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Clear Eyes, Cheerful Hearts, Can’t Lose

While all eyes have been on the football happening in Qatar, we have been equally as transfixed by a tournament a bit closer to home — the annual Mara Cup
Above: Inside the huddle of AFC

An annual social sports event that brings people together, The Maasai Mara Cup, more popularly known as The Mara Cup, features teams fielded from the lodges and camps around the Maasai Mara National Reserve. First started in 1998, it has had a difficult history impacted by the many things that have struck the tourism industry, most recently Covid-19. But, like tourism in Kenya, after each setback, it has come back stronger. Since 2016, Angama has been the official sponsor in loving memory of Steve Fitzgerald who loved football.

Mophie is well known for his skills in the midfield
The team draws supporters from all over — even some with drums
Angama team members celebrating after a win
Collo is not afraid to take the ball in the air

The Mara Cup means a lot to everybody who plays in it. This year, there are 18 teams and the stakes are as high as ever with the winning team taking home Ksh100,000, medals and a trophy. However, as they say, we are all winners in this tournament even if our team doesn't win. Football has been known to bring peace, love and unity to a community and we see that here in the Mara. The tournament unites all staff members working in the lodges and camps within the Mara as well as the community around us who love to come and show their support. Guests come to the Mara to see animals, but they leave in love with the Kenyans they meet who all have cheerful hearts. The tournament promotes fun while celebrating these people — being happy and unified is what the Mara Cup is all about.

Even though it's a competition, it's still about community

I started playing football before I went to school and have loved the game for as long as I can remember. I've always been active and being a good runner meant that I was on the top teams throughout my football career. When I joined Angama, I quickly learned about the Angama Football Club and became the captain soon after that. I’m a butler in the morning and evening and a football player in the afternoon ­— it is the best of both worlds.

I have learnt a lot at my job as Head Butler, but being captain of the Angama Football Club has also been an important learning opportunity: as a captain, you need to be an example to the rest of the team; winning requires teamwork; you must always work hard and play smart; learn from your losses but remember to celebrate the wins; and above all, believe in yourself.

Author, captain and Head Butler, Boni

Being a part of the Angama Football Club is exactly the same as being a part of the Angama team – our strength is always when we work as one team. I hope that we may always remember that together we prosper.

Notes from the Editor:

Angama Football Club has won two of their three qualifiers, are into the quarter-finals and we hope to support them in the finals which will be played on December 15.

Filed under: Stories from Angama

Tagged with:

Angama Team , Football , Inside Angama

About: Bonface Wesonga

Browse all articles by Bonface Wesonga Meet the angama team

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