There is a telling joke amongst Masaku Sevens rugby fans: Nobody knows who won! It is the common answer you are likely to get when you ask many of the hundreds who attended the three-day tournament. “I didn’t actually see most of the games,” confesses Natasha Gacheri a 23-year-old university student.“Very Few people actually follow the game,” she confessed. Some 10,000 people attended Masaku’s annual three-day rugby tournament at the weekend, but for many, the real attractions are off the field, as the social scene and other distractions take over and go into overdrive.
But Gacheri is living proof that you don’t have to be a rugby fanatic to enjoy the sport she calls thrilling and manly. For three days, Gacheri was a common feature among hundreds of ecstatic fun-seekers who descended on Machakos Town. Since the tournament debuted four years ago, she has religiously attended every one of them. Although she did not have knowledge of teams in the sevens, that did not deter her from declaring the tournament the best fun event ever! “As a spectator, I think the players’ uniforms were cool,” she says.
“I also liked their shoes,” she added. But, of course, there was more than that! Muscular, tattooed men, that were not in short supply! “Today (Saturday) I have gotten a third dude,” she said drooling at a well-built man with a pierced right ear passing by. “All men here are looking for women and women are looking for men. Therefore, we are all in searching mode. So why not have mad fun when it lasts?” Like the rest of the revelers, Gacheri’s fun is derived not from the games on the field, but from the sidelines. In the car park, although not all cars had tinted windows, that did not deter creative minds from converting their shirts and ‘lessos’ into temporary curtains as randy lovers went for each other in rushed lust reminiscence of scenes from the movie, “The Wolf of Wall Street”.
And as nightfall slowly crept, one could hear moans piercing through the night and giggles from excited women. But that was expected, with fans probably taking over from where they left last year! And the sinful scenes were replicated everywhere. Intoxicated couples kissed each other against trees, on car bonnets, by the roadside but those whose alcohol had not impaired their judgment, would be seen heading for lodgings. The event, which sells out within days of tickets going on sale, ignites a lively carnival atmosphere that reigns throughout Machakos Town and its environs starting Friday, all through to Sunday.
Creativity is high as fans dress up in themed costumes, transforming the stadium into a sea of colour and imagination as they fill the place with roars of encouragement for their teams. Lovers of canned beer, great wines and delicious food are spoilt for choice as hundreds of bandas outdo each other with provocatively dressed bevies ushering awestruck customers with infectious smiles more seductive than what’s on display. After a day at the Sevens, fans and players head to town to celebrate.
The streets leading to entertainment joints are always awash with partying which lasts well into the night. Hotel and lodging owners recorded roaring business as hundreds of rugby lovers-or pretenders descended into Governor Alfred Mutua county which is slowly taking over the Naxvegas ( Las Vegas) tag from Nakuru because of its carefree partying and ‘pantying’ lifestyle. So well-attended was the tournament, that management of two hotels closed in May for renovations hurriedly reopened to cash in on the massive surge in business.
There were also noticeable increase in number of scantily-clad women in the streets of Machakos. Some of these women say they love rugby because its ‘hard and physical’. “Rugby is not a soft sport like football where players keep falling even on the slightest push and roll over the ground as if hit by a tomahawk missile and will not rise up until they get some attention from the referee,” observes Maggie,24. “Rugby is a dynamic sport,”she added. “These men, overall, are well-rounded athletes. And some of the movements they do require a lot of athleticism, leaving most women wondering and imagining some crazy things,” she confessed, giggling.
But the most sought after spot at the event was the Sevens Village. It was the hottest, most exclusive after-party place to be, preferred by hordes of admirers who sought to rub shoulder with rugby stars. Local shops reported condoms running out but some cunning businessmen took advantage of the frenzy to hawk sex toys, which curious crown of both women and men gathered to stare at. “Don’t fear to ask questions,” the seller boomed at the crowd. “Whether you’re getting intimate with your own anatomy or trying to add a little heat to an already spicy relationship, a dildo is the perfect addition to sexual experience,” he added to roaring laughter from the awe-struck crowd.