(Supported by a Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities)
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Kenya -- Sports, Entertainment and Recreation

Soccer is a very popular sport and spectator entertainment. Teams are formed by ethnic groups, such as Gor Mahia, a Luo team, the armed forces, the police, and by corporations and parastatals, such as Kenya Breweries and Kenya Posts and Telecommunications. Boxing is another popular competitive sport. For the more affluent in Kenyan society, clubs offer many kinds of sports to their members, including squash, swimming, tennis and cricket, which is a popular sport outside of clubs especially among the Indian community. Safari rallies are also very popular, if infrequent sporting events; over Easter Kenyans can enjoy the Marlboro/Epson Safari rally. Sunday afternoon in Nairobi can be spent at The Ngong Racetrack watching and betting on horse racing. Secondary schools offer many sporting competitions for their students and both girls and boys take advantage of this opportunity. Kenyan runners have become famous in international competition, especially in the long distance events and have won gold medals in the Olympics.

Bao, a game involving a wooden board with a number of cups holding seeds or stones, is played throughout Kenya but it is most popular on the coast. There are annual national Bao competitions to determine the best players.

Going to the movies is very popular among young people. Kenya's large cities have theaters that show international films. Martial art and action packed movies are the most popular, but Indian movies also attract large audiences. In recent years, entrepreneurs have set up "movie houses" in living rooms or kiosks with a television and VCR in many rural areas, especially in and around market areas. These homespun movie houses are doing much business.

Discos are also very popular among young people. Most cities have several discos and the major cities such as Nairobi and Nakuru boast very sophisticated discos. Some of the more famous discos in Nairobi include Bubbles, Carnivore and Florida 2000. Here too, rural entrepreneurs with simple stereo equipment produce dances.

Music is an important part of life in Kenya. There is a lively, informal music production and distribution of foreign and domestic tapes. Radio stations many hours of music programming with a variety of European, American, and African music.

Visiting friends and relatives is the most important form of entertainment, especially on weekends. Urban family members may visit their rural homes and exchange food for money or material goods from the cities.


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