Let the Games Begin

16 December 2019 | Inside Angama |

Think twice before unleashing 85 Kenyans in any form of competition…

If you’ve been to our lodge, or even Kenya, you’ll know how mild-mannered, charming, kind and gentle Kenyans are. But when it came to the Inaugural Angama Ubuntu Olympics, I was astounded to see that every single member of our staff had a warrior inside. We’ve thrown team building events for groups who have visited the lodge, but this time it was just our Angama staff split into four teams honouring our Angama values: Team Courage (in red), Team Honesty (in blue), Team Respect (in white) and Team Joy (in black). And how fitting to name the event after our fifth value: Ubuntu, the ultimate embodiment of team spirit.

Angama Olympics

The afternoon events kicked off as the sun started to burn the clouds away drying the muddy football pitch just a bit. The events had a good balance of athleticism, technique, skill, composure, and brute strength – not to mention that eating competition as the finale. Team Respect set the bar high with their first attempt in spear throwing by Titus, but in the last round, Team Joy member Julius blew everyone out of the water with a 37m throw. Next came the relay where each team raced back and forth on the pitch, each direction a new challenge – sack race, egg and spoon race, three-legged run and a sprint finish. Team Honesty tore ahead in the sack race and never looked back.

spear throwing

Sack race

Angama Olympics

The egg toss allowed for competitors with finesse to put their soft hands to the test. And yes, the eggs were raw as Team Courage quickly discovered when catching the egg a bit too abruptly.  Rumours are still swirling about weather Team Respect used a boiled egg or not (Nicky?). The Tug-of-War event brought forward all of the katumbes of the Angama family (kitambi meaning “big belly” in Swahili). The more weight a team had behind them, the less of a chance the little guys stood. Back and forth went the teams, mud flying, people sliding, lady competitors trampled and perhaps one or two cheerleaders jumping on the rope. It brought the crowd to their feet.

Tug of war

Tug of war blue vs red

The day drew to a close with not many points between the teams. Four chosen (hapless) members sat down to the finale – the Bread and Coke Challenge. I certainly don’t recommend this at home. How fast do you think you can eat a loaf of bread and down two Coca-Colas?  Kennedy Nyongesa from Team Honesty won the event with his slow and steady pace, surpassing the frontrunners who started out maybe a bit too eager.

Bread and coke

The games wrapped up, the music blared, and the winner was announced: Team Honesty took the crown this year. The other three teams already scheming about next year’s events and how they can take back the glory. A grand end to a grand year.

Angama Olympics Winners

Note from the Editor:

I have no idea about hard boiled eggs other than the one I used when I came last in the Egg-And-Spoon race. Next year I will have chewing gum ready.

AUTHOR: Shannon Davis

Shannon was one half of the Regional Director team that started the lodge (Tyler was the other). Shan has not, as far as is known, acquired a taste for chai, mbuzi or ugali but probably misses it in America nevertheless. Her addiction for Kenyan coffee still has no bounds.

James Fitzgerald
December 18, 2019

Well done team – looks like great fun!

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