Date of Award

Fall 2018

Document Type


Terms of Use

© 2018 Dan Siegelman. All rights reserved. This work is freely available courtesy of the author. It may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


History Department

First Advisor

Robert Weinberg


Soccer is Kenya’s most popular sport, watched by almost every Kenyan. Soccer has a long history in Kenya, beginning with its introduction in the colonial period, when it was used by British colonists as a way to teach Kenyans European morals and values. In the postcolonial period, football was a similar political tool for Kenyan nationalist leaders, who built a sense of Kenyan identity on the back of the national team. But the Kenyan team has largely failed to produce results based on its level of support. Faced with political challenges like corruption and the persecution of dissidents, soccer has emerged as a coded language for discussing politics. Football allows Kenyans to discuss the issues facing their country without fear, and this essay tries to understand what the game means not just as a political tool, but as a part of Kenyan life.

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History Commons