By Christine Lagat NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The expansive balcony inside Mojo’s lounge and
bar located in central Nairobi was filled to capacity on
Thursday evening as youthful revelers watched a match between
Colombia and Senegal that was beamed live on a giant screen.
ardent soccer lovers were dejected when Senegal was felled by
Colombia but continued to enjoy their favorite tipple during the
post-match analysis delivered by an elite panel of experts.
The World Cup fever
that has enveloped Kenya’s urban centers and rural villages has
been a boon to restaurant owners who have spruced up their
establishments to attract soccer fans with sophisticated
At the sleek Mojo’s
lounge and bar, waiters had a hectic time as they served local
dishes and exotic wine to patrons who keenly followed Senegal
and Colombia square each other.
and service crew who spoke to Xinhua revealed that sales have
been on an upward trend since the World Cup kicked off on June
“Our business picked
up rapidly the moment the World Cup kicked off on June 14th
and we are always busy in the evening when soccer enthusiasts
flock this place to enjoy the beautiful game as they sip their
favorite drink,” said Dennis, a middle-aged supervisor.
He revealed that
local beer brands are preferred by patrons watching the Word Cup
matches though the well-heeled do not hesitate to order exotic
wines and spirits.
Besides investing in
giant flat screens, comfy chairs and stylish interior decor, the
Mojo’s lounge and bar has also hired young and energetic
customer care personnel to maximize on the World Cup windfall.
Charles Murage, a
jazz artist and soccer fan, told Xinhua recently that he has in
the last two weeks trooped to this modern joint in the evenings
to watch the game while enjoying his favorite drink.
“Downing one or two
bottles of my favorite Guinness beer has been part of the ritual
whenever I am watching the game in this establishment,” remarked
the 32-years-old aspiring entrepreneur.
Murage admitted that
the standards had improve during the 2018 World Cup and
regretted missing any single match since the entertainment was
“This is a terrific
World Cup compared to the previous ones and am enjoying the
wizardly of star players from my favorite teams like Brazil,
Portugal and France,” said Murage
He vowed to continue
watching subsequent matches to be played during the second round
despite elimination of all African teams at the initial phase of
Kenyans’ love for
football that has defied time and seasons always herald good
tidings to savvy investors in hospitality industry.
soccer fans in the East African Nation have always preferred to
watch matches in restaurants as opposed to homes where
disruptions are bound to arise.
that is a few yards away from Mojo’s lounge and bar was also in
a carnival mood when Senegal and Colombia fought vigorously for
a slot in the second round of World Cup tournament.
As usual, the
management at this elegant joint had prepared adequately to
handle an influx of patrons keen to watch and cheer their
“We have been
receiving so many customers whenever there is a match in the
evening and they have been ordering bottles of beer as they
cheer their favorite teams,” said Edwin, a customer relations
officer in his early 30s.
“The sale of local
beer, snacks and cigars has been tremendous and we are prepared
to handle this influx of customers and make a good return on our
investment,” he added.
The World Cup fever
was evident at Clarion Restaurant that is a few blocks away from
Tribeka as a predominantly middle aged cast of patrons cheered
the Senegal team as a demonstration of African brotherhood.
A young waiter
called Moses told Xinhua that every World Cup match has been a
boon to the mid-sized hotel as clients’ part with their last
coin to order beer and snacks while watching the beautiful game.
“Our giant screens
have attracted football fans of all ages and economic background
and we are happy because business has gone up,” said Moses.
“It has been a good
season for our business and the profits accrued will cushion us
from future uncertainties,” he added.
Kenyans from all
walks of life have expressed unwavering devotion to the World
Cup matches even though their national team is yet to
participate in this highly tournament.
in hospitality industry are capitalizing on this time honored
love for soccer to spruce up their establishments in readiness
for a huge turn-out of patrons with disposable income to spend
on exotic dishes and wine.
Kenya catches World Cup fever
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The chilly weather in Nairobi is at its crescendo
as Juliet Wanjiru wades through the traffic to her favorite spot
in one of the crowded restaurants in the town center. Wanjiru is
not on a day-off, holiday or hungry, she has just snuck away
from work to catch the action as Senegal takes on Colombia in
the World Cup in Russia.
The contagious World
Cup bug is spreading fast across the country. Many people have
caught the fever and results and performances in Russia have
become a major talking point in offices, saloons, barber shops,
markets and at home.
“I work as a
marketing executive and will always sneak out to catch my
favorite team. My job involves working in the field, so I have
to give an excuse to walk out. I can’t miss it and I am here to
support Senegal. Let the Teranga Lions...be African
ambassadors,” Wanjiru told Xinhua in a recent interview in
Sadly for Wanjiru
and by extension many Africans, Senegal lost 1-0 to Colombia and
caught the flight back to Dakar together with 15 other
countries, who have exited the World Cup. This leaves Africa
without a team in Russia.
“A few egos have
been crashed. But not many will be watching the remaining teams
with a chin in their hands. The zeal and enthusiasm of fans is
increasing,” said Thomas Omukoya, an ICT executive. Though
Senegal, together with Egypt, Tunisia, Nigeria and Morocco have
been eliminated, the continent’s fans have kept a close eye on
the proceedings in Russia.
firms globally have estimated that the World Cup could cost a
country 250 million working hours through staff absence, late
arrivals and poor performance due to frustration at not being
able to monitor games.
But social spaces
and public television viewing areas in Nairobi have continued to
record huge numbers as fans turn up to cheer on their teams.
Kenyan football experts believe it is a matter of time before
the country’s national team, Harambee Stars, joins the fray to
compete at their first World Cup.
Philip Orwa, an
ardent fan of Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia raises
an accusing finger at the government for not having direct
support for local football. “Our league is sponsored partly by
SportPesa and other corporate companies, with many of the clubs
depending on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) ... or meager
gate collections during match day. More needs to be done on
sponsorship rights and airing of the matches,” said Orwa.
the Council of East and Central Africa Football Association (CECAFA)
secretary general, says misplaced priorities are to blame for
Kenya’s absence at the World Cup. “There is zero support from
the government. They want to wait and come in at the last minute
to support the national team in their campaigns at international
level. They do little in supporting the team’s preparations for
qualification for the World Cup. Though lately, the government
has shown commitment and [they] have helped hire a professional
coach (Frenchman Sebastien Migne),” Musonye said.
For Kenyan sports
journalist Ben Ouma, professionalism is lacking in the country’s
football and is the only thing missing that would otherwise
catapult the country to the top echelons of the sport. “We need
to get our players on long-term contracts and pay them enough to
take football as a career and not just a part time event.
However, our football is full of officials who use it for
political gain. This has left our league running pathetically
with no plans. The government has not been supportive and will
consider other projects and not sport,” Ouma said.