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Bungoma father of four rode 400km to watch his old school team play

KENYA
By Silah Koskei | July 21st 2016
Kennedy Makokha rides his bicycle from the Eldoret International Airport after landing from Lodwar in Turkana County. He cycled over 400km to cheer his favourite football team. (PHOTO: KEVIN TUNOI/ STANDARD)

Armed with several jerricans of water and a change of clothes, he cycled over 400km to cheer his favourite football team.

Kennedy Makokha loves his former school’s team so much that since he left in 1994, he rarely misses their matches — all thanks to his 15-year-old bicycle, which is named Kukhu Nasimiyu in honour of his late grandmother.

“I named my bicycle after my grandmother because she loved me very much when I was young,” said Mr Makokha.

When he heard that the school, Bukembe Secondary, was travelling to Lodwar for the Term 2B games, he was ready to cycle for 27 hours from his home in Bungoma.

Not even warnings from his friends and relatives that the journey could be dangerous could deter him. He was keen to watch his team beat St Anthony’s in the Secondary Schools Term Two Games in the northern Kenya town of Lodwar.

Makokha left home at 1am on a Sunday and did not reach Lodwar until two days later. During the day, he braved the scorching northern Kenya sun as he pedalled on and at night, he used his mobile phone as a source of light. He only stopped to buy ‘kangumu’ (doughnuts) to replenish his fast-dwindling energy.

“The bicycle was exemplary despite the bad road. At one point, the ball bearings began to produce an unpleasant squeak and all I could do was hope and pray it would deliver me to my destination,” he said.

On his way back home, Skyward Express Airline gave him and ‘Kukhu Nasimiyu’ a free ticket to Eldoret “due to his confidence and courage”.

“We found it important to give him another feel of a lifetime because of his confidence and patriotism. Many people cannot achieve this and we shall continue to support others in similar acts,” said Skyward Operations Officer Eugene Sitati.

The road trip to Lodwar was not Makokha’s first one. He said that in 2003, he cycled for six hours to Kisumu to catch up with the national games. The following year, his attempts to pedal all the way to Nairobi were thwarted when his wife gave him Sh5,000 for transport.

In 2005 and 2006, he cycled to Kakamega and Nakuru respectively to cheer his favourite team.

“The journey to Lodwar was the fifth and definitely the most daring,” he said.

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