Jared Otieno, commonly known as Jaro Soja, is a renowned super fan of record Kenyan league winners, Gor Mahia FC. The coronavirus pandemic has robbed the self-proclaimed commander of the Green Army his favourite sport for the past three months.
“My life is Gor Mahia, everything for me revolves around football. I always think about my club, I always look forward to match days, I always attend Gor Mahia training, so you can imagine how I’ve been affected, being deprived of all these things makes me feel like I’m in prison.” Jared opened up to CGTN.
Following the COVID-19 shutdown, his undying passion for the team and love for Gor Mahia coloured wardrobe, has led him to a business venture; manufacturing face marks branded in his beloved club’s logo. “For me, anything I wear has to have Gor Mahia colours, and of course when I designed my mask, I consulted my friends who are doctors. So when I started wearing this mask, many Gor Mahia fans loved it, and started asking whether I could make more.” Jared said.
Following the Ministry of Health’s stern warning on sub-standard face mask distribution, Jared assured Gor Mahia fans that the mask meets all the medical requirements. “The mask has to meet the health standards required, it’s not only about looking good, we are trying to avoid getting sick. All the masks we make here have three layers, as per what doctors have advised.” Jared added.
The self-styled commander of the K’Ogalo Defence Forces has also gone the extra-mile, by using this venture to benefit the club and its players who have been deprived income after competition was suspended since March.
“As Gor Mahia’s number one fan, I’m good to lead by example; I have decided that Gor Mahia should benefit from this too. So for every mask I sell, 10 per cent of the money will go to the player’s kitty.” Jared disclosed.”
For years, Jared Otieno has been leading die-hard Green Army supporters to cheer his team to glory. Now, without football, he hopes manufacturing the custom made Gor Mahia face masks will lead his team to rise above local rivals in the fight to contain COVID-19.
By Mohamed Abubakar, CGTN Sports Reporter