Burial of shame: How K’Ogalo fans torment villagers
It was a terrible scene: People bathing and having sex in the open.
In April, three Gor Mahia fans perished in a grisly road accident. Witnesses said the fans, who were headed to Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos to cheer their team, were hanging on their bus th when it tailgated into another vehicle. At least 10 other fans were injured.
When photos of the accident hit social media, commentators, including Gor fans, said they had been rudely told off when they castigated a group of rowdy diehard fans who routinely ride on the rooftop of buses or hang precariously on the sides.
Other fans stick their heads and bodies perilously out of the windows of speeding vehicles. In most cases, these fans are intoxicated and have even been captured in photos swilling copius amounts of hooch.
It is this band of fans, hooligans if you may, who cause mindless violence in stadiums and harass motorists when their team wins or loses. They also cause ruckus at the Tom Mboya statue in Nairobi before and after a key match.
But this type of Gor fan behaviour took an even uglier and bizarre twist in 2015, when TV comedian Bon Aggrey Okello alias Bokello died. The fans literally took over the service at Masogo Secondary School in Kisumu County, in a haste to bury Bokello before a match involving their team started.
Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o, then the county’s senator, had to be whisked away after the disorderly youth destroyed the dais. The irate group thereafter lifted Bokello’s casket to the actor’s home in Kobura then proceeded to bury the body, reportedly in the absence of family, clergy, colleagues and friends.
That was the beginning of a disturbing trend of taking over burial ceremonies from local churches and sometimes disrupting the events if they don’t get their way. It traumatising bereaved families in Nyanza who have described their actions as ‘cultist’ and ‘shameful’.
Speaking to The Nairobian on phone, Tobias Kenga narrated how drunk Gor fans stormed Ong’ielo village in Asembo, Siaya County during the burial of Kelvin Ochieng alias Jakababa and took over the ceremony.
“They became the family members, the villagers and church leaders. That was wrong and shameful,” he said.
Kenga said Luo traditions require that during burial, elders and church leaders must be part of the burial plan.
Locals were left tongue-tied when both female and male fans bathed in public at a local stream with others allegedly publicly engaging in sex as scared villagers watched from a distance.
“That was a terrible scene... women and men bathing in the open and having sex in full glare of villagers. I have never witnessed such an obscene thing in my life,” said a local woman.
During the burial of Evans Odipo, popularly known as Dipis, in Ndhiwa, Homa Bay County, the fans disrupted the ceremony and ran away with the body before burying him as villagers scampered for safety.
Trouble started when the wife of the deceased accused him of abandoning her immediately after their wedding. This statement irked one Gor fan who told the woman to stop talking ill of their late friend or face the consequences. He made good his threat, relieved her of the microphone, and threw it away as other fans joined him in shouting everyone down.
They hurriedly carried the body to the open grave, lowered the casket, poured alcohol on it and covered it with soil before chasing his wife and the deceased’s mother-in-law from the scene.
Ken Ochieng, a local who had travelled from Mombasa to attend the burial condemned the incident terming it shameful and a curse.
Ken warned that if not tamed, Gor fans will take over burial ceremonies and replace them with the uncouth mischief that comes after drinking too much booze.
“They chased everyone including the pastor and took off with the body which they buried amid weird songs as relatives and neighbours watched in shock,” he said.
Narkiso Ogwang, a local elder, declined to be interviewed, saying he did not want to remember the weird things the fans did to them in Ndhiwa.
“It is shameful to say the least. I don’t want to be drawn into it. God will punish them for the shame they transported from Nairobi to our village,” he said before hanging up.