This past weekend was sporty with derbies headlining many popular leagues across the world. The English premier league had the Manchester derby which saw Manchester United grab victory over the ‘citizens’ Manchester City,in Tanzania the famous Simba-Yanga derby attracted thousands while in Kenya the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani was host to the popular mashemeji derby pitting Gormahia and AFC Leopards.
What was worthy to note though were the numbers the derbies attracted and precisely in the East African region.In Tanzania the 60,000 seater national stadium was filled to explosion with fans seated as early as 11am for the 4pm clash. VIP Tickest were sellint at sh1,350(Tsh30,000) for VIP A, sh900(Tsh20,000) for VIP B and C. Terraces cost sh450(Tsh10000) and sh310 (Tsh 7000).
At home the estimated attendance was about 10,000 with tickets selling at sh500 and sh200 while the VIP tickets going for sh1,000 did not sell because the state took the entire VIP area.Both derbies saw national figures in attendance with president John Pombe Magufuli leading leaders in Tanzania. President Kenyatta on the other hand led leaders among them ODM party leader Raila Odinga and ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi in gracing the event.
While the mashemeji derby is estimated to have made about sh 3.4 million in gate collections,the Simba-Yanga derby is estimated to have collected about sh24 million which questions whether the mashemeji has lost its popularity.