Wafula poses next to his trusty Black Mamba bike that he pedalled from Bungoma to Turkana. PHOTO/Courtesy
After setting the Internet ablaze on Wednesday when news broke he had cycled almost 400km to watch his favourite Bukembe Boys play at the Nzoia Region secondary school games, Bungoma County’s Kennedy Wafula will fly back home after the competition.
Unlike his fellow Bungoma native, Saleh Wanjala who hogged headlines and social media in May, Wafula does not need to hang on a chopper to realise his dream to fly after local aircraft charter firm, Skyward Express that plies the Nairobi-Eldoret-Lodwar route offered to airlift him for free.
However, Wafula who trended on social media with the hashtag #BungomaMarvel going viral for hours late into Wednesday night, will have to secure different arrangements for his trusted Black Mamba bike he pedaled for a staggering 27 hours and 385km from his village to Lodwar for the Term 2 Secondary School Ball Games regional finals.
Skyward’s offer did not trump that of another well-wisher, Australia-based Antonnette Wamukoya who also hails from the ‘County of Wonders’ who had pledged to pay for his flight to Eldoret and taxi to his village.
“Skyward will give him a free ticket from Lodwar to Eldoret together with his Bicycle, he will be flown on Monday,” Kiprono Sang, the Regional Manager of the firm confirmed adding the ticket costs Ksh6,000 which is almost the same as his Black Mamba costs.
Wamukoya who is a social worker and mental health advocate who resides in the Land Down Under said she was touched by the sheer audacity Wafula showed in opting for the treacherous mode of transport to cheer on his beloved Bukembe at the school games.
“This guy did not ‘Omba serikali’ (ask the Government) to facilitate his travel to Lodwar. His love, passion and commitment for the game made him pack his suitcase and start the unknown journey to Lodwar.
“This guy survived the poor road conditions and the weather change just to get to Lodwar. He ate ‘Ngumus’ (dumplings) and water. My friend this is determination and resilience,” Wamukoya told Citizen Digital.
“Take it back, do you imagine if he had told someone about his dream of travelling to Lodwar and that someone totally discouraged him because the thought of it sounds stupid? My Kennedy guy ignored all that and reached Lodwar safe with a backup plan of riding back.
“People will ask why I decided to facilitate back home, In life, people will normally support you when you start. Others will see your dream to be too big or small or stupid. Regardless of what people think, people should learn to follow their heart because we have good people out here.
“People who will see how committed you are and will decide to chip in to help you. The key word is, nothing good will find you in a stagnant place, you have to start somewhere. And as a youth of Bungoma County, I had to support him because riding that far and surviving all the harsh conditions makes him our champion. Champions are made in different ways and if you see one then support one,” Wamukoya added.
Social media was on fire once his story broke with hilarious memes flooding the Internet as the County that has so far seen amazing headline acts for his namesake who was in love with an Indian lady, chopper-hanging daredevils, the self-styled ‘god’ Jehovah Wanyonyi, wheelbarrows worth Ksh110,000 and a tourism beauty queen who was disowned for referring to the incidents in her acceptance speech.
Here’s a sample of some of the hilarious tweets that made #BungomaMarvel trend.
@ColloSalasya – Eldoret is Home of Champions but Bungoma county is Home of Wonders #BungomaMarvel
@agnes_githumbi-#BungomaMarvel haaaaa this county shd be the 8th wonder of the earth. kudandia chopper to kuride bike 400km the next ni??
@abdsulem- The #BungomaMarvel did 400km to go watch football while his Governor flew to Nbi to take tea at State house. It was a close call.
@amwirikia- #BungomaMarvel From the addictive, romantic Wafula, the helicopter flying mazeman to cycling for 400kms,thanks Bungoma for the newsheadlines!
@ovitah_ken- #BungomaMarvel Bungoma has trended more times than the capital city itself,Nairobi #MakeBungomaCapitalCity