France and Arsenal footballing legend Thierry Henry has acknowledged that Kenya is teeming with great football talent, which needs to be nurtured for the sake of continuity. Henry singled out the likes of Tottenham Hotspurs’ Victor Wanyama, Divock Origi and Dennis Oliech who has since retired as shining examples of the plethora of talent Kenya boasts of, adding that it is through commitment and hard work that made them what they are.
“I have been following Kenyan football and indeed Africa’s as a whole and have seen players like George Weah, Claude Makelele and even Kenya-born Divock, Wanyama and Oliech morph through the ranks to become superstars.
That shows Africa football is growing and can only get better if talent continues being nurtured,” said Henry. The French icon who is in Kenya made the remarks Friday after partnering with Guinness “Made of Black programme.
Henry’s visit coincided with yet another Guinness partnership with SportPesa Premier League (SPL) referee Tabitha Njoroge. Fans were elated at the prospects of meeting and interacting with Henry at the unveiling of Ndakaini Guinness Stadium later Saturday.
Henry is in the country to fulfil a promise he made to Kenyans and also spend time with the country’s 12 lucky promotion winners watching a football match, besides getting to experience the football viewing “Kenyan style’ The event, which is colloquially known as ‘Be A Front Row Fan’ will give Guinness consumers and other football fans chances to win various prizes among them tickets to meet Henry.
The raffle began on October 3 and ended on December 8. The football icon will work with Guinness in Kenya and across Africa to shine a light on persons who demonstrate their ‘Made of Black’ spirit.
As part of the ‘Made of Black’ programme, Guinness will be working with Henry to observe the unique passion of African fans and their ‘Made of Black’ spirit. During her speech to acknowledge Henry’s presence in the country, Kenya Breweries Head of Beer, Janice Kemoli said the star footballer has carved a niche worth emulating.
“Thierry Henry is a football legend who overcame so much to become one of the best footballers in the in the history of Arsenal. For the Guinness Black, he represents what we call Made of Black,” said Kemoli.
Henry earned his fame during his stint at the English Premier League side Arsenal where he was part of a team that won two premiership titles, three FA Cups and led his team to the 2006 UEFA Champions League final as the captain.
He was also voted Professional Footballers’ Association Players’ Player of the Year twice, and the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year three times. Henry enriched the football viewing experience for all fans of the sport. In the meantime, Njoroge said she is honoured for having partnered with Guinness, adding it has not been easy making it in the career.