Kenya is a land of acclaimed of numerous sportsmen who rule race tracks both locally and internationally, with an abundance of creative hobbies to pursue in spare time.
Sports and hobbies in Kenya are embedded in the country’s culture and are used to promote the highly social lifestyles and collectivist nature of the populace. By investing in sports as a culture (shown through the number of gold medals she has won), Kenya has also cemented its reputation as a home of sports champions. The Kenyan national anthem is a frequent tune at international sporting events as sports men and women receive accolades for their sporting achievements.
Notable Kenyan sportsmen
Kenya has nurtured real sports talent that includes sportsmen and women with domestic and international status who have won numerous gold, silver and bronze medals:
- Great Marathoner Catherine Ndereba
- Long-distance runner Paul Tergat
- Long-distance track runner Tegla Loroupe
- Gold medalist Ezekiel Kemboi
- Current 800m Olympic world record holder David Rudisha
- 800m Olympic gold medalist and winner of the Golden League Jackpot Pamela Jelimo
- Olympic gold holder, Samwel Wanjiru (deceased)
- Safari Rally driver Ian Duncan
- Rugby’s Humphrey Kayange
Major sports in Kenya
There are assortments of major sports that Kenyans are engaged in from childhood, through school years up to professional level:
Track & Field
Kenya is known worldwide for its achievements in track and field, including short and long-distance track and field, road and walking races, cross country and marathons.
Most annual marathons held in Kenya are for social causes, including:
- Lewa Marathon
- Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon
- Safaricom Marathon
- Kass International Marathon
- Kisumu World AIDS Marathon
- Sotokoto Safari Marathon
Kenya Sevens Rugby Team
In 2012, Kenya Sevens Team finished fourth in 2012’s IRB World Sevens Series and had a good start in 2013, with a second place win after England, contesting at Wellington Sevens, New Zealand, which is their best performance yet. The Safari Sevens Rugby Tournament and Safaricom Sevens are some of the local rugby events.
Kenya National Football, the Harambee Stars
Formerly a force to reckon with, the team is presently a shadow of its former self. Internal management conflicts, misconduct among funs and poor pay for players have contributed to poor performance of the team in national and regional games. However, local sports teams such as Gor Mahia and AFC Leopard have a massive fan base and are targeted to change football in Kenya.
Most Kenyans have individual hobbies based on their interests and where they live. Rural folks are laid back while urban folks are more actively involved in their hobbies. There are hobbies common across ages, gender, social status and regions in Kenya that include:
- Attending major events such as festivals, fashion shows, sport matches, political and religious rallies
- Going to theatres and movie cinemas
- Watching home movies and listening to music
- Watching local television and radio channels
- Travelling and touring
- Karaoke (there’s a growing karaoke culture in urban Kenya)
Most young people consider logging into social media as a hobby, checking their accounts at least thrice a day. With almost every Kenyan having a mobile phone, their spare time is spent in mobile messaging, browsing the internet and socializing through social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.