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Game 39: Mkunazi Wapili, Zanzibar

This game reminded me of everything great about the game ..and even had a grumpy neighbour too 😂 When I moved hotels on my second day In Zanzibar, a group of kids spotted my football as I got out of the taxi “ Mister ! Football ! Play ! “ I told them I’d play the following day at 5pm, but I was late back from my tour of the island and missed them. I paid for it the day after !

I was on my way for a bite to eat when these wee rascals appeared from nowhere “ Hey mister ! Where were you ? 5pm ? We waited ? No football ! Bad man “‘ Bloody ‘ell ! Ok kids ... give me a break ...5pm tomorrow ok ? “ You better be there ! “Threats I tell you ..threats !

So there I was, sat on a wall with my ball at 5pm and not a cherub in sight ! I went back to my room, got changed and left for a bite to eat at 6.30pm.. and there they were “We had homework “ Poor excuse😄

I got changed again and we had a 2 v 2 ( occasionally 3 v 3 ) in an ally at the back of my hotel . Jeremiah was on my side ..a brilliant, brave and tough goalkeeper. His bare feet must have been made of iron ! David and Nizack took us on. David was super enthusiastic, trying to nutmeg me every two minutes . Nizack was a nutter in his nets ...kamikaze dives across the goal line but his timing was hilarious; a second too slow or too quick to stop the shots.

Little Peter watched on under the watchful gaze of Humaina. They both joined in occasionally then went to perch on the neighbours wall. It was at 11-11 ( first to 12 in the fading light ) that the grumpy neighbour came out , shooing the tiny kids off his wall and barking about being harrassed . I was trying not to laugh

“Look mate ..sorry and all that ..bit it’s next goal’s the winner “ “It better be ! This is not a playground ! You are harassing me ! “ It was just like every street game I ever played as a kid.

With that he slammed his door and on we played . David got the winner with a long range drive a few seconds later. A great, funny, magic game with some proper wee characters and Mr Grumps. Footy is the greatest ! Off to Kenya for the last leg of the Africa trip tomorrow ❤️X👍⚽️

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