London Diary – Kyeyos Cheer Their Host’s Opponents

Jal paddy,

You should have seen how the London kyeyo community rejoiced over the elimination of England from the ongoing World Cup in Brazil after the Uruguay Vs England game.

That loss meant even if England had beaten Costa Rica in their next game, (which they didn’t) they were still coming home earlier than the country desired. But then it seems that was the wish of the majority of my fellow kyeyo kinsmen who were more than ecstatic with the results.

Normal behaviour, you would say, from typical football fans. But if the said fans are a collection of foreigners celebrating the demise of the national team of the very foreign country in which they reside and call home, then it gets a bit confusing. And I can bet you the majority of these guys would be hard pressed to pinpoint exactly where Uruguay is on a map.

For the Nigerians, Ghanaians and the other Africans whose teams were in the World Cup, it can be argued that the English being knocked out this early was moral boosting. It shows how equal or ‘ger’ they are to the always bragging ‘Mighty’ England. Fair enough.

But how about my overjoyed Ugandan nkuba kyeyo, who may actually be a nationalised UK citizen by now? Here he is animatedly narrating a blow-by-blow account of how his man Suarez brought England to its knees and ‘killed’ him with happiness.

Baffling as this may seem to you, such attitude and mindset is actually too common within the various kyeyo communities in the UK.

Any small opportunity and chance we get to show off to the bazungu, we do it with ample energy and glee. While the Asians will never stop bragging about cricket, Africans keep drumming on about what lovely climate we have back home and how a mzungu will not want to leave their beautiful countries once he visits. And while at it, we mock and curse the poor, cold, English weather in good measure.

We trash the white man’s pie and sandwich quick meals and tell of our three-times-a-day big feast of fatty meat, fresh milk and rice in plenty. Just the other day, at a one-day job training conference, we had this Nigerian lady laugh at the juice and cheese sandwiches we had for lunch. She went on to weave a tale of real workshops ‘back home’ with proper lunch buffets and flowing ‘sodas.’

You can easily see that many times our bragging nature does not put into consideration the feelings and outlook of the people we brag to. It is, therefore, not surprising that the most cynical of us find it much harder to adapt to the kyeyo life.

The most successful of kyeyo folk in this country, whether it is in business, professional career, education or the everyday life hustle, are the open- minded people. They know when to blend-in with the crowd and yet continue to stay mindful of their surroundings.

If I was to write a book on kyeyo survival skills for beginners, Lesson 101 would gly emphasis the need to smoothly blend into your new surroundings. And cheering on a team to which you have no connection whatsoever, against your adopted home country (even if the home team is rubbish) is no way of doing it.

Your friend,


Source : The Observer

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