In a press conference held at a Nairobi hotel on Thursday afternoon, ejected Football Kenyan Federation (FKF) boss Nick Mwendwa insisted he remains the bonafide president of the local football governing body despite the disbanding by CS for Sports Amina Mohammed.
This is the kind of entitlement by people holding public offices in our country that just destroys everything Kenyans are trying so hard to achieve.
This guy called Mwendwa has been running the FKF for more than 5 years and they have reduced our national team into the pitiful laughing stock in Africa that it is today.
No African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualification. No World Cup qualification. Just plain nothing. Every team we play just beats the daylights out of Harambee Stars even teams that have never really won anything.
Harambee Stars have had some tough times but also some great moments and we were on the rise with our beloved captain Victor Wanyama leading the team very admirably, and with the kind of discipline those who know Wanyama’s brand of football have come to expect from him.
The world knows what Wanyama was doing with Tottenham Spurs where they came very close to the top in the English Premier League.
In football Victor Wanyama for those who have watched him have this capacity to just calm things down and play football. But play it tough. That is the catch with Victor Wanyama.
But the captain now will pass his many skills on the pitch and off the pitch smarts like when he defended Harambee Star players against boarding a plane with technical problems.
His own team in England offered him a private plane to take him to the game and he told them he is the captain of the Kenyan team and he will never leave his team behind. Eventually, they got the flight when the then CS of sports went there.
My son and I followed that story because we are football fans and it made you feel good about the team and the captain.
We had young ones like the “The Engineer”, Olunga coming up. Now we have another young Kenyan defensive genius coming up playing in a Swedish elite team.
Here is Joseph Stanley Okumu who at 24 years old today is considered a defensive phenomenon in football. He is going to move to places probably no Kenyan has gone yet.
Now those guys have to give up any hopes of playing any meaningful football for Kenya. They need to get citizenship in those countries they live in and play for them because that is their best chance of playing national football which means a lot to these athletes.
If I was advising Okumu, I would tell him to follow Alexander Isak, the Eritrean young man making a name for himself playing for Sweden where he is doing good and now has opportunities all over the world.
Divock Origi did that and is playing for the Belgian team even this weekend in the World Cup qualification games.
Of course, Origi was part of the team that won the big one with Liverpool and scored the deciding goal in the finals of the European Championship in 2018.
My son and I were mad with him when he joined the Belgian team which has some of the best football players in the world, including the indomitable Eden Hazard who played for my beloved team Chelsea Football Club and won endless trophies there.
They have Big Rom, Romalu Lukaku (from DRC) now back with his old Chelsea club. Kevin DuBryne is there in the same team.
In fact some of the best footballers in the world today, play for the Belgium National team. But Origi made a good move agreeing to play for them instead of trying to get into his other national team, Harambee Stars.
The real problem here is that FKF officials like this idiot know that FIFA which itself is super corrupt will support them if they file a case indicating that the government of Kenya has taken over the administration of football Kenya and FIFA will then suspend Kenya from participating in any FIFA football activities (which is everything) anywhere in the world. We have been through that before when we had similar crooks running football in our country.
At this point, it could be easier to say to hell with it. Let FIFA take Kenya out of international football at all levels because, after all the disorganization, theft of public funds, inability to hire credible football coaches, and destroying the youth teams in Kenya has made our football intolerable to funs and possibly even to the players.
But that is a luxury we cannot afford as a country. Kenya has incredible football talent particularly at the High School and college level.
I am from Kakamega High School, the home of the mighty Green Commandos coached by Mwalimu Chris Makokha who turned Kakamega into a football national kingdom. Some of the work and talent that we have witnessed come through to the national level from the schools and colleges is purely legendary.
If I had all the time I would give you some of the names.
And they became even better after I left Kachmega in 1981. By 1986 Kekamega Green Commandos had become a national superpower in football.
Here is their story.
Chung Cheng” that is midfielder John Lichungu from Kakamega High School to the national team.
His tricks in the field is why we called him “Chung Cheng”. We tried to use his name, but you had no idea what he was going to do next.
Then we had Mike Amwayi the winger also from Kakamega High School who we used to compare to David Beckham because of the way he crosses the ball. He became the main star in our national team. I could go on.
I could talk about George Best, our very creative defender. That is George Odhiambo.
Many people don’t know that Mr. Makokha was also a very dedicated physics teacher who ran the physics laboratory in our school. Maybe that is how he ran his football teams.
Our problem now is we can no longer bring the talent from the High Schools to the national stage because FKF is completely disorganized and disinterested.
Then we have that talent in our cities, particularly in the slums where they play dodging stones and holes in dirt “football” grounds. FKF has no clue what to do with that and so we are just putting all the talent to waste.
So how the heck do people like this Mwendwa and even the new ones like Judge Ringera being brought by the government get to run football in Kenya.
Has any of these new experts and administrators of Kenyan football ever been to a football field?
Have they even ever watched a football game.
What do these people know about football?
Football is bout three things.
Organization, skills development, and passion for the game. If you don’t have any of that stay away from football.
Go watch your water polo, no offense but stay away from football and those who love the beautiful game.
One of the strange things today is that in high school there is a lot of talent even now.
I have a young 17-year-old nephew at Mukumu Boys High School and he is their captain and they just beat Kakamega High School this year in Western counties. And then some agent comes to him and tells him they can help him get into professional training and college while playing football.
I told him don’t talk to those people because you are too young and they are difficult people. Now I am asking myself where is the Kenya football people following these high school games with so much talent.
I guess they are too busy giving press conferences in Nairobi hotels and calling FIFA to save them.
Nobody in our public offices is interested in helping the kids play with barely any sports shoes to reach their potential and help their country.
That is the problem we have to deal with. Now is better than later.
Adongo Ogony is a Human Rights Activist and a Writer who lives in Toronto, Canada