Accepted Paper:

Electronic Football Fandom as Performance: The English Premier League Experience in Eldoret, Kenya  


Solomon Waliaula (Maasai Mara Univiversity, Narok. Kenya )

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines a popular cultural practice in Eldoret in which football fans appropriate the audience reception experience to engage in performances. These performances are perceived as cultural productions merging the praxis of media consumption and performance.

Paper long abstract:

This paper argues that the audience reception experience of European football in Eldoret is part of the process of cultural production in this part of the world. However, in part, this claim is made as an interrogation of Karin Barber's (1987) view that football should not be considered as part of the productions of popular culture because it neither set out to communicate any specific and meaningful messages. Indeed, there exists scholarship on socio-cultural aspects of football, especially in its location within the global media industry. One of the significant discourses in this context has been the Sub-Saharan fandom of European football. One trajectory has been influences by the premise that African fandom of European football amounts to cultural imperialism, (James Tsaaior 2014, Gerard Akindes 2010, and Ayokunle Omobowale 2009). The other side has argued that this fandom is a significant cultural practice in which the fans engage with immediate socio-cultural realities, (Solomon Waliaula 2015, 2012, Godwin Siundu, 2011, Olaoluwa and Adejayan 2010, Richard Vokes 2010, and Leah Koma Koma 2005). Using an ethnographic approach, and in the context of relevant strands of media practice and performance theories, this paper extends this discourse by arguing that television audience reception is an open space that accommodates creative engagement and thus sustains - cultural production.

Panel P173
The Urban African Space and Its Marginal Literatures/Performances