One of the biggest sporting events in East Africa came alive between 21-23 September, 2012, in Kenya's capital city, Nairobi – the Safari Sevens, a rugby seven-a-side tournament which started in 1995 but has grown into a fixture in the Kenyan sporting calendar.
This tournament has honed the skills of Kenyan rugby players and seen them become one of the most attractive Sevens team in the International Rugby Board Sevens Series circuit. Fans and bloggers alike shared their thoughts about the tournament as follows:
I do love sport events for the mere yet strong fact that they bring people together. It is at sport events that tribe, social status, political affiliation and all other such like differences are left behind… It is there, that team support is expressed to the maximum and pristine love for the game is put first before anything else. So, I spent most of my Sunday September 23, 2012 at the Nyayo National stadium in Nairobi; first to support both Team Kenya and Team Uganda, second was to feel the experience but also social-network with fans of the game as I enjoyed every other moment at the stadium. It was absolutely the kind of fun what would expect from any passionately attended sport…. And definitely a good place to network with the young corporates.
Another blogger, Pitzevans in his blog, Area 51 had this to say about his experience of the tournament:
Safaricom Sevens was billed as being the biggest sporting event to hit the country this year. After the dismal performance of our Kenyan Olympic team, the country could do with some excitement and potentially, some much needed silver ware. But I’m sure everyone by now knows the performance of our team and the major powerhouses that visited our beautiful nation and stole what should have been left in our dusty trophy rooms. I shall not go there, I am not a sport commentator and neither I’m I a big fun of rugby. What I am and I’m sure I identify with most of you here, is an event addict, a socialite who thrives in the company of friends in any forum that relies on liquor as a conduit of enhancing friendship. A merry maker who can’t miss any opportunity to have fun and get intoxicated while engulfed in a blanket of camaraderie and shared interests.
The Blodwyn World also had his thoughts about the tournament billed as the biggest sports event in the country:
The 17th edition of Safaricom Sevens was a success. I'm not particularly too big on rugby but 7s is a must attend. The sights and sounds are simply unbelievable. If possible, I'd make the event one of the country's National symbols. Never before have I felt so… Kenyan. As a fan sitting in the stands and watching Kenya play while thousands of like minded fans help you cheer your country on… Its… Simply amazing. And that is from a fan's perspective. I can't even begin to imagine how it feels to actually be on that field and actually be the one being cheered on as you represent the country. Prodigious.
SportsKenya also spoke of the significance of the tournament in the last 17 years it has been held:
Well for Kenya Rugby Union's prized possession in Safari Sevens or better #Safari7s, this will be the 17th edition of the biggest 3-day rugby tournament in East Africa. For those not particularly familiar with the shorter version of the game, it happened on the scene a little into the 1990s and Kenya was quick to adopt it and has borne fruits albeit with mixed results. Not to underestimate Kenya's contribution to the game but our very own Humphrey Kayange was part of the team that rooted for the inclusion of the 7s version to the Olympic Games sports. This shall debut in 2016 in Rio, Brazil. Back to #Safari7s, this year the tournament will be used once again to gauge the national team's players preparedness for the 2012/13 season. It shall also mark the national team's head coach Mike Friday's first ever outing with his charges and what better way than right here at home in front of the Kenyan crowds.
Those on social media website Twitter also had quite some interesting take on the event. Using the hash-tags #Safari7s and #Safaricom7s here are some samples of their comments:
@sunnysunwords Saf-7s attraction for most people is the fact that its a meet-and-greet, wrapped up in a party, with room to show off.
And it is only fair to say that no matter who you are ……….. Sport events are just about the only events where you leave your mental baggage at the entry of the game/events and pick it up on your way out.