC leopards to continue with the rest of the tournament. And legend says both AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia won their Semifinals games to reach to the finals. Now Gor Mahia who had already lost to AFC leopards in the group stages faced them in the finals. And they had not a prayer against AFC leopards who did them a favour by dragging them through the group stages. How then was it possible that Gor Mahia would beat AFC leopards in the finals to avoid coming back empty handed for the third time. Inawezekana.


Once more nya Ugenya weaved her magic and forced the striker to take the plane to go play in the final where he would spear head the attack, he was somehow to blunt the attack so that Gor Mahia does not come back empty handed for the third time in a row. Or else on “Monday you will have yourself to blame.” But that is the legend.


The legend is that Gor edged AFC Leopards by 3-2 to lift the trophy for the third time of asking. And the legend may be true.


I am just telling you about the legend of ladies from Ugenya. It may be true. It may not.

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